Category: Photos

Returned from Europe!

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Returned!  Very happy to be home and back in the studio!

I returned from Europe one week ago, Friday the 10th.  Soon happy to be home, although Europe was wonderful!  I visited as many places as I could – Cologne, Barcelona, Vienna, Amsterdam, Venice, Brussels, London and Paris. Phew!

I saw lots of things- the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Manneken Pis, Park Guell, Cologne’s cathedral, etc, etc. and lots of art!  Lots of historical art in the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Tate Modern, Mumok, the Albertine, etc, etc, etc.  Marianne and I went to the Venice Biennale (which was awesome!)  I saw the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, shows of Joseph Cornell and Henry Darger, Tracey Emin, Egon Shiele, and many more interesting exhibitions.  I visited my family in the Netherlands, and an old friend in London.

It was a lovely trip.  Some highlights:

Beef Carpacho. Yum!
Beef Carpacho. Yum!
Casa Battlo
Casa Battlo
Crypt
Crypt
Crypt in Vienna
Crypt in Vienna
Venice
Venice
Ventian Laundry
Venetian Laundry
Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
Rusty metal/ Belgian Chocolate
Rusty metal/ Belgian Chocolate
Belgian chocolates
Belgian chocolates
Me and Latifa
Me and Latifa
Me and Latifa
Me and Latifa
Riding the Carousel
Riding the Carousel
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre
Highgate cemetery
Highgate cemetery
Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery
Sad Selfie at the grave of Karl Marx. Highgate cemetery, London.
Sad Selfie at the grave of Karl Marx. Highgate cemetery, London.
Pere Lachaise cemetery
Pere Lachaise cemetery
Parisian breakfast.
Parisian breakfast.
Creme Brule at Les 2 Moulins! (Amelie style!)
Creme Brule at Les 2 Moulins! (Amelie style!)

Koln (Cologne) !

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– The view from my bedroom window.  –

An important part of my MFA program at UWaterloo is the Shantz Internship.  I have chosen to work with Alexandra Bircken in Cologne (Koln), Germany. (Actually, if you click through to her site, that is the table I’ve been working at, right on the front page).

It’s been a little overwhelming, coming to Europe for the first time by myself.  I flew into Amsterdam on the 16th of May, and took the train to Koln, and Alexandra picked me up from the train station. She has been great, incredibly helpful, generous, and full of useful information.  But Europe has been an adjustment.  I mean, it’s been good, been interesting, but absolutely EVERYTHING is different than what I’m used to.  The language is different, the money is different, the food is different.  The LIGHTSWITCHES are different.  I can’t read German, so simple things like going to the grocery store or out to eat is a bit of a challenge.  The other day I bought a sandwich without knowing what kind it was, because I couldn’t read the label.  Turns out it was fried tuna (and delicious, lol).

And the jet lag.  Tough to adjust my circadian rhythm.  And because of the time difference, calling (skyping) home has been a challenge… missing Waterloo.  But I’m slowly settling in.

Here are some pictures from the first few days in Koln.  🙂

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(King Street, for you Waterloovians.)

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Building up again?

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Here are some photos of things I’ve been playing with in the studio, stuff I’ve been making.  I’m not really sure what it is yet.

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– Merry Go Round (Please excuse the bad photo.)

Windmill in progress_Akkermans

– Windmill (in progress- will move hopefully, as I’m interested in making it kinetic.)

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And this barn I’ve built….

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… which I’ve been playing with projecting inside of, with a pico projector.

Since starting my MFA here at Waterloo, I’ve blown everything up, and am currently in the process of building things up again.   I’m not sure how things will come together, but that is the point of doing my MFA, to figure that out and hopefully come up with an interesting body of work.  These are just the first few steps in that direction (hopefully).  I think that the “trying to capture a real moment” that I’ve been doing as well might end up colliding with these, but at this point, I have no idea how.  We’ll see.  🙂

Narrative Clip

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220023I’ve been attempting to capture a real moment.  This is what the selfies have been, as well as a few other things I haven’t shared here.  The problem is, that by the act of capturing the moment (through taking a selfie, an audio recording, or video), I’m automatically influencing the moment, negating it’s ‘realness.’  It’s a catch 22.

