Archive for the 'On Display' Category

Art and writing by locals when they were kids

May 15 2012 Published by under On Display,Words in Edgewise

On 8pm this Thursday (May 17) at the Eastern Edge Gallery, a special Words in Edgewise will feature grown-ups reading and showing stories and art they wrote as kids. As a special sneak preview, here is some fine work from some of Newfoundland’s finest.

Kym Greeley, age 8

Kym has grown up to become a pretty dang good artist. Her work has been exhibited and collected around the world. You can see some of it at The Christina Parker Gallery on Water Street, or at www.kymgreeley.com

Helen Gregory, age 7 or 8

Helen continues to draw and paint birds. Her solo show Unrequited Death, which exhibited at The Rooms in 2010, is now on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

David Kaarsemaker, age 4

David has since switched from self-portraiture to landscape painting. His latest works were part of a solo show at the Christina Parker Gallery, and can be seen on his website.

Dale Kirby, age 9

Nowadays Dale is more likely to draw the House of Assembly, where his is the NDP MHA for St. John’s North.

Sheilagh O’Leary, age 12

Sheilagh grew up to be a photographer, and St. John’s City Councillor-at-large.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chad Pelley, age 9

Chad has continued writing stories. His first novel, Away from Everywhere, was a Coles bestseller, won the NLAC’s CBC Emerging Artist of the Year award, and was shortlisted for the for 2010 ReLit award, as well as the Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer of the Year award.

Derek Pelley

Derek would return from Hants Harbour and help start the seminal Newfoundland band Figgy Duff in the 1970s.

Sara Tilley, age 10

Moving is a Nighmare!!!
By Sara. J. Tilley (age 10)

It was a fall night in the town of Littleville. I was looking at my new house, wondering what it would look like when I re-furnished it. You see, I had just moved into Littleville that night, and since my T.V. and stereo were still in New York, I decided I would explore my new surroundings. It was an old three story mansion that used to belong to the Duke of Canterbury.

I found a few candles in the pantry and climbed the stairs to the second floor. That was the beginning of my adventure. At the top of the stairs there was a long, long row of doors, closed and dusty. I walked down the mysterious hallway, glancing in rooms which were mostly empty. But, just as I was about to turn back, something humanlike caught my eye, and as I stepped inside that last room, I realized it was…….a corpse!!!

I bolted for the door, but, in my hastiness I dropped my candle and was left in the dark with that sickly body. I felt for the walls, but the room seemed to go on forever! I sat down, half dumb with fear, half with despair. Out of the total darkness emerged two green fiery eyeballs.

I soon realized there was someone or something else in the room! The eyes, hideously screaming, slowly came towards me. Then suddenly, a hairy, blood-smeared arm of a werewolf wrapped around my waist and lifted me off the floor. I tried to scream but an ugly hand clamped tightly over my mouth.

The werewolf ran for a very long time, he ran through a bog, and as he carried me through a deep forest filled with dark corners, he slowed down and stopped in front of a large bare blackberry bush. The werewolf pushed aside some branches and stepped inside. It was a cave! A gray gloomy musty cave with blood drinking spiders and leeches. I could hear a faint dripping sound.

He dropped me on a hard flat stone and covered me with a wolf skin as he cried “Have a good rest before your doom, Ha Ha Ha!” Then I fell asleep.

I heard a low threatening growl, and I woke up, panting. I sat up and looked around, I was in my own room and when I looked out of my window the moving van was unloading my T.V.! As I jumped up to go get my stuff, I realized there was wolf hair in my hand!!!

Grown-up Sara is an actor, writer, and clown. Her debut novel Skin Room was published by Pedlar Press in 2008. Most recently she appeared in the hit play Drowning Girls.

Art and writing by locals when they were kids

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Ontop/Above and Beyond

Mar 16 2012 Published by under On Display

You'll be able to see this piece by Danny Woodrow at Ontop/Above's upcoming exhibit.

It took me a minute to clue in.

“Hey, wait — this is your house,” I said. “You live here. And there’s a picture of a woman giving birth on your wall.”

Good thing artist and musician Jesse Walker is a gracious host.

He’s turned his 362 Duckworth Street house into Ontop/Above, a gallery for all kinds of local and not-so-local art from artists both known and emerging.

The birth picture (not pictured here) was part of Michael Waterman’s exhibition, Framed Found Photos, a collection of pictures from the pre-digital era that Waterman collected over the years. They were in his front hall.

In one half of his living room was a series of brightly coloured silkscreens by Jenn King. Hanging from the ceiling in the other half were dark, nearly-beheaded sculptures by Pepa Chan. A regulation-size ping pong table separated the two rooms, free for gallery-goers to use.

“It’s definitely an ‘alt gallery’ as opposed to an art gallery,” he says. “It’s an alternative to the standard white-walled, formal gallery, where up-and-coming artists who might have trouble getting into a typical gallery can show their work alongside more established artists.”

Take, for example, the upcoming Ontop/Above exhibition, More Than a Feeling, which opens on March 16th and features art by Knoah Bender, Danny Woodrow, Lisa Wilson and Michael Young. You may not have heard of Bender, but you’ve probably seen Young’s work, at the Rooms.

Ontop/Above is home to more than just Jesse Walker, his micro-greens-growing roommate, and some incredible visual art. It’s been a venue for movies and a few punk shows and, from March 23rd to March 25th, Engine Productions will be performing Neil Labute’s play The Shape of Things there. A huge second-floor room is also available as a jam space for bands, with cheap rental fees for both the space and equipment.

To stay ontop of Ontop/Above, check out the Ontop/Above Facebook page. Gallery hours are Saturdays, from 1pm to 5pm, and Wednesdays, from 4pm to 8pm, or by appointment via 763-3210 or jeswalker@hotmail.com.

Ontop/Above and Beyond

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Newfoundland-born sculptor up for the Sobey Art Award

Oct 04 2011 Published by under On Display

“It’s about 18 feet long, and 7 feet high,” explains Zeke Moores, over big crashes of sheet metal.

He’s talking about the steel replica of a Lincoln Navigator that he built, called – appropriately – SUV.

