Lori Zebiere was selected to participate in the Rural Art Mentorship Program through the Manitoba Arts Network/MAWA. As part of the program she was to write about an artist of her choice. I am very flatterer that Lori chose to write about my work. Here is our interview…
1. I notice you work in series. Do you come up with the series concept first and then create the work, or do you create…and then find the series after the fact, in what you’ve created?
The ideas and concepts come first and if it takes wings will become a series. Not everything I do makes grade but the idea is never lost and may pop up somewhere else.
2. Why work in series? Do you find it beneficial to your creative process? To your message?
I never set out to work in series I just set out to work. I find myself asking the question “What if?” a lot while working on a piece or after completion.
What if I took that process and tried it with this material. When this happens I can become prolific as one thing leads to another and an idea or conclusion reached in one series influences the work in another.
My creative process is an ongoing experiment and I believe that my message comes through subliminally. I need to work unstructured letting my energy lose on the piece. This allows my subconscious the freedom to speak. If I did not work this way my disciplined architectural drafting brain would take over and I would be painting photo realism. Which isn’t a bad thing, photo realism astounds me, but I find that my way of working provides balance to my right and left brain.
3. Does your architectural background influence the materials you choose to work with? How and why?
I’m not sure that my architectural background influences my choice of materials but it does influence the fact that I use them.
I am drawn toward surface, the tactile and objects which all have their own personality. It’s the personality of the materials that I am drawn to. I also marry opposites, hard/soft, coarse/smooth, male/female idioms and so on. All in effort to find balance.
4. I see you enjoy mixing your mediums, both in your 2D and 3D works. Is there symbolism or a message to be found in the combinations?
Juxtaposition, the unexpected use of everyday objects and materials makes you think and look at things differently.
5. What inspired you to create the “Off the Wall” exhibition? Are you trending toward more installation type exhibitions? What about installation work appeals to you?
My figurative work is political or so I’m told. I started the “Off the Wall” series to study form, removing the figure allowed me to work with form, colour and design in the purest sense. You will notice that this is the first series that I really bring in the use of colour.
My work has always been stronger when the individual pieces can relate to each other. My mind wants to work in a capsule on an isolated structure with negative space surrounding it. Each piece becomes precious, on to itself. Then when grouped the whole becomes the sum of its parts.
Installing the pieces in a group with the negative space flowing through and around the objects reinforces the individuality of each piece. Rather than framing which would contain the pieces forcing them to be one; with installation and use of negative space each piece remains an individual while working as a whole.
6. What do you think makes your work contemporary and forward moving in the Canadian art scene? Where are you heading? What next?
Mary Beth Laviolette said when she curated my work into the Pulse exhibition that she had never seen anything like it, that my work was unique. Really I just do what I do and put it out there and will continue to do so.