surface tension -

away-from-keyboard or; they’re working, their work[-ing], theyire work-ing ?

This is a display of an accumulation of things: things that were given to me and things that I made myself. A performative act of making and an ode to working, art-working and artistic-research-practicing.

In a refusal to use plastic paint and non-biodegradable materials, and stemming from a research paper I wrote on the material culture of paint and another on [sub]urbanisation of so-called Laval / île jesus / “jardin de montréal,”  I have been experimenting with making my own pigments and watercolours, out of my own food waste and plants that grow in my parents’ backyard in Laval, or around me wherever I am. Sustaining this practice during my recent move to Vienna has been difficult, and I am slowly finding myself grounded again, thanks to the Danube, the chestnut trees, and things I’ve found in between.

During my undergrad, I created a solid library of material alternatives that are zero waste, biodegradable and low-cost. Though meanwhile, balancing time to practice and work proves difficult. As I was working - teaching, facilitating, editing, writing and producing - more than I was “practicing,” the distinction between these various types of work became more and more unclear. So I chose to push that. Moving to Vienna for my MA, I went from working a lot, to not working at all, very quickly. I felt stunted and really indulged myself in living that #europeanlifestyle. Until eventually my class self-organised and we got back to working. I felt, still feel, like myself again. 

This performative practice is also a place to put things. Things are collected, accumulated, so the weaving act itself becomes an embodied practice. A painting. It embodies everything. From the podcasts I listen to during my “work” break[s], the documentaries, the music, the sounds of silence, the colours of the noise, the gestures of care and obstacles along the way.

Ihooq studiodocumentation of a work in progress

Weaving my own surfaces, canvases, using 100% cotton warp thread, sustainably sourced, or paper thread from previous work, to continue my painting experiments with food waste pigments, such as dried orange peels, avocado pits and cabbage - which I grind into a powder and combine with a mordant using a paint muller.

Once the pigment is made, I print on my handmade paper and my handwoven canvases. And if I don’t like it, I process the paper once again. As long as I am weaving with plant or animal fibre, the circle goes on. 

The workshop

The workshop was first held as Le Club Plastique at Parc Rosaire-Gauthier in Laval, with Verticale - centre d'artistes in September 2021, after my grandfather’s passing, and again during From there through here at the Künstlerhaus in Vienna, Austria, in June of 2022, as part of my MA “project work.” 

With community, interactivity and performativity in mind, the work-shop is an open invitation to the public to participate in this creation with me. Together we learn by doing, playing with and deconstructing material that surrounds us everyday.

1 Video: documentation of a work in progress
2 Bestrew, Ihooq studio: documentation of a work in progress, Galerie et Studios Jano Lapin, Verdun. 
Le Club Plastique, Verticale, Parc Rosaire-Gauthier. 
4  documentation of a work in progress, off loom in Vienna.
From there through here - away-from-keyboard, site-specific installation and performance, Künstlerhaus Vienna.
From there through here - surface tension workshop, Künstlerhaus Vienna.