Moores, a Windsor-based sculptor from Foxtrap, builds reproductions of everyday objects, to scale, out of metal. I caught him at the Art Gallery of Windsor, setting up Cooler Column, a 10-foot tall column of aluminum replicas of Styrofoam coolers. He was just announced as the Atlantic Finalist in this year’s Sobey Art Awards, which honours exceptional contemporary Canadian artists under 40. The other finalists are Charles Stankievech, West Coast and Yukon; Sarah Ann Johnson, Prairies and the North; Daniel Young and Christian Giroux, Ontario; and Manon De Pauw, Quebec. The winner will be announced by none other than Adam Gopnik on October 13th.

For the Sobey Art Award exhibition, which opened on September 17th at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, he’ll be showing a nickel-plated Port-o-Potty, freshly completed, a series of nine cardboard boxes cast in bronze and three sheets of construction-grade plywood, reproduced in solid aluminum.

Mercifully, SUV stayed in Windsor.

“You would be surprised how hard it is to get someone to give you a luxury S.U.V. to crawl all over,” he laughs. “To produce the work, I put paper all overt the entire vehicle and take rubbings from it, so I can get all the body panels, and then I produce the body panels from sheet metal. So it’s all just handcrafted from sheet metal.”

“I was going to do a Cadillac Escalade,” he adds, “but nobody would let me put paper and tape all over their Escalade.”

When he started working on SUV, he had just moved to Windsor, Ontario, Canada’s automotive heartland, in the midst of wide-scale layoffs in the industry.

“It was a poignant piece related to the area that I was geographically located,” he says. “For me, it was about coming to Windsor, trying to find my bearings here. Being from the East Coast, it’s very different. So I wanted to produce a work that spoke of the environment that I was just thrust into. “

He pauses, there’s another crash, and he directs someone to drill elsewhere.

“It was about trying to experience what being an auto worker might be like, in a way,” he continues. “Just to take the time to investigate the object. That’s generally what I do, it’s about the investigation of the object: that time and the meditation and meticulously inspecting an object inch by inch and figuring out what makes that object, what it is in our society. It’s also lot about value, and hierarchical systems of value, in our society and about the relationship that we have with these objects.”

In the end, he says, building the S.U.V. definitely helped him acclimatize to his new surroundings. “It gave me a big respect for the industry that was here and is here,” he says. “You start to realize what kind of engineering goes into these objects around us. Whether it’s a car or a can opener, you don’t realize the amount of engineering, planning and development that goes into these things. Like, the SUV, the car itself, is completely hollow on one side. So that was a conceptual note on the hollowness and the importance of them, being kind of an empty vessel.”

“I learn every time I make a piece,” he adds. “Even the Port-o-Potty.”

Newfoundland-born sculptor up for the Sobey Art Award

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Zeke Moores up for the 2011 Sobey Art Award

Sep 13 2011 Published by under On Display

“It’s about 18 feet long, and 7 feet high,” explains Zeke Moores, over the sounds of drills and crashes of sheet metal. “It’s to scale.”

He’s talking about the steel replica of a Lincoln Navigator that he built, called – appropriately – SUV.

Moores, a Windsor-based sculptor from Foxtrap, builds reproductions of everyday objects, to scale, out of metal. I caught him at the Art Gallery of Windsor, setting up Cooler Column, a 10-foot tall column of aluminum replicas of Styrofoam coolers. He’s the Atlantic Finalist in this year’s Sobey Art Awards, which honours exceptional contemporary Canadian artists under 40. The other finalists are Charles Stankievech, West Coast and Yukon; Sarah Ann Johnson, Prairies and the North; Daniel Young and Christian Giroux, Ontario; and Manon De Pauw, Quebec.

For the Sobey Art Award exhibition, opening on September 17th at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, he’ll be showing a nickel-plated Port-o-Potty, a series of nine cardboard boxes cast in bronze, and three sheets of construction-grade plywood, reproduced in solid aluminum.SUV stayed in Windsor.

“You would be surprised how hard it is to get someone to give you a luxury S.U.V. to crawl all over,” he laughs. “To produce the work, I put paper all overt the entire vehicle and take rubbings from it, so I can get all the body panels, and then I produce the body panels from sheet metal. So it’s all just handcrafted from sheet metal.”

“I was going to do a Cadillac Escalade,” he adds, “but nobody would let me put paper and tape all over their Escalade.”

When he started working on SUV, he had just moved to Windsor, Ontario, Canada’s automotive heartland, in the midst of wide-scale layoffs in the industry.

“It was a poignant piece related to the area that I was geographically located,” he says. “For me, it was about coming to Windsor, trying to find my bearings here. Being from the East Coast, it’s very different. So I wanted to produce a work that spoke of the environment that I was just thrust into. “

He pauses, something bangs, and he directs someone to drill elsewhere.

“It was about trying to experience what being an auto worker might be like, in a way,” he continues. “Just to take the time to investigate the object. That’s generally what I do, it’s about the investigation of the object: that time and the meditation and meticulously inspecting an object inch by inch and figuring out what makes that object, what it is in our society. It’s also lot about value, and hierarchical systems of value, in our society and about the relationship that we have with these objects.”

In the end, he says, building the S.U.V. definitely helped him acclimatize to his new surroundings.

“It gave me a big respect for the industry that was here and is here,” he says. “You start to realize what kind of engineering goes into these objects around us. Whether it’s a car or a can opener, you don’t realize the amount of engineering, planning and development that goes into these things. Like, the S.U.V., the car itself, is completely hollow on one side. So that was a conceptual note on the hollowness and the importance of them, being kind of an empty vessel.”

“I learn every time I make a piece,” he adds. “Even the Port-o-Potty.”

Zeke Moores up for the 2011 Sobey Art Award

One response so far

Introducing the EVA Emerging Artist nominees

May 27 2011 Published by under On Display

Newfoundland and Labrador is a province awash in visual artists, From the arts colony on Fogo Island, the dozens of galleries and collectives, to the assertion that the A1C postal code boasts three times the national average of artists per capita. Three young artists have recently been honoured as having distinguished themselves within this sizable pool of talent.

