Tuesday, 31 August 2010

LSD Magazine Interviews - Indigo (Canada) (Issue 5)

Rippling gently with the stillness of whispered emotion frozen into a moment, Indigo’s soft serenade of stencil and spray over the last two years has graced our universal public spaces with profound echos of an intangible dream. A stunning photo-realism resonates with ethereal other-worldliness -laced with memory and silken sighs of melancholy that open a window onto the self reflection of a floating soul. Hand drawn and hand cut stencils balance sublime harmonies and a supple delicacy with dissonant waves of silent sadness : humanity, loss, loneliness and a tender innocence flow out of her work and flood the streets with inscrutable layers of emotional texture and the gentle mysteries of feeling...

Can you give us a little insight into your background? 

I grew up in a small northern British Columbia village called Burns Lake, and have been living in Vancouver for the past ten years. I’ve always been a multidisciplinary artist. My creative output has over the years gone in and out of different phases where I’ve been more focused on one medium than the rest, but I value each just as much as the other. Most of my life has been spent inside various dance studios, feeling like a dancer who likes to draw and paint. After high school I was accepted into a university visual art program but for various reasons decided instead to do a degree in contemporary dance. Graduated in 2004 and spent the next four years working as a dancer, choreographer and teacher in Canada and the United States. Two years ago I got a bit burned out, decided to take a break and focus on painting for a while. I started stenciling and making art for outdoors in March of 2008 – just little stuff, simple one layer things, nothing super special - but I was finally feeling excited about making art again. I had been doing a lot of site-specific performance work in the year or two leading up to this, and it seemed like a relevant transition to make – and still seems to be a place where there’s a lot of possibility for the two art forms to overlap. Last fall I made the scary but ultimately fulfilling decision to quit my day job and spend all of my time making art - I spent some time traveling around and painting, through New York, France, Germany, London and Amsterdam – I met some amazing people, learned a lot, ran out of money, went home inspired and ready to get to work…since then it’s just been fast forward to forever.

Do you feel that you brought your sense of balancing movement and stillness from dance into your painting? 

I think that movement and stillness are each present in the other, in life and ideally in art as well. What I try to find in my work is a sense of the captured moment – the brief eternity between the fall and the impact, those few seconds of suspension when a jump feels like flight, the evolution of sadness to strength when there are no more tears left to cry and life goes on. Regardless of the subject matter, the images that I am drawn to use as source material seem to always have a sense of motion and fluidity, whether the body is moving or at rest. I am not sure if my dance training has something to do with that – but I do think that it has given me a good awareness of body mechanics, an anatomical and visceral knowledge of the ways that muscles and tendons and bones fit and work together to make our bodies move. A large part of dance training is increasing your awareness of every part of the body separately and in relation to all the others, all at the same time. Whatever has made it into my painting has been ultimately on an intuitive basis. I don’t approach the creation of new work with an analytical mindset, I just go with what I am drawn to; make decisions because they feel right. Luckily my intuition usually points me in the right direction. When I am creating a piece of choreography, a lifetime of training sometimes means that I overthink the process every step of the way. With art, I don’t usually have that problem. Of course I always spend time thinking about what I’m creating and why, but I find it a lot easier to go with my intuition.

Do you think that applies more generally – does analysis accentuate beauty or subvert it?

I think that it really depends on the situation, and the person. I find that if I spend too much time thinking about a particular piece or a project, I sometimes lose sight of that initial creative impulse that can feel so magical at the time. If I spend too much time in my own head, I fail to appreciate the beauty inherent in each moment. Ideally, analysis goes hand in hand with curiosity, experimentation, discovery and innovation…and if so, leads more towards an appreciation and celebration of your subject matter than away from it – whether that is beauty, ugliness or anything in between.


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