Public Parking
A journal for storytelling, arguments, and discovery through tangential conversations.
A Conversation with Zahra Baseri
For just about forty minutes earlier this summer, we got to have a sit down with Zahra Baseri. And in that amount of time we were fortunate to have learnt a great deal from the Iranian-born, Winnipeg based artist. Her individual experiences and observations living in an oppressive Islamic regime has stirred her to take a bracingly honest and critical look in the society she lived through. The absence of the female voice in the Islamic society she grew up in is a palpable assessment in Baseri’s recent BMO’s 1st Art! award-winning Outcry series. Below is our conversation with Baseri: we go into the nuances of her work, her creative process, and where her earliest creative inclinations came from.          Zahra Baseri On Outcry:    The current body of work is related...
Portfolio: Katrina Mendoza
Thursday, October 27, 2016 | Luther Konadu
Katrina Mendoza's new series of studies liberally yet diligently disintegrates seemingly anonymous forms into disparate individual parts and then culminates them back into a new whole. A new whole she refers as ‘pseudo-structures’ which do result in an unresolved and irregular finish. Check out the series below and as well, read more about her and her work here.
A Conversation with Evin Collis
"A while back I worked for Lower Fort Garry which was an old Hudson Bay Company Fort between Winnipeg and Selkirk. It was a summer job where I was a historical interpreter. I had to dress up like it was in the 1850s and pretend that I lived in that era which is in a way ridiculous. It is this history or fiction that we were trying to portray to people and that got me thinking a lot about my own family and our history. The history that actually exists and the history that we portray along with the official government influence. The complicated mixing pot of history and identity; what’s real and isn’t. What voices are heard, what is given as a standard, and what voices are suppressed. It's...
Studio Visit: Madeline Rae
We caught up with artist Madeline Rae during her stay at Ace Art's Cartae Open School residency which Rae completed along with four other resident creatives earlier this summer. The seven month independent learning program allows for creatives working from distinct directions of interests to share and produce work in a single environment and subsequently exhibit their work at the end of the program. In the below conversation, we speak to Rae on her keen pursuit for working through film photography, her interest in performance, and video as way of working through ideas of sensuality and intimacy.     Madeline Rae works predominantly with film photography, video, and performance. Her work tends to explore sensuality and all of its facets—different pronounced moments you might face in life whether it being grief, extreme...
A Conversation with Adrienne Crossman
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | Luther Konadu
What is a queer environment? What does it entail? What does it look like? or what does it even mean to have a queer environment? These are just some of the questions multidisciplinary artist Adrienne Crossman's current work incites. Crossman is thoughtfully immersed with discovering what a queer space or object involves and what it's like to transverse through a society that is heavily set around binaries. Employing familiar pop culture objects like Tiger Electronic’s Furby toys, Crossman re-contextualizes them as queer objects situating the Furby aside from any binary category. Formerly Toronto-based and now living in Winsdor, Crossman recently exhibited new works that centered around these ideas as part of her solo show—Fear of a Queer Planet—at Toronto’s The White House Studio Project. Crossman is a very busy, having...
Parking Lot: Michael Mogatas
Parking Lot is our lax interview series where we get to really know a creative. We get to learn about what they've been up to creatively, some random facts about them, some telling ones, and just about anything else that comes up. In this instalment, we speak with the amiable Michael Mogatas. We had the pleasure of talking with Mogatas about his most recent one person show, his ambivalent relationship with images as an image maker, what his ideal breakfast is on Tuesdays, and where some of his earliest creative impulses came from.      Luther Konadu: Do you typically work from home?    Michael Mogatas: Yeah for the past year or so I have been working from 2 room apartment that I share with my girlfriend. We are both artists so some...