So, introducing the next iteration, the Narrative Clip.  I ordered this camera from PhotoJoJo, and have been wearing it for a while now. It is a small wearable camera that takes a photograph every 30 seconds.  I have committed to wearing it for all of February, if not longer. I think the point is that I have to wear it long enough that it becomes second nature and I am not so painfully aware of it. It isn’t the perfect solution to my problem of negating the real moment, but it’s the next step in figuring it out.

I’m getting a lot of crappy pictures of my apartment and my studio, but also some interesting photos.  I’m not sure what I will do with these photos, if anything at all, but it’s an experiment I think I need to do, so I’ve committed.  Here’s a few examples of what I’ve captured so far.

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The bathroom photos are still the most interesting, because what I’m interested in is me, not necessarily the outside world. (Cleaning my teeth with a syringe because I got my wisdom teeth taken out recently.)

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Fridge shot. 144612

Studio wall.

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A few of us MFA’s went out dancing the other night- I was wearing a pair of ears that I had made and had clipped the camera to them- this photo was taken when I dropped my ears on the floor at our friend’s house.

052211A few photos from the club…

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I’ve been getting the odd enigma photo as well… who knows what this is?

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Or this?

Talisman (A Lightbox)

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Talisman

This object is a collection of trinkets from my life, a talisman of sorts.  It has no real value, other than sentimentally, even to me.  It exists as a catalogue of memories- happy, sad, humourous, bittersweet, naïve, distant and ongoing.  The objects are cheap, simply stand-ins for people I’ve known, places I’ve been, lessons learned, moments in time.  They are connected in the chain, making up small parts of the larger whole, my life. They are intertwined, unable to be separated, non linear, like the memories within my brain.  They are things I’ve made, things I’ve earned, things I’ve picked up, and things I’ve stolen.  Everything has a story, a bit of significance in my life. Not a large significance, however- the real significance is the way the moments add up, to make me who I am today.  Through these objects, I remember my Oma, my first boyfriend, my childhood best friends, our Japanese exchange students, the kids I used to babysit.  I remember the summer I learned to whittle, getting my ears pierced, my first day of college, how lonely I was in Montreal, a trip to Santa Fe. It’s a map of where I’ve been.

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A project from my elective, Hybrid Digital Media.  See my HDM blog here.

Spending a few days in Hanna, my hometown.

Special area

Now that I’m done work, I, rather impulsively maybe, decided to come out to visit my parents for a few days, and maybe help out with some things around here.  The timing is maybe not ideal- they’re both working, Dad on night shifts.  Even normally, my parents have a lot going on in their lives, socially and otherwise, including yoga, golf, friends, and working out at “the Ranch,” a quarter section of land just south of town.  I think this visit is more for me than anything- I’m feeling a little restless and sentimental about leaving (already!).

This will be one of the last trips I make out here, for who knows how long.  I have a trip planned early next month with a couple of good friends to go through to Manitou Beach, a unique mineral-rich, unusually buoyant lake in the middle of Saskatchewan.  It is not far from the towns where my parents grew up, and a little-known Saskatchewan treasure.  I have dreams about this place occasionally, and it occupies a special place in my heart.  It is also the reason, I suspect, that my mother can’t swim.

The last time I will be through here (Hanna) will be July 26th, as the first stop of my trip out to Waterloo.  I feel like I should be out here to document as much as I can – and filter my experience through my camera (as Mark does in Rent), something I’ve been thinking about lately.  Ever the documentor, I am, although I am not really sure why I feel compelled to do that.  Am I more sentimental than most people? I’m not sure.  The only thing I know for sure is that I am a savour-er, always have been and always will be. To that end, I stopped on my way out here to take a photo of a particular road sign which marks the edge of Special Area #2, where Hanna is located.  I always keep an eye out for this particular sign, and it always strikes me as amusing- What makes this area “special,” other than (to me) that I grew up here?  Why is it number 2, why not number 1?  I know why this actually is, but before I actually was aware of that, it held a lot of intrigue.  Also amusing to me now is that there is no Special Area #1, in Alberta, at least not anymore.

Anyway.  I brought my nice camera out here, will have to take some photos. Maybe I’ll post some later.