The Excellence in Visual Arts (EVA) Awards, which are held May 27 at The Rooms, are an annual celebration of the best and brightest of the provincial scene. Entering its sixth year, the EVA Awards feature the Emerging Artist Award, which is a recognition of outstanding work by a visual artist in the early stages of his or her career.

This year’s jury has release a shortlist of three artists for the award. Up for the honours is Jillian Waite, hailing from PEI and based in St. John’s; Jason Holley, of Amherst Cove; and Allen Walbourne, from St. John’s.

The Scope asked each artist a few questions about their involvement in the provincial arts world.

 

Jillian Waite

Prince Edward Island/St. John’s, Newfoundland

Can you give me a sense of what your art is all about? What do you try and communicate with it?
Over the last few years I have focused my art making on encaustic painting. Encaustic facilitates my need to work sculpturally as well as my desire to work in a detailed, meticulous fashion while still maintaining spontaneous and organic aspects. I am drawn to images that evoke a sense of nostalgia and I paint objects and images that stimulate memory and inspire recollection.

What is your background in visual arts?
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2007) from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.

Where do you see your career as an artist taking you?
I hope to continue painting and exhibiting regularly. I also hope that my background and experience in my art practise will help Pick-Me-Up Artists’ Collective (a local collective that I co-founded) to continue to grow and support other emerging artists in the province.

What’s it like being an emerging artist in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador? Is the arts community welcoming? Hostile? Hard to distinguish yourself in?
I’m very happy to be living is St. John’s where there is a large and prominent arts community and have felt very welcomed during my four years in the city. There are always great events, exhibitions, and organizations to be a part of. I am lucky to be represented by a great gallery (The Leyton Gallery) and I’m able to show my work with many other well-established NL artists.

 
 

Allen Walbourne

St. John’s, Newfoundland
Update: WINNER OF THE EVA EMERGING ARTIST AWARD

Can you give me a sense of what your art is all about? What do you try and communicate with it?
The foundation for the art is structured on the clash between holding onto our traditional values of the past and constantly changing who we are as a modern urban society . My recent exhibition of work was heavily influenced by cabin folk art, hokey kitchen culture and a pride of place . As an emerging artist I want create original ideas that have value for the audience adding a new voice to contemporary artwork in our province.

What is your background in visual arts?
Growing up within an artistic family I was constantly encouraged by my parents to create art and in high school I was studying first year university art history courses. I spent four years in Corner Brook attending Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus bachelor in fine arts (visual arts) degree. I returned to St. John’s in 2009 and have been involved with organizations such as the Pick Me Up Artist Collective and VANL-CARFAC while continuously exhibiting in group and solo shows. In 2010 I was awarded a NLAC project grant and recently completed a solo exhibition entitled A Proud Newfoundlander Wit A Cat Called Danny at the A1C Art Gallery.

Where do you see your career as an artist taking you?
Returning to the studio I will complete another collection entitled The Pond, the Lake and the Harbour. While working full time at the exciting new downtown Rocket Bakery I have began a partnership with an amazing artist/screen printer Mark Adams. AM Radio will combine our individual experience and skills to create multiple series of bold new colourful prints for any home. Making art is really something that comes naturally and I can not see myself working as anything else but an exhibition artist.

What’s it like being an emerging artist in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador? Is the arts community welcoming? Hostile? Hard to distinguish yourself in?
One point I would like to drive home is get to know everyone through organizations and exhibition openings. When I came back from Corner Brook I joined every council and gallery that I could, such as VANL-CARFAC; this is a must for any artist for constant updates on professional opportunities and current events. I tend to stick to my own network of friends outside of the arts community to gain most of my support and inspiration but understand I need both to grow as an artist. A second great experience is working with other artists, musicians and generally amazingly talented people in restaurants downtown; this really connects an emerging artist to the real struggle to support your art.

 
 

Jason Holley

Amherst Cove, Newfoundland

Can you give me a sense of what your art is all about? What do you try and communicate with it?
I link clay rings together in patterns that I learned studying old armour called chainmail. I then raku the finished pieces, a process adapted from a Japanese tradition, leaving them looking like ancient rusted artifacts. So I’m playing with the appearance of strength and how it is used to hide inevitable weakness. The sculptures look old, heavy and show a strength that draws on militaristic sense of security. For all that, if you dropped one or struck it, challenged its strength in any way it would shatter. I do love that tension, so I started breaking the work. I climbed a ladder about an hour before Crafting Paradox opened at The Rooms, and smashed a section of “45″. I’m not a big fan of subtle. I really want people to know that the work is ceramic and fragile, the raku can be a little too effective.

Honestly, I’m still figuring it out my self. I don’t really try to communicate anything. I do like it when I get a proper double-take. When someone looks, goes to walk away, then notices a piece of broken ring, or sees the material on the gallery tag, then stops and looks closer. I love doing the work, I think when I finally can answer this question comfortably in a couple of lines I’ll be ready to move on to something else.

What is your background in visual arts?
I have no degree, but I’m always learning. Any art training that I’ve received has been very informal. I don’t do well in institutional settings. The Craft Council Clay Studio at Devon House was my home for a good four or five years. I took every workshop they offered, rented studio space, and a key that offered 24hr access (which is important; I work best at night). The Anna Templeton Centre was also a great help, I even managed one full year in the Textile Studies program that CNA offers there.

Where do you see your career as an artist taking you?
Well, I’m not leaving Amherst Cove. My sculpture is another matter. I want to make more work and sell it so I can make more work. I need to get into some bigger markets and start chasing other public exhibition opportunities This winter I had a small solo show at Studio 21 in Halifax, and I started to sell work at Lafrieniere and Pai in Ottawa. Certainly a good start;I can’t wait to see what’s next.

What’s it like being an emerging artist in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador? Is the arts community welcoming? Hostile? Hard to distinguish yourself in?
It’s funny, when I was first starting it was intimidating to break into such a small scene. In my experience, the Newfoundland stereotypes hold true. People are welcoming, opportunities abound. The barriers between disciplines, or seniority that you would almost expect are simply not there. Before I knew it I was sitting on committees, helping run the very organization I was initially intimidated by.

The 6th annual EVA Awards will take place at The Rooms on May 27th, 2011, hosted by CBC’s Debbie Cooper. The reception is at 9 pm, featuring music by Quinton and Rose. All are welcome.