Studio Visit: Hannah Doucet
Half way through our conversation with artist Hannah Doucet she suggests we take a quick pause. “Wait, I kind of want a beer, does anyone want one? I feel like I’m getting very warm because I’m talking about myself too much and that makes me uncomfortable” she modestly offers. Doucet’s self-deprecating tendencies are readily apparent throughout our visit to her work studio. “Sorry, but I’m getting ready for a show now so my studio is kind of a mess and it starting to get into John’s[studio-mate] space” she apologizes as we arrive at her studio. When she’s not facilitating workshops at Art City, a local community art center, she shares her charming studio with her friend and housemate where she spends majority of her time working away on new projects...
A Conversation with Jazmin Papadopoulos
We had the great pleasure of speaking with the delightful and well spoken unrelenting writer, artist, poet, and all around creative thinker Jazmin Papadopoulous. Our conversation with Papadopoulous extended across a myriad of topics including why Papadopoulous prefers to be referred to by pluralist pronoun; 'them or they' instead of 'her or she' or 'him or he' and why that preference is not a politically driven one but rather a more personal protective choice. We further discuss Papadopoulous' one time foray at a clowning school, thoughts on marginalization and the stigmatization attached around that concept, video art, audience, victim-hood, and gender identity among other topics. Papadopoulous recently completed an artist residency at Cartae at the Winnipeg artist run center Ace Art. After speaking with Papadopoulous, I got a resonant sense...
A Conversation with Luke Maddaford
Somewhere during the latter half of this past spring, while perusing through Midwest America, I made my way through the Detroit area and then into bordering Canadian city Windsor, Ontario. For no particular reason, I've always wanted to visit that place. I didn't really have any imagination of the place. In my mind, it was just another place that exists in Canada. When friends relocated there, it became a reason to trip. For the first while there, I had to keep reminding myself I was back in Canada after crossing over. Not because it reminded me of the towns and cities I just journeyed through[maybe it did], but I suppose I thought I had a developed outlook of what the rest of Canada looked like from living and visiting different...
A Conversation with Ashley Gillanders
Over a span of roughly five years, after being out of the protection school, photo centered artist Ashley Gillanders has been making gradual advances in her photographic practice. Partaking in residencies and mentorship programs in Winnipeg, Bnaff, and New York, exhibiting in various artist-run centers locally, receiving artist’s grants and awards, Gillanders’ work has gone from exploring human interaction with the built environment to human interaction with the natural environment and the overlap of the two. Her work has developed onto a practice that joins conventional and experimental processes to photography. Gillanders’ new collection of work counter acts what we commonly know the lens-based medium to be—both in its form and function. Recalling her formative interest in human interaction with nature, she uses tropical plants that becomes domesticized in our...
Parking Lot: Katrina Mendoza
Parking Lot is our lax interview series where we get to really know a creative. We get to learn about their current work, some random facts about them, some telling ones too, and just about anything else that comes up. In our second edition, we speak with creative, Katrina Mendoza. Mendoza is sort of in between places--making choices, feeling creatively directionless, figuring things out as someone out of art school with a strong inclination to create but also someone questioning why she creates, what makes her excited to create, and if it's worth making work that benefits just her while disregarding the world around her. It was especially exciting to speak with Mendoza about such seemingly micro matters that in fact become major ones as you find yourself between paths...
Studio Visit: Talia Shaaked
Ottawa native, now Winnipeg based artist Talia Shaaked uses her paintings as a way of looking into intellectual and emotional encounters with architectural and urban environments. Shaaked's work acknowledges the poetics of the built environment and how perceptual place and space can be experienced through the human condition. After spending some years in Montreal and graduating from Concordia University, Shaaked jumped at the opportunity and rerouted her way to Winnipeg to join the eight month residency at Cartae to move her practice forward in a new setting. We caught up with Shaaked to talk about what she's been learning and producing during her time at the residency, we also learn a bit about psychogeography, and who Guy Debord is.        "Talia Shaaked is a painter first and foremost. She’s very interested...
