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 episode, we talk to Alison Postma. After spending the last couple years in Guelph finishing art school, Postma is out on her own, she relocated to Toronto, she's been experimenting with her work by push out of her familiar working conventions while also figuring out how/where to direct her own independent practice. Read our full conversation with the AIMIA AGO Photo Prize winner below.
"I really like photography’s ability to remove objects from their context, and I’ve been very conscious about everything I include in (and exclude from) the frame. The photographs I make are often so removed from the actual place they exist in that original context doesn’t matter."
PP: Where are you emotionally and existentially right now ?
AP: I’m in an alright place. I feel a little restless, like I can’t sit still for a minute – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it would definitely be nice to have a little down time.
PP: Did you grow up in Guelph?
AP: No! I’m originally from Oakville, which is a suburb in the GTA. It’s a little bigger than Guelph but has a lot of similarities. I just lived in Guelph while going to school, and I’m back there every once in a while because my collaborative project has 3 members still living there! My dad also lives there now, so it’s definitely not out of the picture. I like Guelph, but I like it more without all the students there.
PP: What kind of a kid were you growing up? were you sporty?
AP: When I was very small I did gymnastics, but apparently threw a temper tantrum about going and that was that. Aside from gymnastics I couldn’t be convinced to do any other sports, partially because both my parents were never very sporty. I did go on a lot of hikes with my dad.
I focused on school a lot and got good grades. I was on the robotics team one or two years, which was really fun and I regret not staying on longer. Basically we learned how to build and program simple robots out of lego and then there was a day-long competition where you had to build and program a robot that day based on whatever challenge. I wish I still knew how to do that!
PP: It looks like you just finished up your studies and now you are currently in the middle of a residency right? this is your second this year? What did you initially propose? and what projects are you at work on now?
AP: Yeah! Earlier in the summer I took part in the Roundtable Residency. The theme of the residency was precarity, so I proposed a project about the space in-between photography and sculpture. It was a good experience but definitely too short (it took place over 5 weeks in July and August). The final project I ended up showing kind of seems now like a work in progress between other things, which I guess fits with the theme.
Right now I am finishing up a residency with the Drake Hotel for their AV Club. They just started the program this year, so it’s been new for everybody involved, but it’s pushed me to make a lot of work I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s specifically for video art, which isn’t something I’ve done a lot of, but I’ve found it very beneficial to be forced to make something I wouldn’t necessarily gravitate towards on my own. Each resident had to produce four videos over four months that are then played on TV screens at the Drake’s properties.
I actually just finished my final video for the residency, which is titled Water Erosion. It’s pretty experimental for me and a little bit outside my comfort zone, but also refreshing to give control over to my editing program a little.
Video still: Water Erosion, 2016
Video Still: Border, 2016