Introducing the EVA Emerging Artist nominees

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Ed Pien’s Delightful Haven

Nov 24 2010 Published by under On Display

Detail of "The Night Gathering" by Ed Pien

Ed Pien has a permanent scar on the tip of his index finger. After discovering the traditional Chinese way of cutting paper several years go, he creates grand 3D realms and environments with an X-Acto knife. Welcome to Haven of Delight, Pien’s hauntingly beautiful exhibit on display at The Rooms Provincial Gallery.

“I cut vertically,” says Pien. “Even though I have an image to work with while cutting, I am still doing a lot of improvisation in order to feel that there is a continued sense of exploration and negotiation with making the paper-cut.”

Haven of Delight exhibit features an out of this world installation; it’s an all encompassing paper maze of celestial celebration. Haven of Delight is a universe in itself. Viewers are welcomed into the tranquility of the grand-scale sanctuary where imagination, myth and spirits come to life.

Pien’s ethereal paper cut-outs begin as a photograph, images of trees and human figures. He combines the two digital photographs and manipulates it until the visual aligns with his mind’s eye.

“I am interested in exploring realms where language is inadequate to explain away mysteries and wonders,” he says.

On the night of Haven of Delight‘s opening Pien wandered around with a small keychain flashlight, asking patrons to hold it up at eyelevel. The small light showcased an entirely different interpretation, Haven of Delight became lucid, a dream within a dream. Pien is fascinated with the unconscious, a realm when reality gives way and our minds are free to roam wild and our hearts purest.

“My attempt is to create tensions within the work while removing binaries,” says Pien. “It is my hope that as a result, the work would succeeded in allowing multiple interpretations to take place.”

The Toronto-based contemporary visual artist is a mythmaker. For over 25 years Pien has toyed with contrasts, good and evil, demons and humans. He creates his own visual language of tales and myth. Haven of Delight wanders through a storybook of the fantastical, featuring a cast of characters: birds, bats, human figures that morph into animals and intrigue. In The Safety Of The Trees is a misty walk through the woods, with its purple sky and soft silhouettes. Pien uses art to negotiate the gap between his imagination and the world.

“It’s an excuse to be curious, to take risks and be fearless without concern of failure.”

Ed Pien’s Haven of Delight is on at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery until November 28.

Ed Pien’s Delightful Haven

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Q&A with some 24 Hour Art Marathon Participants

Aug 21 2010 Published by under On Display

The 24 Hour Art Marathon has officially started. Here are a few of the artists participating…

Panshard Collective

Trudy Marshall, Peer Support Program Coordinator, ILRC
Susan Langer, Inclusion Facilitator, ILRC, SWASP

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
This year the Panshard Collective will be sponsored by the ILRC and the Community Inclusion Project. We will construct a woven piece with raised relief made from recycled clothing. Members will also work on individual pieces that reflect their access to art.

Why are you participating?
Inclusion means getting in and getting dirty. We won’t sit on the outside looking in… We will get in and mix it up. The Panshard Collective will work together to promote artistic expression from a cross-disability perspective.

What’s your survival plan?
Some of us cannot sit for long and may not have the stamina to do 24 hours at once, so we are sharing the load. We are doing HAM in shifts. Some of us will be around longer than others.

What’s your most memorable Marathon moment, if you have one?
HAM 2008 and 2009 allowed us to experiment with art forms, like mosaics and weaving. We were also able to modify the art projects to include all members of our collective.

Fatima Hammond

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
Doing at least one street scene of somewhere in the A1C rendered in Batik. Batik is a hot wax resist method for dyeing fabric.

Why are you participating?
To relive the spontaneity and immediacy of creating art in avery short period of time. Feels like being in art school again but with more refined skills. Oh and I had an awesome time in it last year, so i am going back for more.

What’s your survival plan?
Be prepared in advance with drawings and materials. Work at it until mesmerized and then go for a walk/see others’ work/eat/dance and then repeat as necessary.

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
Last August.

Janice Godin

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
I’ll be painting a abstract female nude contour on a large canvas with acrylics.

Why are you participating?
I’ve been wanting to participate for several years as several friends of mine who have participated have loved it.

What’s your survival plan?
Two words… diet pepsi. Others may chug coffee but, for me, diet pepsi is the way to go.

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
I have yet to do a marathon but I’m really looking forward to this years.

Kelly Bastow

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
I will be making an ink drawing on a big piece of paper. Don’t know what it will be of, yet.

Why are you participating?
I always wanted to in previous years, but never had the guts. So this year I was determined to get off my butt and do it. I also heard it was really fun.

What’s your survival plan?
Not sure! Lots of caffeine, probably. Hope my hand doesn’t get too sore from holding a brush for a bunch of hours!

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
This will be my first time participating.

Adam Riggio

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
The version of myself appearing at the Marathon is a fiction writer, and I’ll be working on a series of short stories, reworking and completing drafts and outlines, as well as developing new ideas. This becomes performance art because I’ll be asking the Marathon’s visitors to help me write. We’ll brainstorm story and character ideas that I’ll arrange in an increasingly complex wall of post-it notes behind me. And the stories which emerge will be collaborations between myself and the collection of people who come to the gallery that day.

Why are you participating?
I recently took over a small press, Crackjaw Publishing, which is based in my new home of Hamilton, Ontario, where I’m working on my PhD in philosophy. I’m in the process of completely relaunching Crackjaw, and by Xmas 2010, I hope that Crackjaw’s focus will be an online short story store where for a small fee, people can download stories of high artistic quality in pdf and e-reader formats. I’m participating to prepare some of my own work for the story store, and to generate some advance buzz about the company and the site for when the official launch happens in November/December.

What’s your survival plan?
My survival plan is pretty simple: wake up, shower, and eat a good breakfast just before the actual start, and then just keep working. My old job as production manager of The Muse had me staying up for 24
hour stretches weekly, and maniac that I am, I’d still go to any classes I had booked the following day. And then sleep for 14 hours.

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
I’ve known about the art marathon for a long time, but I never really thought of myself as an artist until three years ago when I decided to write fiction again. I only discovered that writers had a place at 24HAM when my old friend Michael Collins took part in 2009, writing a very strange (but not strange enough if you ask me) novella. He and I have talked over the past year about expanding it to the length of a complete novel, and publishing it under the Crackjaw label. When I decided to apply for 2010, I thought of my randomly collaborative writing method to kick up the intensity of the project, and generate more stimuli to keep me awake.

Jamie Lewis

This year in the marathon I’ll be painting some surreal work and maybe mixing it up by using mod podge and whatever comes to mind to add a collage. The marathon is a great way to get to know fellow artists and get some of your work out there, and I loved participating last year (my first year in the marathon). I plan on comsuming disgusting amounts of coffee and soda in order to stay awake.

Jonathan Green

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
I will be starting and finishing a lithograph print in 24 hours. From graining the limestone, to drawing, etching, and then printing an edition all in 24 hours. The print will be based upon my current interest of exploration, in particular that of the Polaris expedition and the tragedy found within it.

Why are you participating?
I am participating as it is hands down, one of the best festivals that deals with the arts in Newfoundland and engages with the community. There is so much creativity on display here and positive energy, it’s a celebration of what we have here.

What’s your survival plan?
I’ve been known to quaff a few energy drinks in such times. Eat good food, and just push at it.

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
2007 Art Marathon. I was up that night in St. Michael’s printing a lithograph, a previously prepared one but still my my first one ever with the help of the b’ys. Was super hot and humid, sweating on the stone. Got my edition printed at 2am I think. So I’ve had a history of lithography and art marathon. Just needs to be upped this year.

Matthew Jackman

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
I’m planning on just kind of going with the flow and using mixed media, but I’ll be sure to have a large focus on watercolor and prints.

Why are you participating?
I am participating in the marathon to help pay for Art School, to get some of my art out in St. John’s, and simply to be able to participate in this marathon in the most artistic city I’ve ever seen.

What’s your survival plan?
Coffee.

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
This will be my first experience with the marathon

Shiro-Tan Halverson

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
Poster-Type Art With Traditional Colored Pencils.

Why are you participating?
A friend asked me to do it with her.

What’s your survival plan?
Coffee. Lots Of Coffee.

Cynthia Dunphy

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
For the Marathon we are planning a collaborative performance piece constructing a “Soft-House” using found materials. The building process will include interactions with both Marathoners and the public

Why are you participating?
To bring together our common love for performance art and recycling!

What’s your survival plan?
Coffee.

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
Our first experience was two years ago. We brought our sketch books and drew with a group in the parking lot who were playing music.

Deborah Jackman

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
This year i am still undecided onwhat I will work on, I am either working on a sculpture using recycled ten candle holders or a mixed-media collection of shadow-boxed characters. If time permits I’ll do both…

Why are you participating?
I participate because it raises funds for Eastern Edge Gallery , Awareness to the broad, BROAD diversity of arts in this province!

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
It won’t be hard to stay awake with the clacking and clanging of sounds from bands , machinery like hammers and drills, and the buzz of loud chatter from all the artist

Jillian Parsons

What exactly will you be working on at the Marathon this year?
I no longer have access to a welding shop, so there’s a hole in my heart where I should be fusing metal to metal. This year I’m going to try doing some small scale metal work using copper and solder. Soldering doesn’t give quite the same rush that welding does, but I’m going to imagine that I’m just welding on teeny tiny scale. Or, I might do something completely different.

Why are you participating?
I enjoyed my experience last year, which was my first as a participant. It became a fun roadtrip with a few of my fellow members of Stockpile Artists Collective, and the Marathon itself was good opportunity to get out and meet other artists and stay up late making art.

What’s your survival plan?
This year, I’m smart enough to scale my project for the time provided, with allowances made for getting out to see more of the events that were ongoing during the Marathon. Last year, I came with the plan to make art for 24 hours, but once 12 o’clock came that Sunday, there weren’t many people who had stuck it out to the end. That was a bit disappointing but at least this year I have a better sense of what I’m getting into regarding the overall vibe of the Marathon. And of course, I’ve still got the power of Earl Grey Tea on my side this year.

When was your first experience with the Marathon?
My first experience with the Marathon festival was going to the Annie Sprinkle presentation, but my first experience as a participant was last year, where it was more like the 29 Hour Art Marathon for me.

Q&A with some 24 Hour Art Marathon Participants

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Painting video on the walls

Aug 18 2010 Published by under On Display

Media art duo SWEATSHOPPE has developed a technology dubbed “video painting” that uses cameras, projectors, and computer vision software to track a paint roller, projecting video wherever it moves to create the illusion that video is being applied to a surface. We caught up with Bruno Levy and Blake Shaw to ask them about their performance tonight (10pm-12am) at the Eastern Edge.

When did you come up with the idea for video wheatpasting?
Bruno: Blake initially thought of the idea of painting video. I was working on a A//V performance with a friend of mine and had brought Blake in to help with the programming and technology. I don’t remember exactly when but Blake came over one day after he had been out partying for three days with the idea of painting video. We wanted to change the space with the application of video to the walls during the performance. For example: while we would perform music, people come out with paint rollers and paint a panoramic scene of the desert on all the surrounding walls. We wanted to apply video in a way that would allow the viewer to loose themselves a bit more in the performance experience. We were really inspired by some of the video mapping that was happening in europe, especially the work of Anti-VJ and wanted to create a similar magic that could alter the association that we have with the spaces we occupy.

Blake: I was really into a lot of work going on with urban projection at the time. The idea that we are able to create our own reality really appeals to me, and so I think video painting became this way that Bruno and I could propagate our own fantasy future together. Through being able to develop digital technology on our own I hope to be planting the seeds of the physical future, who knows how long it will be before there is liquid crystal paint and every kid is out there scrubbing pornography onto the city walls?

Why street art?
Bruno: The urban environment added a potential of scale. When we did our original test indoors it did not carry the same weight. We wanted to do what we where doing on a big scale and that meant our city. I think when you do art in urban environments, you observe the city in different ways, you look out for walls, textures, architecture that accentuate the artwork, you place your work in the areas that makes the work come to life. In a way, for us, the urban environment and the internet is a socialist platform, it allows anyone to make their works public, the work does not have to be for sale or have a artist statement. The communication of the work happens with the work itself.

