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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?
I was born in the Atlantic Provinces, so I am from here. So that explains why I’m here, because I was born here. I work here, I have a studio here, I have like my world here. Besides, I’ve never been a person to say: Oh well, I should go here or I should do that or I should go in that direction. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a matter of moving something I have on hand and with which I operate. I don’t need to fool around with it. It’s all here, I can function with it, so as far as I’m concerned I don’t have to go anywhere else. We could also reverse the question and ask people like Robert Frank or Richard Sara, they’re artists with international reputations. You can classify them as such, but these guys, they live totally isolated, in a shack with one plate for three people to eat off of. So, that’s the kind of lifestyle these people choose. You can’t tell from their art whether they live in a skyscraper in New York City or in a shack in Cape Breton, it’s not something you can feel. It’s a bit like saying that the artist is ill but his works… Like, Mozart is writing sonatas, his mother just died; that’s a huge tragedy to him, but the music comes out as though nothing happened. It’s always there, that line between the artist and the art. So you can distance yourself from those things or get closer. You need some elasticity vis-à-vis those factors. I sometimes go to the big city, you know. I visit galleries, bike shops or botanical gardens and so on. I know people who live in big cities. I say to myself, if in larger centres you have ten times more population, you will most likely have ten times the number of good artists, but you will have ten times the number of bad ones as well, you will have ten times the amount of spectators who will understand, ten times the number of spectators who will not understand and so on. It’s just multiplied by ten; things are bigger but that’s all it means. In the end, it’s just a mathematical equation.