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JEFF MANN

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(I'm not quite sure what story you're looking for so...) I work by response and seek to emulate children's art--letting emotions and subjective responses dominate. When I start work on a piece, I have no idea where it will end up. Typically, I use a car part (because I think therre are too many cars in the world) and expand on the feeling/dance/pattern that is intrinsic to the piece by manipulation and addition of other or identical parts.

The images submitted  represent the most recent diretions my work has taken. I make masks (mostly from car parts)  conbine them with a skeleton and either take pictures of these figures on backgrounds I have constructed or out in the world around me. SMOG AND MOUDIT'S WORLD were shot at an abandoned former warehouse parking lot. AUTISM  is shot with a portion of one of my sculptures, PETRO-CANYOUN as background. CELESTIAL is a mask made of transmission parts, a skeleton made of various car parts including flattened windshield wiper components shot an old industrial building's doors. SOMETIMES... is shot on  a sculpture made from segments of a culvert with aluminum engine and exhaust parts fitter to it.

In my imediate family, I have suffered suicide and murder. As bad as that is, the physical and mental abuse I dealt with before those events were far worse. Because of tha chronic trauma of my childhood, I suffered from low self esteem which led to addiction.

I shot this photograph at an abandoned warehouse. The wall beside the loading dock provided an excellent background for the combination of the mask, MOUDIT, and the skeleton I chose to accompany this mask. To me, M0UDIT is a little lost in the murky world
Here, the mask HOPPER is shot against part of my sculpture, PETRO-CANYON. I felt the structure of the image was strong and is emphasized by eliminating colour from the work. HOPPER has a bit of a "deer in the headlights" feel while behind him are the scintillating patterns and rhythms of his world.
Another piece that I shot in the outside word rather than in my studio. The aged paint on a warehouse door made a great background. LEOPARD is the mask that I used accompanied by a skeleton. both were made of aluminum and steel car parts. CELESTIAL represents that feeling of being a bit removed from the world, not really engaged.
MOUDIT makes another appearance in this photograph. While I was shooting at the abandoned warehouse I concentrated on the concrete wall and the fractured tar of the parking lot (not pictured in this submission) and only when I was packing up did I notice the lamppost bases which had multiple layers of eroded yellow-ish paint on them. MOUDIT is my favourite mask as he is very enigmatic, chameleon-like, kind of channeling my responses. While I feel this piece has more of an environmental message, it also works as a mood piece reflecting how we feel when we're lost in the clouds of our own world.
SOMETIMES i FEEL LIKE... Is a photograph of my sculpture PERSEPOLIS with the mask SNAPPER photographed on it. The placement of the mask emphasizes the sense of being dominated by outside forces. PERSEPOLIS started with a culvert I dug up out of our driveway.

Nathan Cole

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I had just arrived a few days before at my artist residency in rural India, near a small village called Andore in Rajasthan. I was there to photograph and identify wildlife as reference material for my scratchboard portraits. I had acquainted myself with the surrounding farms and the pathways through them, but I was excited to explore beyond the fields into the desert. The harsh landscape was a maze of thorn bushes, rolling sandy hills punctuated by rocky crests, and dusty trails made by goat herders. I didn't know yet what I would find out there, but I knew that is where large Indian antelopes called Nilgai roamed and leopards prowled the heights. I headed out from the residency late one afternoon, as midday was too hot in the desert, eager to see what I could find. I had just passed the edge of the surrounding farmlands, ready to head down the trail into the desert, when I spotted a bird perched on a short fence post. I was only able to snap two quick photographs before it took off, as it was just a fleeting moment, but this one of the Eurasian Sparrowhawk stays with me as a snapshot of wild India.

A Eurasian Sparrowhawk takes off from a fence post in rural India.
Bio: 

Nathan Cole is an artist, photographer, and writer working out of Toronto, Canada. Nathan attended the Farm Studio artist residency in Rajasthan, India and the Mauser EcoHouse residency in Costa Rica after winning the Nanci Christopher photography grant. Nathan has exhibited his work at the Super Wonder Gallery, Queen West Art Crawl, and Beaux Arts Brampton, as well as Eduardo Lira Gallery in Miami where he was a semi-finalist for ARTBOX.Projects and he was the 3rd place winner in the 2nd edition of the Boynes Emerging Artist Award. His artwork has also been featured in Murze and ArtAscent Magazines.

Kaitlyn Roberts

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Dear My Love,

 

I don’t even know where to begin.