Blake: Video painting in the streets as opposed to the studio really changed everything. Originially we were painting onto a projection screen and at that point the paint roller might as well have been an extra bulky mouse. As soon as we removed it from such a sterile setting it created an illusion. When people see it, it usually takes a few minutes or a short conversation with us before they realize that its video projection and not actually paint.

Have there been many times when authorities have stopped you when you were working on a video painting? What happened?
Bruno: We where near Penn Station in NYC, a black car blinking red pulls up, Im behind our car taking photos and hear: “What the f… are you doing?”

“Huummm, we are making art.”

“That’s not art thats fu…in’ graffiti, do you wanna go downtown?”

Then Blake convinces the cops to turn off the projector, and voila, no more mark. The cops were a bit stunned and asked for for an explaination. After a short tale of floating blurbs, open gl, and matrixes, the cops asked us if we were millionaires, started praising our creation and wished us luck, and that was that.

Blake: Yeah, I’m just glad he didn’t pat us down.

SWEATSHOPPE, The Landing from SWEATSHOPPE on Vimeo.

Painting video on the walls

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Q&A: 24 HAM festival highlights

Aug 16 2010 Published by under On Display

Everybody’s there, everybody’s happy, and its logo is a sweaty, jogging ham. It’s the Eastern Edge 24 Hour Art Marathon Festival, and it’s the best summer-closing event in the entire pork- and art- centred universe. The actual marathon itself, wherein local artists buckle down and create for the full 24-hour period while gallery goers watch and rock out to a bit of music, happens from noon on Saturday, August 21st until noon the next day. But they’ve also got a whole slew of events planned from August 13th to the 22nd. We caught up with gallery coordinator Michelle Bush to ask about what’s going on this year, and what she’s excited about…

Can you tell us about some of the outdoor art installations?

What are performance art kits?

What are you excited about this year at the festival?

The festival has always been interactive and participant oriented. Can you speak about that a little?

Check out the festival website at http://www.24hourartmarathon.wordpress.com for the full lineup and check back at thescope.ca for online coverage.

Q&A: 24 HAM festival highlights

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Burtynsky: “Make sure they put that valve on.”

May 20 2010 Published by under On Display


Recycling #23, AMARC #5, Photograph (c) Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto & Hasted Hunt Kraeutler, New York.

On Day 20 of the ongoing BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Chevron Canada began work on what will be the deepest oil well ever drilled in Canada, about 430 kilometers Northeast of St. John’s in the Orphan Basin.

On Day 24 of the ongoing BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, The Canadian premier of Oil, a collection of sobering large-scale photographs taken by renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, opened at The Rooms.

The pictures are an accumulation of over a decade’s worth of work, research and travel, and they explore our unending greediness for the precious black stuff. And they do so with all the kindness and forgiveness of a swift punch in the face. From aerial shots of the smoking Alberta tar sands to ragged Azerbaijan fields dotted with forgotten derricks and lurching pools of sludge, the pictures are brutal and horrifying and beautiful all at once.

The show is premiering here for exactly the reason you might expect: this province is about to get its hands very dirty in the big oil business, and Oil succintly conveys everything that entails, right down to what we’re left with after it’s all gone.

Sarah Smellie sits down with Edward Burtynsky to talk about Oil, oil, and some advice for Danny Williams.

So, you’ve been doing this for a long time and you’ve seen a some of the worst that we, as a species, have to offer. But you’re also on the board of Worldchanging.org and are active in sustainability and long-term thinking movements, like the Long Now Foundation. How do you stay hopeful?

Well, I think that once human beings recognize a problem, they’re actually pretty good problem solvers. Although this one is pretty formidable, in terms of just the sheer numbers that we’re talking about. And also it’s formidable when you start looking at China and India and their embrace of all things Western, in particular consumer culture and looking for happiness in material wealth. In many ways, their contentment often came from the societal and familial relationships that sustained them, and their footprints were very low. One can say many were poor, though not necessarily unhappy—I think there’s a misconception that we have in the West that if you’re poor then you’re unhappy. I’ve seen a lot more poor people happier than a lot of the rich people on this side of the world.

I think it’s in that world that there is more camaraderie. There isn’t always a competition, and they kind of share and take care of themselves. I see all that in Third World countries. But it’s the Third World embracing our trajectory and capitalism and consumer wealth and dependence—that, to me, is the greatest concern. I mean, we could dial back a bit what we’re doing, although we’re not doing a good job of that. But it’s a question of whether, as they dial up, we can be along their side and help them dial up without dialing us into oblivion. Because there’s no way that the whole population, as it grows to nine billion, can actually lead a life like we have here and actually have a planet left. So the trajectory is bleak, unless some major changes of attitude and expectation are challenged.

And you see that happening?
Well at least it’s being talked about. At least in the media it’s now part of a discussion. I remember in 2005, 2004, a lot of us were sitting around tables going, “Why isn’t anyone talking about this, why isn’t this front page news?” versus not even making it to the back page. But now it’s hitting the front page, and I think that’s encouraging. But I don’t think people quite understand the degree of what has to happen to try to contain this problem.

What do you think of the coverage so far of the BP oil spill? Do you think the coverage and the reaction has been proportional to the severity of the situation?
Well, I was just there, photographing it. I talked to a lot of the people who were covering it since it started¬—people who were trying to photograph it, reporters, people who were in New Orleans—so I did canvass a bunch of opinions. I was left with a lot more questions than answers. I think there are just a lot of unknowns.

What I did notice was that there was an incredibly massive PR machine at work there, trying to contain the whole perception of it, and the severity of it. There are a lot of questions about the degree of the damage, like when you’re up in the plane, you can’t see it. A lot of it is under the water. Now, is that a particular type of oil? Is that because they’re using this dispersant on a huge scale that no one’s ever used it on before? There are stories that they’re injecting the dispersant way down underneath, where they can get at these globules before they even get up onto the surface. Some of this is not verifiable, because at ground zero, you can fly three thousand feet above it, but they’re keeping a lot of the media away. So media are in the high zone.The three thousand foot ceiling is massive, it’s hundreds of square miles. You can fly lower on the very perimeter, but there’s almost nothing going on there. So there are a lot of questions about what’s going on and how much is verifiable or not.

