St[Art] Residency Windup….

Animation aftermath 

So, as I’ve been working in the St[art] space at art central for the last two months, Thursday night was the final showing of the work I made while I was there.  It was an excellent opportunity to have space to work on something I wouldn’t be able to do at home (ex. animation), but I found it to be a much different experience than, say, the Gushul Residency, because, while I had work space, I was still in the same city as the rest of my life, so finding the time to use the space to it’s fullest was a bit of a challenge.  (Whereas, when we were at the Gushul, there was lots of time to work, less distractions, and sometimes I found myself working because I didn’t have anything else I *needed* to do.)

Anyway, here’s the animation I did.  It’s not quite finished, as it still needs sound.  It will fit into the documentary that I finished this summer.

Looking Back….


It was an interesting year.  It was definitely a year of transition for me, of growth and learning, and though the year is done, I am not (really).

Let’s recap (in no particular order):

1) The biggest one for me this year, GRADUATION.

Feeling like all my hard work over the last five years has paid off, and at that moment, I was exactly where I should have been.  This was the right choice for me, and I know/ knew that it would be a difficult path sometimes, but I love the adventure, and the personal rewards and the community is a treasure.


Amazing! The experience was amazing, my studio mate was incredible- fun, smart, motivated, caring, and adventurous, and I learned a lot! It was great to feel validated as an artist, and to get to spend a whole month concerned about nothing but having an adventure and making work was incredible, a luxury I hope to have again sometime.  Definitely an amazing first artist residency experience in on of my favourite parts of the world, and not too far away from home. Trap/Door Artist Run Centre.

3) SPARK (Fluid Festival)

Undersense. By Veronica Benz and Jennifer Akkermans. Photo by Ron Checora.

The two week intensive collaborative residency taught me to trust my own decisions and those of my partner.  It was definitely a unique experience, resulting in a very interesting show.  I learned a lot about my own creative process, as well as that of others, and by the end of it, felt like I had made twelve new friends!  (And all the Happy Birthday texts showing up in one particularly memorable audience interaction piece was very sweet!)

4) Making my film, MORPHOPODIA through EMMEDIA.

Humongous project. I learned to use what I had access to.  EMMEDIA was great with the technical stuff- teaching me how to use the equipment and software to edit, and allowing me the opportunity to make the film, but, in all honesty, there is so much more involved in taking on a project like this.  Planning, writing scripts, finding and coordinating actors, volunteers and helpers (all of which have their own busy schedules), finding someone with a vehicle to move large amounts of equipment around reliably (more than I’m used to carrying on the train, anyway), setting up sets and scenes, adjusting lighting, sound, acting, editing, etc.

5) Terrarrium / International Festival of Animated Objects

This exhibition, in Stride‘s +15, was an opportunity for me to explore how the Morphoids would interact with eachother over a period of time.  The show was up for two months, February and March, I believe, and because it was part of the IFAO, I adjusted the exhibit twice a week, creating a storyline, like a very slow stop-motion animation. The personalities of the Morphoids came out, and there was an accident, resulting in one of the Morphoids getting eaten. (It’s funny, this seems like much longer ago, probably because I’ve done a lot since then.)

6) ArtaWEARness

A lesson in time management, depending on other people, and building things for the body.  In particular, this shoulder piece.  It was so complicated to get to sit in the right place and stand up, but I count it as an engineering success. (Model: Sara Girletz.)

7) St[art] Residency/ Calgary Allied Arts Foundation.

This is the last thing I have participated in this year, and I actually still have the space until January the 8th.  I used the two month residency in art central to do some drawings, develop some ideas for the insides and organs of some of the Morphoids, and I built a set and animated a Morphoid hatching.  A great opportunity to do something I would not have the space to do properly at home. Calgary Allied Arts Foundation


In terms of my practice, this year has been pretty amazing.  I made the transition from student to artist, showing work, looking for opportunities, and developing my practice.  I learned a lot, including learning to work with film and basic animation, modeling materials, constructing things from wood, etc, etc, etc.  There have of course been other cool things going on this year, but these are definitely the highlights.

I can only hope that next year yields as many opportunities!

Goodbye 2011!

(Hello 2012.)


Working away!

I’ve been working in my temporary studio space at Art Central, care of the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation.  (Speaking of which, they’ve updated the Residency page to show my information!)

I’ve been needing to get/ take care of a few things before I can really get into the meat of what I plan to do here, so so far, I have been working on a few smaller projects, and doing some experiments.

These are some “microscope” drawings, drawings of structures I have been looking at through the microscope.

I have also been doing some experiments and brainstorming, about using some unusual materials to flesh out the morphoids, so to speak.  Here are a couple images of that, although nothing is even close to concrete.

If they appear somewhat cryptic, I am okay with that.  They maybe should be at this point.  Lol.

Also, here’s a short video of something I did today that may have some potential.

And just a reminder, I’m in the studio Tuesday and Friday afternoons, 1-5PM, and hopefully most Monday and Wednesday evenings.  Stop by for a visit if you’re in the neighborhood!

St[art] Residency Starts!

I got the keys to my temporary space at Art Central, courtesy of the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation just this last Sunday.  Today being my day off, this morning I moved in some stuff to work with (what I could carry on the train), and spent the afternoon getting accustomed to the space and working.  It was a bit of a strange experience for me, telling myself, “Ok, here you go.  You’re going to stay in this space until 5:00, and work with what you’ve got here.”  Lately, I’ve been working on a lot of different things at once, it seems… a little here, a little there, ok, switch gears into soemthing else.  Today, though, I had my computer, and what I had brought with me.

So I organized what I had, and put stuff where I thought it should go.  Including postcards in the door and tools in the toolbox.

There’s a bit of a contrast between this and the space I have at home, isn’t there!  As much as I love my space at home, it isn’t great for some things, including animation, which I intend to use some of the time I have in this space for.  It is also not good for doing larger projects- drawings, building things, etc.  I am hoping to do some drawing here, and, if I get that far, making some “innards” to use for a dissection later on.

So today I worked with what I had. I couldn’t bring in everything in one go, because I was taking the train, and I also need to get a few things before I can do much in terms of the animation.  In the studio today, I did a bit of surgery on one of the Morphoids, Foraminifera, poor guy.   I sliced open one of his legs, to insert some armature wire into three of his legs, so I will have more control over them when I animate.  I had forgotten that I had stuffed him with polyester scraps from other Morphoids, and was surprised when I kept pulling colourful fabric out of him!

I also did the plan for the animation, or, what do they call it?  Storyline?  Anyway, I know what I’m wanting, just need to get a few things and go!

Today was a productive day.  Besides working at Art Central, I 1) got the photos I needed for the New Alberta Contemporaries exhibition, drew a diagram for the set up of that, packed it all up, including microscope, so it’s ready to deliver, and 2) scanned, photocopied, emailed and packaged the submission for the cover of Hanna’s Centennial history book,  3) worked on my plan and content for another show, coming up in February, 4) brainstormed content ideas for the IMR website, and 5) brainstormed ideas for my dissection/ what’s inside a Morphoid.

I have the space for the rest of November and all of December, and intend to be there Tuesday and Friday afternoons, 1-5 PM at minimum.  I’m hoping to also be there most Monday and Wednesday evenings, and the odd Saturday.  I will be having an opening on December 1st, in conjunction with Art Central’s First Thursday.

Stay tuned!

(Please excuse the photos.  They were taken with my phone, and I’m really not very good at holding it still enough to get a really clear photo.)

St[art] Residency

I’ve been accepted to do a residency in Art Central courtesy of the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation. I will be working on some animations (hopefully) when I do my residency in November and December of this year.  I will definitely post more info when I have it.  For now, click here for more info.