Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Marsh King's Daughter's Black Thumb

There's no place like home -especially when you are welcomed back with an exhibition space! The kind folks at Little Mountain Gallery contacted me a few months ago about a homecoming show, while I was still living in London. It was extra incentive to get a coherent body of work together to show friends and family upon my return to the beloved land of mountains, sea, and trees.

Lots of lovely people popped into the opening. It was nice catching up with friends and family. I'm not the chattiest person in the world, so having selected works on display allows me a chance to share what I've been doing for the past two years without exhausting myself by having to repeat my stories of the mundane. No one wants to hear how many cups of tea I drank nor how much Marmite I consumed.

I have an intuitive understanding of how my works relate regardless of aesthetic variation, so having to articulate it through a written statement usually becomes an endurance test. It's pretty much about wetlands, death, unpleasantness and absurdity.

I've had a few people ask about the title, BLACK THUMB. I wanted something punchy and dark, but was very aware of how I didn't want it mistaken for some happenin', dub-step, love-out, post-goth Shoreditch/ East Van night at the discotheque (yes, my online persona is that of a ramblin' hag). I was thinking very hard about this.

In the past few months I revisited the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, something I had not done since I was very young. His storytelling and the imagery he conjures up has always made complete sense to me. I won't get into the severity of my fondness for his tales right now, but I considered titling my show, Seeking Advice From the Marsh King's Daughter- which is what I was literally doing. I was reading The Marsh King's Daughter over and over and taking notes on words or short phrases that popped. I took a break to read John Water's autobiography, Shock Value: A Tasteful Boook about Bad Taste. In one part of the book he referred to one of his parents as having quite the green thumb, while he admitted to having a "black thumb." It stuck for a few weeks, so I ran with it. I feel that term adequately describes my observations of how most people relate to the Earth at this point and time.

Do please come and take a peek. There's a bit more that is not pictured here!

Show is up until February 7th 2011.
Open early afternoon til 5 most days.

Little Mountain Gallery
195 EAST 26th AVENUE
V5V 2G8


  1. Looks soo amazebalzzzz JJ, and I'm loving that first photo. Move back to London pleasethnx.

  2. Looks like you're having fun! Beautiful artworks!

  3. Thanks Zadie and Christopher!