Studio Visit: Pablo Javier Castillo Huerta
At some point between the shift in temperature when we start to slowly do away with coats and sweaters, and dust begins to pick up, it can seem like entering into a new altered world by which we slowly have to adjust to. Some point between this shift we made some time to visit artist, Pablo Javier Castillo Huerta in his now former studio as he was in the middle of transiting out of his studio.“Sorry for all the junk on the floor. I moved a bunch of my books out so I have less junk now than I did yesterday, but I’m just in the middle of moving out of the studio” Huerta modestly explains as we make our way into his studio.  For Huerta, his studio is not...
Portfolio: Alyssa Bornn
Friday, July 15, 2016 | Luther Konadu
From the series 'Every Bedroom I've Lived In' Alyssa Bornn takes an intimate and closely considered course to recalling from memory and presenting us with floor plans for the titular series by way of a flatbed scanner. Below are results of her experiments which employs an array of materials including plexiglas, wax paper, packaging plastic, glass and plastic protective film all of which she selected for their ability to manipulate light therefore helping retrace and draw on these architectural spaces she resided in.    Images Courtesy of Artist             Bornn speaks on the scanograph series:   Throughout the duration of a six-minute pass on a flatbed scanner objects are arranged to map out floor plans of bedrooms. Uncertainty and failures in memory are registered as glitches and replications on the produced image. As...
Studio Visit: Mariana Muñoz Gomez
We were very delighted to catch multifaceted Winnipeg-based artist Mariana Muñoz Gomez at her studio amid her tight schedule and deadlines inching closer. Gomez was in the middle of gathering and selecting work as part of a forthcoming group exhibition. The current collected work sees Gomez employing a wide array of media including printmaking, video and elements of sculpture to process and think through ideas of otherness, marginalization,language, and duality of identities. In our below chat with Gomez, she shows us around her studio, the pieces of work lying around her studio she's accumulated over the past year, and what she has been discovering about her own work.              [Gomez had been previously working on a book project that documents her interviews around experiences of immigrants in Canada.] Public Parking: Tell...
Parking Lot: Nancy Nguyen
Parking Lot is our lax interview series where we get to really know an artist, designer and other creative types. We get to learn about their current work and some random facts about them and some telling ones too. In our first edition, we recently meet up with artist/designer Nancy Nguyen to learn a bit about what she thinks of the color pink, her tips for online dating, what she thinks is overrated and the highs and lows of putting up a one-person show.      :nancy nguyan    "I’ve always been making work through a graphic design sensibility even throughout school so the work wasn’t personal until I started on a project where I had to ask myself what I was interested in, and why. And that led me into making a...
'Try to always have fun': A Conversation with Graham Wiebe
Thursday, June 30, 2016 | Luther Konadu
Graham Wiebe is an open arms, down-to-earth kind of guy. He's got a playful and spontaneous vim that permeates through all of his photographic work. Wiebe knows what he wants in an image the moment he grabs his camera but he's open to whatever happens  and ready to run with it. We recently got the pleasure of speaking with the Winnipeg based artist about his relationship with the piece of technology that helps him encapsulates fleeting seconds before they become mere stories, how this same device is more than a supporting collaborator  in his work, and how he's trying to reconcile with the aching fact of slowly losing this device to obsolescence.   From a distance we hear footsteps approaching us. It turns out to be Sarah Epp, Wiebe’s studio neighbor....
Portfolio: Danny Fox
Thursday, June 23, 2016 | Public Parking Staff
A couple things come to mind when looking at work by Danny Fox; it can range from at times being very unnerving and surreal to being intense and exciting when viewed all at the same time. He liberally plays with color like a happy sugar-high kid. Fox is a self-taught artist; he has never been to art school or had to sit through any crits offered in any formal studio art classes. In that, his paintings reveal a charming sense of inquisitiveness for form in painting. Though with that sense of childish naiveté to his renderings, he toys with reoccurring off-center motifs of strip clubs, cowboys, cowboys riding on horses, boxing matches, and sense of ruckus and sheer hedonistic revelry. What makes Fox's work interesting to us is his freewheeling...