The truth will be outed, I believe. Maybe. But it may actually start to slip away from consciousness if the visuals don’t come. They’ve proven that if the visuals aren’t there, then people forget about it. But there’s still that much oil hitting the Gulf of Mexico, and whether it’s ending up on the sea floor or somewhere else, you know you can’t have that much oil in a natural body of water and not expect some severe consequences. Unlike the Exxon Valdez spill, where there weren’t hundreds of thousands of people dependent on work along those shorelines. A third of the seafood and fish for the United States of America comes from the Gulf of Mexico. So, it’s one of the richest seafood producers that the world has, and the whole thing’s up for grabs right now. No one knows what is going to happen.

Newfoundland is apparently on the verge of boundless offshore oil riches. What would you say to Danny Williams if he were to walk in here right now?
Well, I’m not so naive to say that… I mean, if it’s there and it’s economically viable, there’s still going to be a demand for it. You can’t flip a switch on this. You can start to slowly slipstream one alternative energy source for another over time, but there’s no possibility of a sudden truncation. So the need for oil is still going to continue.

There’s a huge lobby group from the oil industry that went after the minerals department in America and fought to not have to put on these half a million dollar safety shut-off valves. But they would never let deep sea wells run without them in the North Sea for instance. BP has to use these shut-offs, anyone operating in the North Sea has to use them. But, somehow, they come to America and they’re able to lobby their way out of this half a million dollar thing. And I think they wish they hadn’t, because this is going to cost them billions, and half a million looks like chump change right now. Five hundred thousand dollars. They spent twenty-five million dollars to remove that piece of equipment and save five hundred thousand dollars per well. Well, that was pretty dumb. [laughs]

So, I think I’d say to Danny, “Make sure they put that valve on. Make ‘em pay that half a million.”

Edward Burtynsky’s exhibit of photographs, Oil, is on exhibit at The Rooms now.

Burtynsky: “Make sure they put that valve on.”

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Lisa Moore, curator

Dec 03 2009 Published by under On Display


Helen Gregory, Lament II (detail), Acrylic on canvas.

St. John’s Lisa Moore may be best known as an author of local-set literature—her novel, February, about a woman widowed as result of the sinking of the Ocean Ranger came out earlier this year—but a quick look at her page on Wikipedia will tell you she studied Visual Art at NASCAD before her writing career began.

Well, this month, Moore delves back into the art world by way of curating a show of Helen Gregory’s paintings at The Rooms.

This is Moore’s first time playing curator. “This is a privilege for sure… I think it’s inspiring to work with other artists, and in lots of different media and forms and genres.”

Gregory is, in Moore’s opinion, “one of Newfoundland’s more exciting artists.”

The exhibit explores museum collections, with a focus on organic forms.

“[Gregory] is exploring how we collect as a society, what obsesses us about the past,” says Moore, “and the show is utterly unique, thought-provoking and gorgeous.”

The official opening and public reception for Unrequited Death is 7:30 pm on Friday, December 4 at The Rooms.

—Juls Mack

Lisa Moore, curator

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Better together

Nov 19 2009 Published by under On Display


Photo by Danielle Reardon

Just two months since its official launch, The Pick-Me-Up Artists’ Collective—consisting primarily of recent art school graduates—is boasting thousands of online hits and plenty of interest from the public.

And while their first exhibition took place in a makeshift space, their latest exhibition, “Of a Surface” is being hosted at the A1C Gallery.

“We’re actually very surprised that people were so ready to accept us,” says founding member Hillary Winter. “I don’t think there have been a lot of people in the last five or ten years coming out of school and trying to do this right away. Usually people will go off and work on their Masters or go, or do Education and then get back into art later, but the majority of us are fresh out of school and ready to go.”

Winter says that while so much attention so soon is a pleasant surprise, the group’s objective of self-promotion has been at the forefront since the beginning, just one year ago.

“In the initial stages of development the web site was our main priority,” says Hillary. “It can be accessed by so many different people in so many different age groups and social classes.”

In contrast with the group’s interest in social media and online communication, the theme chosen by the collective for “Of A Surface,” their first themed show, is texture.

“Maybe technology has such a huge impact in our lives that we have to counter that by making work that is very physically grounded,” says Winter. “It is people getting in there and getting messy—which is so different than typing on your computer.”

For Winter, the goal of the Pick-Me-Up group includes a broad definition of media and forms.

“A lot of us—there are 18 members right now—the majority of us graduated from Grenfell, so we all have similar ideas around accepting all different types of art forms. We don’t want to be strictly traditional art. We have collaborated with dancers and we’d love to be working with music and theatre—all of which we’ve talked to other organizations about getting involved in. …Visual art is so often seen as a picture on the wall. Dancing is just as visual as a painting, so is theatre- so are all these different forms.”

Pick-Me-Up continues to pick up members, with new applicants coming forward all the time. Powered by their online presence, the group is not restricted to only accepting new artists living in St. John’s.

Says Winter, “We’re always taking in new people. We want people to fit under our little umbrella of trying to promote ourselves and taking our art seriously.”

‘Of A Surface’ runs at A1C Gallery until December 12th. For membership information and upcoming events, visit The Pick-Me-Up Artists’ Collective online at pickmeupart.com

Better together

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Looking forward, looking back

Nov 05 2009 Published by under On Display


The Eastern Edge in 1994.

Eastern Edge Gallery celebrates its 25th anniversary with a Silver Soiree Gala.

By David Keating

Eastern Edge director Michelle Bush, assistant director Mary MacDonald and board chair Sarah Hillock are sitting among 25 years worth of half-unwrapped sculptures and paintings. And many more pieces arrive every day from past and present members from far and wide.

“The idea was to have 25 past members and 25 present members exhibit,” says Bush, looking around.

“Of course,” she laughs. “There are more than fifty works now, because I’m no good at saying no.”

Founded near the beginning of a Canada-wide emergence of artist-run centres, for the 25 years of Eastern Edge’s existence the gallery has tried to be a doors-open institution for all artists and all community groups.