Did you know that to become a butterfly, a caterpillar first needs to digest itself? (Jabr). It needs to take in every flaw, imperfection, and absorb in itself entirely. Otherwise, it can’t become the butterfly.

Maybe that is what it means to grow. To become the butterfly, you must drink in all that you are; love yourself so much that you are unwilling to part with any piece of you.

You used to be so sure that your artwork was helping you. “It’s similar to therapy,” you would say. And in some ways it was. You can’t keep all that hurt inside of you. You have begun to burst at your seams. And the bursts will always happen in the most inconvenient of timing. These works of art gave you an escape from that for a little while. But the truth is, they haunt you.

When you create your work, your anxiety and suicidal ideation becomes the main focus; becomes the definition of you. The negativity and sadness surrounding it repeats itself as you keep track of when these things happen to you. All your work ends up doing is reminding you of the sleeping beast that stays within you; following you wherever you go.

This isn’t what you wanted.

You wanted to heal. You wanted to learn to admire yourself. And yet, the thought of loving yourself terrifies you.

Your anxiety doesn’t help either; spreading rumours about you without any mercy. “The fretty chatter that makes us so nervous and unsettled and unable to grasp the ‘present moment’ at the end of yoga classes when the instructor talks about it as though it’s something you can buy off the shelf,” (Wilson, 2).

I have never heard truer words.

According to everyone on the internet, there’s this thing called, ‘self love’ that will solve all of your problems. Apparently it’s so easy to do. All you have to do is love yourself and ‘poof!’ all of your issues gone, just like that!

So why is it so unattainable?

People talk about ‘self love’ like you can just order it online and have it arrive at your doorstep in 24 hours. Maybe they’re hiding the fact that they haven’t been able to attain it either.

For me, loving yourself means to be at peace as you accept every part of you, fully and unconditionally, including the things that you cannot change. It always sounds easy enough until you try. My love, I have seen you wrestle with panic attacks as your anxiety takes over and fills you with horrifying ideas. A dance between your mind and your soul. Your soul just needs to learn to lead.

Your soul is a beautiful gesture as it dances its way through life.

Your mind is just stronger right now. 

But you are not alone. We will get there together. I will be by your side fighting with you. 

You feel so vulnerable when you try to love yourself. You suddenly become aware of all the flaws and you begin to think back to all the times someone said something awful about you.

 

“You’re weird. Like fine half of the time, but annoying the other half when you talk too loud.”

So I stopped talking all together.

 

“You’re boring.”

So I drank until I wasn’t.

 

“I think you could look as hot as her if you followed this diet plan.”

So I starved myself.

 

These people didn’t even realize the effect that their words would have on you: still don’t realize. But every time you talk, every time you drink, every time you eat, you remember their words and suddenly want to disappear.

Anxiety doesn’t allow you to forget those things. And that is the hardest part about loving yourself; standing up for yourself; telling yourself that those people are wrong during the times that you believe they are right.

I can’t wait for you to experience a day when you can stand up and proudly say “I am beautiful inside and out.” And mean it completely.

I can’t wait for the day when you can tell someone they’re wrong when they put you down. The day when you can go to an interview and mean it when you tell them that you are the most hardworking badass that they will ever employ. The day you forget about the sleepless nights you had thinking about all the mistakes you made that day. The day when you can love yourself so completely and honestly that when you look in the mirror, you sigh with a smile as the weight on your shoulders has been lifted.

I can’t wait for you to become the butterfly.

 

Yours truly,
 

 

Your Secret Admirer

 

Works Cited

Jabr, Ferris. “How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly?” Scientific American, 10 Aug. 2012.

Wilson, Sarah. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful. Dey Street Books, 2018.

a panic attack arising.
a panic attack arising.

April Winter

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April Winter takes playful self-portraits in self built, often claustrophobic sets. Her work revolves around the transformations of these little worlds, filling the space with found, made or borrowed objects to tell a story; often about such topics as sexuality, utopia and isolation.

These works are a playful illustration of contemporary life. A mix of mask culture, the strangeness of isolation and the mystery of futurism. The claustrophobic space of the photograph squeezes the viewer back into their pocket size apartments. While being self-portraits they also speak to the hyper documentation of our private lives. They empathize with the alien feelings of being a social human today and the unease that comes with being alone but always seen.

self-portrait 35mm film photograph
self-portrait 35mm film photograph
self-portrait 35mm film photograph
self-portrait 35mm film photograph
self-portrait 35mm film photograph

Jacqueline

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I suffer with bipolar disorder and I always have to put on a mask but it sits behind my just haunting me? I try to find light in the holes that are dug by myself. 

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