Sky Calandar: A Conversation with Qidong Bai
When it comes to creating work, multidisciplinary artist Qidong Bai operates with an experimental approach through a variety of mediums to bring her ideas and personal expressions forward. She recently completed a body of work for a group show that focused around her conscious awareness of minor shifts in a given environment as time transitions. We met up with Bai to learn more about her work and processes she takes in making work.       :qidong bai        "I’ve been told my work can come off as being a bit vague at times and I don’t know if it’s a bad thing or not but I don’t mind it being that way actually. I think “vague” for me is a good thing. It gives people space to bring themselves in it. There are...
Erin Jung is Megan Irwin: A Conversation With Erin Jung
It’s certainly something to applaud for when people (which is not many) look at the made up distinction between what is considered to be high culture and low culture and just says fuck all that, and goes on to create a succulent smoothie that blends everything together nicely while raising the populist substance of the internet to art. Winnipeg-based artist Erin Jung easily achieves this with her current body of work which concerns itself with how identities are formulated particularly in relation to pop culture. She created an online persona named Megan Irwin. Megan Irwin was born out of her experience of other users who take on alternate identities informed by pop culture. Jung plays Megan, a devoted fan of pop star Zayn Malik who creates detailed renderings of her...
Studio Visit: Jeremiah Valle
SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN HIS STUFFED SCHEDULE, I GOT THE CHANCE TO SIT DOWN WITH WINNIPEG PRINT MEDIA  ARTIST JEREMIAH VALLE IN HIS LOVELY STUDIO TO TALK ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH TATTOOS, THE CULTURE SURROUNDING IT, AND HOW HE USES THAT TO TALK ABOUT DEEPER ISSUES THROUGH HIS EVER-EXPERIMENTAL TAKE ON PRINT MEDIA.      Before we get to talking I see a print on Valle’s studio desk and I’m taken by it, I ask Valle how he made it...but I soon find out that print in particular was one by his mentor, friend and former instructor Ted Horoworth Valle goes on to enthusiastically talk about him: “That print is mezzotint. I’ve worked for Ted and I’ve worked at his house and his house is just filled with prints. Prints just everywhere. He...
Disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed: A Conversation with Anwen Liu
Somewhere between brilliant playful colours and overt terror lies the now Vancouver-based artist Anwen Liu’s new body of work. She's interested in how those contrasting sides can be used to portray personal narratives. We catch up with Liu to talk about why nightmares can be productive, why it’s important for her to make work that directly involves the viewer/the audience, her natural inclination to build oversize spaces and sculptures, her recent interest in death, and why she’s obsessed with Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared among other talking points.     Luther Konadu: Did people know to grab a piece of your sculpture?   Anwen Liu: I had to stand there the whole time, talk to people and assure them that it was fine to take a bottle of origami stars. I feel like...
Wait a sec., What is an Emerging Artist anyway?
Friday, April 8, 2016 | Luther Konadu
What does it mean to be "Emerging" as an artist/creator?   -Does it have to do with someone in their twenties?   -Someone younger maybe?   -Someone alive?   -Does it count if they are dead?   -If they are seventy?   -If they are have had at least three solo shows in multiple galleries?   -If they’ve just got out of their mfa?   -Or even their bfa?   -Does it have something to do with the art market?   -Are they a art market darling?   -Does it count if their work has been collected by a gallery and museum or maybe a private collector?   -Are they responsive to a hot new medium?   -Are they 'cutting some edges' in a new or old medium?   -Are they tapping into some rigorous conceptual work?   -Are they responding to the 'times'?   -Have...
Studio Visit with Jane Yagi
We sit down with Winnipeg based artist Jane Yagi to talk about luxury problems, chicken wings, shopping at home depot as an artist and the clarity that comes from being specific.