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Question 14: Why do you continue to live in Atlantic Canada instead of moving to an area that affords a larger distribution network for your art?
Because I’m masochist, maybe? That’s something I just don’t ever question. This is where I live; this is where I’m from. In the limited amount of travel I’ve done, the limited contacts I’ve made, I don’t like to rub my imagination against the imagination of someone from Vancouver. I don’t like that feeling. There’s something over there that just doesn’t fire things up. I know a bunch of artists from the Winnipeg and Calgary regions. Same thing: that fire isn’t there. The fire is here, in the contacts I’ve made with the people from around here, the communities I live in, and that’s where the fire is. Inspiration is not sidetracked. I see no reason for living elsewhere. In terms of distributing my work, of all the things I do as an artist, that’s the thing I do worst, making sure my work gets seen. I’m not doing this real well, that’s something I need to improve. No but then again, something inside tells me that that’s not my job. We need to train managers. I’m not a manager; I’m an artist. So I know that if I had a manager my work wouldn’t stay… Basically, the work I do in Moncton ever since I’ve left for Newfoundland, I owe it to Ginette Savoie. Seriously, she gets in touch with me; she calls me up, she lets me know something is going on, she organizes things and I know if I do my part as a professional she will do hers as a professional, and, that’s it. We don’t have enough of that, that’s why our art is not distributed. Money is being given to artists so they will create pieces, and no money is given to ensure those pieces are seen. As far as I am concerned, that’s putting the cart before the horse. As far as I’m concerned, art will be made, no matter what, period, money or no money. But if we want to show it we have to direct the money that way. So, as far as I am concerned, to be in the rural areas is no problem, if I feel good around here, I’m going to stick around. I’m not complaining about my work not being shown, or that there’s no networking, that there’s no audience. I’m here by choice. There’s no audience. That’s too bad but I have to accept it, to some extent. I tell myself that one of these days there will be a critical mass, managers will start coming out, adequate commercial galleries will be created and things will happen. But there’s no critical mass now and we just have to wait. Some people are making great efforts to create that critical mass and I think that, as a teacher, I’m doing my part. There are art teachers and curators who are beginning to do really interesting work. Creating, organizing an exhibition as a curator is as much an art as creating an art piece. We’re beginning to see this sort of dialogue taking place. So I’m not worried. It’s going to work. It’s going to work. It might not be while I'm alive but it’s going to work.