Arriving for "In Kind" Negotiations at the Banff Centre

I am obsessed with these sculptures, which are also benches. Brian Jungen, The ghosts on top of my head.

I am obsessed with these sculptures, which are also benches. Brian Jungen, The ghosts on top of my head.

I will be blogging throughout my time here at Banff. Check here to read about my adventures. I am also collecting moments here at Banff in Instagram via #Navajoonthego.

This is the end of my first week in residence here at the Banff Centre. I am incredibly honored to be part of a thematic residency for indigenous artists titled “In Kind” Negotiations with Raymond Boisjoly. We also have a companion residency here titled Are we looking at dead birds? led by Celine Kopp. Coming to Banff has felt like being welcomed into a art-filled family.

Even though it’s been barely a full week here, I am already gleaning so much from the other residents here. On Tuesday we did ten minute presentations of our work and plans for Banff. Many of us have commented that the “In Kind” group feels incredibly safe because of a shared understanding about indigenous issues. I’m excited to see where our discussions go.

On a personal note, traveling to Banff for six weeks and being away from home is difficult. However, it’s a space full of possibility for my work as I continue to explore my Hero Twins narrative.

It is always comforting to open up my linseed oil and mineral spirits–those have always felt like home. I’m feeling almost completely settled into my studio space. Last night I stretched my first canvas after a week of working on paper.

I have been working on gessoed watercolor paper, which has a really great texture to it. I love the smooth, durable nature of watercolor paper. I contemplated working entirely on paper while I am here due to shipping logistics; however, I really want to utilize the space to stretch canvas and work larger than I can in my studio at home.

During my time here at Banff, I have a few threads I’m exploring. The work I’ve already developed concentrates on a singular monster, where a snakehead fish emboides the Big Monster. I’ve found myself again drawn to my monster. I find myself excited to research invasive species and develop the monsters in the Hero Twins’ subsequent adventures. I’m also really interested in the emotional and psychological space of being alone in these adventures–how the hero finds herself lost in the largeness of the wilderness.

It’s exciting to be building new friendships. A few of us went hiking up Tunnel Mountain, and already there have been countless shared meals. We’re planning to screen movies together, to venture into town for local brews, and to check out the local bingo scene!