Can you share a bit about your creative path? What are a few significant moments in your journey as an artist that have led to the work you are creating now?

I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Alberta in 2013. I studied painting, drawing and sculpture. I was skilled in realism and portraiture and was doing figure paintings of my friends watching tv and using smartphones and doing drugs and just being generally checked out, with the screen as a sort of pervading presence throughout. I was going to school during the rise of camera phones and smartphones and social media, so during my studies I was using my Blackberry Pearl 9100 to take pictures and record videos wherever I could, recording interesting visual phenomena or natural processes happening in nature, what I liked to call at the time “moments of the universe” such as melting ice, water rushing down the road, a candle flickering to the beat of a bass drum, or modulating the twinkling moonlight on the icy snow as I walked home from the studio. These moments felt like little meditations where I was connecting tangibly with the world as it happened and taking in the wonder of these mundane natural processes that we ignore happening all around us.

As luck would have it, one day I pulled out my smartphone, and I saw my TV through the camera and it occurred to me to take pictures of my screen. Later that night as I was binge-watching madmen and decided to hold my phone against the screen and start taking pictures and recording. Playing with focus and scale also allowed me to remove context from my images and create something that didn’t exist before which was closer to a painting than a photograph and more alive as it seemed to have built in optical effects like interference patterns. I was fascinated at how I could achieve results that looked like digital art or net art but by exploiting the unexpected and accidental interactions possible between a camera and a screen and without the use of any software. I never saw myself heading down the trajectory of making abstract lens-based work but it was so visually rich and visceral, and my process meant I could make work while at my job with just my phone and my laptop.

After years of working in this way and doing some residencies, I found myself slowly allowing some context and representation in my work, starting to show some of the real world through this digital lens. During the pandemic I grabbed a GoPro MAX and started doing these ambient 360 shots of my house and its surroundings, a house that I had lived in on and off with my mother and dog since high school. This felt like I was coming out of the other side of this abstract esoteric digital rabbit hole I started in so long ago and my practice was coming back around full circle to showing the sights and sounds of the real world.


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