“I think Eastern Edge tends to fill in for educational institutions that other cities have for the arts,” says Hillock. “We don’t have the Grenfell College art program from Memorial in St. John’s. Of course there’s the Anna Templeton Centre, which is an educating body, but we do lectures and workshops and our ‘Art School 101’… It’s pretty essential to St. John’s and to the community.”

Eastern Edge has not only been a resource for developing local artistic talent. Over the years, numerous national and international artists have had their introduction to the province via the gallery.

Communication is part of our mandate, says Bush. “We’re not just exhibiting work. I’d say 98 per cent of our exhibiting artists come here… to interact with the public and to get feedback on their work and to have that kind of one-on-one.”

“It’s one thing to see someone’s exhibition, to read a text about it, but it’s another thing to get the chance to ask people questions directly,” she says.

“I think it has benefits the visiting artists as well,” says Hillock. “It’s interesting for them because we’re such a community… I think that affects a lot of the artists and the way they work here. Which is different, than a major city where it can be much more competitive.”

Along with having mounted a sixty-something piece members exhibition on October 31st, the staff and volunteers are putting the finishing touches on their upcoming Silver Soiree gala—their big birthday to-do.

“It’s going to be a really fun evening,” says Bush. “But not only that, it’s the opportunity to bid on some amazing works of art from some well-known and some lesser known but up-and-coming emerging artists.”

Among the works being auctioned off are paintings by Will Gill, Pam Hall and Gerry Squires.

With the Silver Soiree, one the gallery’s most important fundraisers of the year, Eastern Edge is making a push to invite in the city’s art patrons, philanthropists and collectors.

“Hopefully more and more people will recognize who and what Eastern Edge is and what role we play in the whole arts community here,” says Bush. “The history of Eastern Edge just goes to show how important it has been. There are lots of artists who people know—and maybe they have their work in their collection—who were involved with Eastern Edge for so many years.”

The Eastern Edge 25th Anniversary Members Show and ‘Time after Timeline’ open Oct. 31st and runs until December. Admission is free.

Eastern Edge’s 25th Anniversary Silver Soiree takes place on Saturday, Nov. 7th at the Johnson GEO Centre. Emcee and auction host is comedian John Sheehan. Music by The Once. Tickets are $45. Call Eastern Edge at 739-1882 or visit easternedge.ca.

To preview the Silver Soiree works up for auction, visit silversoiree.blogspot.com

Looking forward, looking back

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Guess Where St. John’s Metro

Oct 23 2009 Published by under On Display

I imagine Darrell Edwards loved playing hide and seek as a kid.

(Should I duck into the closet, should I climb a tree, or should I hide in plain view?)

The creative director at a local marketing company recently started a photo sharing group where people play pretty much the same game, but with photos.

Hosted on the photo sharing site Flickr, Guess Where St. John’s Metro is a place where people can post pictures of the city and have people guess where exactly they were taken.

I contacted Edwards to ask him a few questions about the group.

Where’d you get the idea for Guess Where St. John’s Metro?
The idea for the group came from me getting home from a trip to New York City. I took over 300 shots there just on the streets and subways and stuff. Then I stumbled upon the Guess Where NYC group on Flickr. I posted a couple of those shots to that group and it was awesome seeing how many people guessed all of the shots in that group so easily… In a city like that you’d think it would be a challange.

So basically I gaffed the idea from that group.

When did you realize it would work here?
I realised it would work here the day after I posted my first pic to the Guess Where NYC group. Our city is quite a bit smaller than New York, but there’s a lot of really cool nooks and crannies… architecture from 100 years ago that people just dont pay attention to. So if you took shots of those sort of things, framed it up in a different way, or just showed something from the perspective of someone who was there, not just driving by, I figured it would be challenging to guess where those shots were taken.

A good example is a shot I took up at the top of McMurdo’s Lane looking back towards the building that used to house The Heritage restaurant. Henry street is in the background, and there’s a couple walking by. The background is kind of blurred…

Now, to me, that location is completely obvious, even with the blur. I have lived up over the hill, in the vicinity, for close to 10 years now. I pretty much walk down this street every day, and I’ve photographed the hell out of downtown… But on the group I have someone guessing it’s a scene from LeMarchant road.

It’s awesome to see what different perspectives people have on things, even if the guess is incorrect! It’s just plain fun.

You can find the pool at http://flickr.com/groups/guesswherestjohnsmetro/pool/

Guess Where St. John’s Metro

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It’s likely that Kevin Woolridge is working on a comic book as you read this

Oct 03 2009 Published by under On Display

Local cartoonist Kevin Woolridge is participating in 24 Hour Comic Day — the annual challenge to create 24 consecutive comic pages in 24 consecutive hours — for the first time this year.

The first one happened in 2004, but the idea has been kicking around for a long time.

Anyway, we found out he was working on it, so I asked him what he’s working on, and how he’s doing so far.

Kevin:  For me this challenge is really about breaking my own mold.

I’ve been drawing the characters in The Little World for about 5 years now and lately that’s all I’ve been drawing. The characters in that strip are all made of basic geometric shapes, pretty easy to draw. So much, in fact, that a little girl at AAMP’s Artfusion a few weeks ago sat at my table with her notebook and started drawing the characters herself. It was really cool.

So I decided to do this 24 hour comic in a completely different style. I’m very much making the whole thing up as I go along, and I have no idea where it’s going to end up.

We’ll see where the next 19 hours take it.


Page 2 of Kevin Woolridge’s Staff of Ra.

Some of Kevin’s tweets from today:

24 hour comic day. hour one. slept in. oh dear.

hour two: one page done. not sure if i’m fully prepared for this.

hour three: this is hard to do when you’re at home. second page done. i have no idea where this is going.

Hour four: takin a break to eat. i don’t care if it’s against the rules. man’s gotta eat.

hour five: pizza eaten. pencil drawing. pen waiting.

hour six, i think: four pages done. damn that hour i took for lunch. having my first monster energy drink. no bawls in the goulds.

hour seven: wait, no way it’s been that long. that’s weird. oh well. just keep drawing. just keep drawing.

It’s likely that Kevin Woolridge is working on a comic book as you read this

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