First American Art Magazine No. 21, Winter 2018/19 - Page 70

PROFILE floor and its wall. The floor of gallery space often seems to be off limits when installing work—any sort of drilling or dismantling the concrete floor wasn’t allowed. Those restrictions didn’t stop me from achieving my goal; they pushed me to come up with a solution. Luckily the cracks or seams in the floor [worked] in my favor. It is an important work for me. The large, physical scale of Red Black was the start of making larger works along with the idea of reaching into the viewer’s space. From this I mean that as a viewer, you were able to walk into the work and take it in from a different view- point. It’s very connected to Minimalism in that way. Second, I’d like to talk a bit about an older work that makes use of the wooden frame of a drum and heavy black string, Mask (2016). I know we talked about your use of the drum a few minutes ago, but perhaps you can elaborate more on the drum and how this piece came about. Mask was the very first drum I made that combined [with] string. There are endless patterns and weaving designs that can be made within the drum frame. While I was researching and exploring the many facets of Indigenous cultural objects, there was a quick connection to Indigenous masks. That’s where this drum ends, because masks hold an energy that is meant for spiritual purposes. above Mask, 2017, wood and nylon string. opposite Wave, 2017, nylon st r i n g , M c I n to s h G a l l e r y, Western University. diamonds or the fishing net is surprising. When I first rediscovered them a couple of years ago during my BFA studies, it’s like my hands knew what to do; it’s like they haven’t forgotten. Like it was muscle memory. I’d like to break down one or two of your works for the reader. First, a work constructed only of string, Red Black (2017), which was installed at Artlab Gallery. What’s the impetus behind this work? The goal with this work was to incor- porate a combination of the gallery 68 | WWW.FIRSTAMERICANARTMAGAZINE.COM Adding to this idea of what my drums mean and what they represent, I recall a comment made during a studio visit. I had a visitor come up to me and ask, “How do you feel that you remove the voice of drum?” meaning that I removed the skin of drum, which makes the iconic sound of the hand drum. I was very intrigued by this and also a little startled in that moment because of what I did to a sacred object of Indigenous culture. I pressed on with the work and, as mentioned above, I soon gave the drum a new voice … of a storyteller.