Savage Persuasion


"Yellow-Striped Violins"

Yellow-Striped Violin

The heart rides the strings of the bow

against the silence

Cries escape from a pleasure never known

Now a torturous ecstasy

as passion is released

as passion escapes

in all directions of the soul

Slack-faced, mind driven asunder

in the sonance of a women freshly loved

A woman taken by the powerful

longing of a male presence

clinging to the life of the strings

Joy pulsating!

Veins open

Serenity resides along inner chambers

Nerves become pathways of grace

An awakening at a window

with linens so bright

they light the room.

"... reminiscing the covers of Romance Novels and Classical L.P.'s"

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

In with the Fruit Peels when I Die

We’re here and gone.  We’re in and out.

The swell of the waves makes my thighs quiver and my lower body feels sensations taking in the movement of the sea.  The Shangri-La thrusts above the headland.

A deep pink geranium sits pretty in the black cast iron urn near my feet silently dropping her petals as she too admires the whitecaps. A dainty sophisticate, the geranium has an oriental lily pad leaf anchoring an English flower and bud with small petals, fanning out a saturated hue against clouds swollen with shadows leaning along the sky in layers.

The icy wind is bending tree branches and whirring the stalks of shrubs into a frenzy. The Seawalkers keep their collars up and kleenex under their noses as they brace their steps for the next burst of cold air breaking over them.  Long scarves twirl and leap outward in a scatter-brained dance.

The train tracks creak, dogs yip and howl.

My feet are cold, as is my tea, and yet it is mesmerizing to sit in the midst of it all.  A lone gull is being blown blocks out of his way by the next forceful blow of the wind.  He’s drawn across roof and tree tops and sent soaring away from the water toward the hard blue mountains.

A steady grumble makes its way through the leaky windows and the canvas awnings flap furiously against the current.

Without warning leaves are blown inside out revealing their naked light side.  The logs sitting atop the giant granite boulders lining the walk thunk, thunk, in repetition.  All is divine as blue sky and tips of sunlight foreshadow a heavenly day.

Now the sun comes out to spoil me warming my bare feet resting on the tile floor.  The rays are blinding as they reflect off the water and the surface of the sea glitters in madcap fashion. Sunlight is pulled back and in ten breaths I see only a glare as the seagulls wail mournfully.  The sun is back, in the completion of a sentence, playing hide and seek with me.  I have to squint hard against it.

More people are out walking now.  The path becomes a medley of color:  mauve, red, blue, pink, white, gold, black, navy, tan:  the colors of our clothing, our cars, and our floral arrangements.

The walk has emptied, my tea is drained, I leave the solarium in peace having read a few more pages from Louise Erdrich’s book, “The Blue Jay’s Dance.”  A Birth Year.  Exquisite, lyrical prose by a Best-Selling Author, Mother, Observer of Nature and Poet.  These little vignettes are “unpredictable and unforgettable.”  The mundane of everyday life is rendered marvelous!

Once back in the kitchen I look out and see the arbutus tree waving wildly in the wind. My concern is for the crow who built her nest in a strong fork of one of the branches.  I can see vaguely through the blossoms that she’s home by a small glimpse of her shiny black feathers.  The tree  is caught up in a baby hurricane and I think of the bird mother having morning sickness in the dizzying gale. If the eggs aren’t scrambled by the time the wind ceases the birdlings will be born remembering this psychedelic drama in their incubation. All day I fret over whether the nest will weather the storm.

I had watched the nest being built and the crow had a mate helping to weave each thoughtfully chosen strand of material into a new home. Many trips were made carrying puffs of something white and fluffy. Normally the nest rests in utopia almost hidden by the thick and lavish white flowers and green leaves of the arbutus tree; a floral-lined loft.  By sunset the scene turned calm, the five-hour power outage was repaired, and I had the kettle back on. I was extremely grateful for electricity, a safe nest, and all the energetic forces of Mother Nature purifying the air we breathe.  The electric heat is back on, the fridge is cold again, and the food didn’t spoil.  So what if the computer wouldn’t work, I got this written anyway… by hand and heart.

Crow Nursery constructed in the boughs of the red-trunked Arbutus Tree

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Candy Pink… Pink Bow

I awake from a dream holding onto Julie with my arms wrapped around her waist.  I’m saying that my Mum is just wanting to buy as much time as possible before she dies of cancer.

In this dream I see a leopard print jacket with a candy pink, pink bow, at the top of the neck – who’s touching my clothes?

The walk to Ambleside is littered with abandoned logs.

A collage collects along the low granite wall where the seams of blacktop meet with the rock.

The wind presses forcefully against me like a new lover.  It takes all my strength to walk forward into it.

The clouds spit at me and a crow sprays white splotches across my black umbrella.

I leave the library on my way home with three heavy books curled into my arm none of which I want to read when I get home.

My Mother’s apartment building shivers in cold grey as I walk by.  I let the wind pull my hair across my eyes so I don’t have to look into the dark empty windows where she once resided in warm lighting.

I tell myself all along that nothing matters but the feeling of being under twelve today and noticing how connected I am to all of nature as I walk home in fluctuating weather conditions.

Once inside I put on something warm, wipe the bird doo from my umbrella and brew bancha tea.  I ignore the days’ old rinsed dishes and the clean laundry waiting to be put away.  I can’t scrub a sink or address an envelope right now.  I turn the ringer off on the phone, and relax into nothing.

"Sleeps in Neighbor's Treetop as I Dream"

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Mother Junk: I’m Calling Oprah!!

We’re living in a Birdcage.  The floor is covered in seeds and feathers… pumpkin seeds that slip out of our hands or out from between our fingers as we pop them in our ‘beaks’ while watching movies.  Feathers have been squeezing out of seams around the bottoms of the cheap, made in China, slippers that were purchased at Daniadown.

We are taking refuge from the elements.  The sky’s pouring cold ice-rain and blowing it hard against all the windows.  The wind is howling provocatively and the treetops echo these sounds.  Parts of the wind escape the outdoors and squeeze inside through aluminum moldings loosely holding the windows in place:  a lovely day!

A lovely day is then followed by a day of reality… never my favorite.  Still I make an effort to ease into this kind of day and try to savor parts of it.

“Clutter Composition a.k.a. Mess Makes Music”

My daughter came by and looked into the room at the far end of the apartment and let out a LOUD proclamation:  “We’ll take a photograph of the “disaster” and send it to Oprah!

She has no idea of the mountains I move but goes on to say Oprah will get me a therapist! I have three already, and a friend who used to do therapy.  A game of Scrabble laid out, ready to be played, cuts the contention short and I make another promise to get to it.  It being the:  I don’t know if it will be an office or a studio.

A trip to the library for help leads to “Clutter’s Last Stand” written by Don Aslett. It was a quick read and more enjoyable than retackling the “zone.”

Here goes:

First off:   “You may have a serious junk problem if:  you have to think about how to cross a room!”  I can hear laughter but I didn’t find it all that funny!:   I had a map to cross the floor!

I’m not the only culprit.  Aslett writes:

“Paper weight… is a psychological ton.”  My dear friends, