I recently met Tai at the Women’s Art Association and then saw this today.
In Tai’s own words:
Here’s my story of Peter Tosh’s museum donation.
Reggae musician “Peter Tosh’ has been fought for legalized cannabis for a long year before he got murdered.
Because of my Cancer fight and as a reggae musician I do have a big admiration toward him so I made portraits.
I do have a connection with this museum and Peter tosh’s daughter Niambe McIntosh
Niambe is a big important figure about medical Cannabis.
So I am thinking in the future I can ask her to do some information lecture about medical Cannabis for elder members. Right now Canada we got realized cannabis but people’s misinformation toward this plant is a huge problem.
And here’s my performance at legalized celebration night. I was the opening the night. Because of South Korea’s sick people. I sang in the Korean language. This was all over the news.
I had big plans for today—January 3, 2021. After your support of my book project in March 2020, I was going to send you the Advance Reader copy of FIRE: A Message from the Edge of Climate Catastrophe. I even wrote an essay specifically for this moment—the twelve-month anniversary of the fires that took my home, farm, and wildlife sanctuary.
Then, as dawn broke this morning a deep sense of loss rolled over me like a wave. My plans felt wrong. The same tinge sits inside today’s messages from friends inside the fire scar—people who had also lost their ‘everything’ on January 3 last year. We all thought we were doing well, that our ‘recovery’ was happening, but anniversaries do something powerful to the human mind. Today tears are flowing.
It turns out this feeling even has a name—the ‘Anniversary Effect’. It is symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. The reaction is a signal that a person is still not ‘through’ their grief.
Geoff and I had a notion this day might be hard. We still hold concern about a few souls in our community standing a bit too close to the abyss. With the Stormbird Press team, we delayed the release of FIRE to beyond the fire-danger season—out of respect for these few. The new launch date will be April 5, 2021.
Today, I am thankful for the reprieve.
I should have seen it coming, really. Many of us living within the fire scar have spent the past three weeks resisting a hungry media keen to sensationalise our loss. They want photos of us standing in front of our shed homes, wearing angry, beaten, but somehow still defiant expressions. They want quotes from us about our hurt, our loss, and what it means. They want us to cry out our disappointment in politics. I understand the machinations of media. This kind of news is their feedstock. It’s what sells column inches. Yet, it is confronting to move from consumer to fodder.
All this sums up to desire to write a very different message to each of you—the precious donors that made the writing of FIRE possible. I want to keep my message gentle.
I know in my heart, there is still one chapter to write, and I am going to take the time to finish it well. I hope you will accept my commitment that I will circulate the advance reader copy to you all, along with a series of essays, ahead of the launch.
Today, rather than telling you about FIRE, it feels far more important that I express my gratitude, draped around a new sense of hope.
I am grateful for your trust in me, and belief in the project. Without each of you, and the generous work of the Shifting Values team, the book would not be alive and well.
As the year has crawled along, I have discovered pragmatic hope in unexpected places. It has crystallised a new direction for me, as a writer and an activist. While the global community continues to march towards climate annihilation, I am still standing beside my husband in our small, scalded vineyard—saved by the giant plantation trees that mercifully shielded the firestorm’s might—caring for this sole load-stone from which we are rebuilding our future. Yet, ours is a new perspective to the one we had twelve months ago. Climate change is the texture of our lives. It’s been a hard journey to recognise this reality. I now understand my role is to be an advocate for radical adaptation. FIRE: A Message from the Edge of Climate Catastrophe will be an important foundation of that new work.
Today, I wrap that hope in my thanks to each of you. Your gift is extending into my future.
I first learned of WAAC launching this program through a fellow artist and member of the Association who asked me to send out their call to submissions. One reply suggested I apply myself. July 2018 I was accepted as the first artist in residence of the Women’s Art Association. It was an unexpected and wonderful experience. Here is a brief summary.
WAAC AIR ARTIST STUDIO: I was given use of a studio for 10 months where I would produce an exhibit for WAAC. In return I was to engage with the artist members to encourage their artistic interests through activities I would design. I came up with the following.
STUDIO VISITS: Weekly visits to my studio allowed members discuss whatever about their work with me, ask questions and discuss suggestions I may have. These were usually one on one and allowed me to get to know some of the artist members.
GROUP VISITS TO EXHIBITS AROUND THE CITY: November to March we would met biweekly at a chosen gallery. Historical to contemporary works were seen followed by a friendly cup of java together. A few examples of shows we saw: Anthropocene at the AGO, John Hartman People and Place at Nicolas Metevier Gallery, Sir William Van Horne’s Japanese Ceramics at the Gardiner Museum, True to the Eyes: Tanenbaum Photos at Ryerson Image Centre, Crosscurrents: Canada in the Making at the Textile Museum of Canada and Toronto Through the Eyes of Women Artists at the Market Gallery. The Market Gallery exhibit was of special interest as the founding member of WAAC Mary Dignam plus other past members were featured.
PRINTMAKING WORKSHOPS: Two weekend workshops introduced printmaking to members using an automated etching press donated by a member a few years earlier. Colour relief prints made with hand cut linocut plates on japanese papers were puzzling at first but everyone soon got hold of the process. Thereafter we shared weekly one day open print sessions allowing all to continue their experiments and explorations. Soon someone suggested a print show.
WAAC PRINT WORKS 2019: The genesis of the show was employing printmaking to generate new ideas or variations of the artist’s current artistic focus. Artist members were asked to present images that were print based but evolved through their choice of alternative techniques: collage, transfer, paper cut, painting, sewing to name a few. Printmaking mediums could include etching, relief, silkscreen, solar, original digital and more as was discovered. This experimental approach proved to be impetus for individuals to nurture new directions in their work. Eighteen artists prepared two images mounted on black display boards without framing. This simplified format unified the show and emphasized the unique approach of each artist’s work. Here are a couple of short videos I took of the show – they are not professional but will give you some idea.
WASHI: ANCIENT MATERIAL, CONTEMPORARY RESOURCE: Nancy Jacobi founder of the Japanese Paper Place gave a stimulating talk about the history and current uses of washi. Nancy displayed artists’ work on washi from her collection and offered sample selections of washi for sale. She was enthusiastically received and many planned to visit the store to see JPP’s exhaustive selection of washi and related products. Do visit the Japanese Paper Place at https://www.japanesepaperplace.com but also actually visit the store.
WHERE IS WILD the Artist in Residence Exhibit: Throughout all the activity I was busy working on paper collages for my show. I developed 17 pieces various sizes largely on washi employing woodcut, soft pastel drawing, paper cut in layers creating some more 3D object like effects. I had the Dignam Gallery the flagship space of WAAC to inhabit with my animals in their digital environments. I appreciate the opportunity to show in this spacious inviting space that hosts luncheons, slideshow presentations, workshops as well as art exhibits regularly throughout the year.