Wednesday, October 25, 2017

RESIST PSYCHIC DEATH - Night\Shift 2017

RESIST PSYCHIC DEATH is the title of my project that will be revealed for Night\Shift 2017 in Downtown Kitchener on November 4th.

Inspired by the quilts of my mom, Margaret Anglin, the use of banners as tools of protest by feminist artists such as Allyson Mitchell, and the 1992 song Resist Psychic Death by the feminist punk band Le Tigre, I am creating a large scale (6 x 15 feet) felt banner in bright, feminine colours that reads RESIST PSYCHIC DEATH, and is decorated with hand crafted felt flowers, sequins, rhinestones, and pom poms, that will be hung above the entrance of J & P Grocery in Goudie's Lane. 

RESIST PSYCHIC DEATH is a call to the viewer to continue to think critically and revolt against oppression despite political forces (Trump, Alt-Right Hate Groups & Canada 150 celebrations) that ask us to suspend/silence our outrage. 

It also elevates the use of traditionally female and therefore de-valued art forms, as well as cheap, tacky "craft" supplies to the level of "high" art - ya dig?
So this was the drawing I created to base the banner on, that I pitched to the good folks at Night\Shift. They in all their greatness said, yes - go for it. 

I started with my felt flower garden.
and I made them into monsters using rhinestones, pom poms, googly eyes and discarded earings.

Like this one with a tear drop of breast milk falling from its eyeball.

and this one with vampire fangs and a labret piercing. 

Then I started the letters. This was the longest part of the process because I hand cut the letters, purple zig zags, then stitched them together.


And they were each two feet high - as evidenced by Eric Rumble, creator of Night\Shift, here seen holding the Y from Psychic aloft in the Goudie's Lane.


It took a lot of math to figure out how to make the letters the right size. I hope I got them right!

then one day this crazy huge piece of candy pink felt showed up in the mail. It was a bit unweildy.

But I had some strange creatures assisting me. 



My studio - aka an old formica table in the rear end of our tiny apartment. It does the trick!

Then I glued on the flowers. To quote famed drag queen Ben De La Creme "This? Oh this is all hot glue and desperation!"

Then I added pom poms, because everything's better with pom poms. 
this thing's starting to look really friggin' good and wacky, and we're gonna light it up like the fourth of july! So come see it in all its finished glory on November 4th from 7pm-midnight, hanging in Goudie's Lane (right above the entrance to J & P Grocery!). 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bald Britney

I painted this portrait of Britney Spears (pictured bald, as she briefly appeared after shaving her head on that shining moment in 2007) as a commission from my good friend Emily Gove. The background is inspired by Gustav Klimt, who I've been in to lately, despite his philandering.

Bald Britney, Watercolour & Ink on Paper, 2017.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Drawings of Andrea Hawkins

Andrea Hawkins turns crayon wax into magic.

Raccoon, With Ketchup Chips, Crayon on Paper 2016 by Andrea Hawkins

Friday, September 1, 2017

Glamour Mug Shots

Paris Hilton, watercolour, 2017

Lindsay Lohan, water colour & ink, 2017


Wrestling With Flowers

Wrestling With Flowers is a series that I created for an exhibit at a bar called The Grand Trunk in Toronto. Each picture depicts a fellow Canadian artist who mixes gender & art to beautiful effect in their self-presentation.


Fay Slift, Toronto, Water colour & Sequins.

Jackie Shane, Toronto & the US, Water colour.
Champagna, Toronto, water colour & collage.

Max, Toronto, Water colour & collage. 

Michelle DuBarry, Toronto, Water colour. 

Myss Taken, London, water colour & collage.

Nico Lavender, London, water colour & sequins.

Vanessa, Toronto, ink & water colour.

Food Truck Fam Jam poster for Downtown Kitchener.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Apartment Search, by Emily Anglin

Poem, Apartment Search, by Emily Anglin. Illustrated by Ellie Anglin. 

Leaves and Light at Dusk, Waterloo Park


Leaves and Light on Silver Lake in Waterloo Park at Dusk, Photograph, Summer 2017.

Ominous Skies over Waterloo


Photo of ominous skies over Uptown Waterloo, Summer 2017

KW'S ZINE SCENE, The Community Edition


The Community Edition wrote this article about me and other great zinesters in Waterloo Region!

Ze Cats mural, co-created with Caroline Wesley



My mural, "Ze Cats", that I created with Caroline Wesley is currently on display in the window of The Princess Cafe in Waterloo. 
Sadly due to another drunk person breaking their window again. Don't punch windows!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Cave


The Cave

Living in a cave, dripping grey
with glow worms and lamp light
your neon strobe light 
makes me feel so 
masochistic
spiritually shooketh
weak as a kitten
I can't get over it

spelunking psyches
wandering strange-wise
remembering memories wrong
dancing sideways
measuring years of time
managing hours minutes days
dying somebody else's death
doing it my way

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Queer Canada No 4 - The Brunswick Four

The approach of Canada 150 is the cause of much discomfort. It recognizes the Canada of white people and colonialism, and in effect ignores the First Nations, Metis and Inuit people that have been here for 15,000 years. This complicates the consideration of my own Canadian identity, but one thing remains constant - it is inextricably tied up in being queer. I kneel at the altar of what the queer imagination has created throughout history but I often look to the US and Europe to find my LGBTQ+ foremothers.

