I was first introduced to printmaking by Secwepemc artist Tania Willard, who’s iconic East Van style branded the pages of Redwire Magazine and Under the Volcano. Ever since her introduction I have enjoyed exploring the medium and I just love the tactile process. I come from a family of carvers so woodblock printmaking feels like the perfect balance between carving and exploring conceptual imagery. My daily grind is in the development of community arts projects but my personal form of creative expression has (largely) remained printmaking. My creative work is what heals me, restores me, and re-centers me so that I can carry out the other roles I play in this life.
Most recently, I received a Mid-Career Scholarship from the YVR Arts Foundation to develop new work under the mentorship of Lee McKay at Malaspina Printmakers on Granville Island. Malaspina supports and promotes the contemporary visual arts through the critical and technical exploration of print media. They offer a co-operative print studio space along with a variety of programming for beginners to professional printmakers.
This is a series of photos from a printing session we did at Whaler's Bay on Galiano Island hosted by a dear friend Jeremy Crowle who was caretaking a Charles Brand etching and printmaking press that had retired from the UBC fine art program. The print shown being printed is a part of the Becoming Worthy series and can be viewed completed in the shop - Deep in Our Bones
When I moved back home, I began a series of woodblocks exploring my people and our natural and supernatural relationship with whales. At this time I was approached to be the poster artist for the local Pacific Rim Whale Festival. Conceptually I knew I wanted to show the relationship Tla-o-qui-aht have with whales through song with a drum. I thought long and hard about who should be holding the drum and decided to ask a local two-spirited teen Jorge Estrada. It is so important that we work to repair our cultural relationships with our community members who fall between the gender norms. Their spectrum of embodiments is vital to our community health. There is a little bit more written about this piece in its final form here - Following the Sacred Heartbeats
Below is a little bit of my creative process on this project.
In January 2013 my father and I road-tripped down to LA to visit his dear printmaker friend Francesco Siqueiros. Francesco or "Homes" runs El Nopal Press in the bowels of downtown LA. His beautiful demeanour and professional shop treated us to a first class printing experience. During my time with him I was able to print a short run of Becoming Worthy and My Modern Hunter. Here are a few captures from our time with Homes. You can read more about these prints in my online shop - Becoming Worthy and My Modern Hunter