For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017. Throughout the collages I've used the traditional colours of the pride rainbow, as well as brown and black to represent the queer people of colour that have made Canada great.

Here is the fourth one, honouring The Brunswick Four.

THE BRUNSWICK FOUR

Four lesbians were involved in a historic incident in Toronto on January 5th 1974. On that night Adrienne Potts, Pat Murphy, Sue Wells and Heather Elizabeth performed the song “I Enjoy Being A Dyke” (a parody of “I Enjoy Being a Girl”) at an amateur night at the Brunswick Tavern, a working-class beer hall on Bloor Street. They refused to leave after being asked to by the bar owner, and were subsequently arrested. The women were physically and verbally assaulted by the police, and three were later tried in Ontario Court for obstruction of justice. Two of the women were acquitted, and one, Adrienne Potts, served three months’ probation.

Charges of assault by the police were laid after the women produced doctor’s notes and photos of their extensive bruises. Because the police officers exchanged hats and badge numbers, however, the women couldn’t accurately identify them. In response, the women refused to participate in the trial, calling it a sham and a miscarriage of justice. The women refused to rise despite several orders by the court clerk, and were charged with criminal contempt of court and led to the cells at Old City Hall. Potts and Elizabeth returned to court hours later to apologize but Murphy refused, earning 30 days in jail. The officers were acquitted.

The arrest of The Brunswick Four and subsequent trial was one of the first occasions that an LGBT+ topic received extensive coverage in the Canadian press. Gay historians believe it was a key incident that politicized the gay and lesbian liberation movement in Canada.

Queer Canada No 3 - Elsa Gidlow

For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017. 

Here is the second one, honouring Elsa Gidlow.

ELSA GIDLOW

Elsa Gidlow, born December 29, 1898 and died June 8, 1986, was a Canadian-American poet, journalist, and philosopher. She is best known for On A Grey Thread (1923), possibly the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry published in North America. In 1917, she co-published Les Mouches Fantastiques, one of the first gay magazines in Canada. In the 1950s Gidlow helped found Druid Heights, a bohemian community in California.
She was the author of thirteen books and discussed her life as a lesbian and artist in the 1977 documentary, Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives. She completed her autobiography Elsa, I Come with My Songs, just before her death, and in it she gives a detailed account of seeking, finding and creating a life with other lesbians. Gidlow’s extensive personal papers are now archived at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco.

Queer Canada No 2 - Craig Russell

For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017. 

Here is the second one, honouring Craig Russell.
CRAIG RUSSELL

Craig Russell was a Canadian female impersonator and actor. Born in Toronto in 1948, Russell became president of Mae West’s fan club as a teenager, and briefly worked as her secretary in Los Angeles. Upon returning to Toronto he worked as a hairdresser while pursuing a career as a stage performer.

By the 1970s he had a burgeoning following as a performer in gay clubs throughout Canada, the US and Europe. While performing, he always spoke and sang in the voices of the celebrities he impersonated, including Carol Channing, Bette Davis, Mae West, Barbara Streisand, Tallulah Bankhead, Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland.

In 1977 Russell starred in the film Outrageous!, based on a short story written by his roommate, Margaret Gibson. A decade later, he starred in the movie’s sequel Too Outrageous! A play entitled Margaret and Craig, based on the writing of Russell and Gibson is currently in development by writer David Solomon.

Although Russell publically identified as gay, he married his close friend Lori Jenkins in 1982. He remained married to Lori until his death in 1990 of a stroke related to complications from AIDS.

Queer Canada No. 1 - Jackie Shane

For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017.

Here is the first one, honouring Jackie Shane.


JACKIE SHANE

Jackie Shane is an American-Canadian rhythm and blues singer, best known for the 1962 single “Any Other Way”. Although male-identified during her active music career, in 2017 Shane came out as a trans woman.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1940, Shane developed deep roots in the drag traditions of the Southern US Chitlin’ Circuit. At the age of 20 she moved to Montreal, where she was discovered by Frank Motley and his Motley Crew after performing a Ray Charles song at the Esquire Showbar in a bright red dress. Thereafter she became the band’s lead vocalist, and they re-located to Toronto, performing regularly throughout the ‘60s at Toronto’s historic Sapphire Tavern.

Shane’s recording of “Any Other Way” was noted for its double meaning of the lyric “tell her that I’m happy/ tell her that I’m gay” and was the first instance of a song containing an allusion to homosexuality reaching the mainstream. It became a chart hit, reaching #2 on Toronto’s CHUM Chart in 1962. In 1965 Shane appeared on Nashville’s Night Train, performing “Walking the Dog” in a sequined blouse.

CBC aired the documentary “I Got Mine: The Story of Jackie Shane” in 2010. In 2015 and 2016, the Polaris Music Prize shortlisted Jackie Shane Live as a nominee for its Heritage Award to honour classic Canadian albums. A two-disc compilation, slated for release in 2017, marks the first time since 1969 that Shane has been directly involved in the reissue of her music.

A 2017 anthology on the history of Canadian LGBT culture is titled Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer. The inclusion of Shane’s hit song in the title and an essay devoted specifically to her, is indicative of the incalculable and previously untold contributions she made to queer culture in Canada and the US. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee - the place where she was born.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Eiyn Sof - Orchard





A music video I made for Orchard by the incredible Eiyn Sof, from her album Meadow Thrum, which you can get here!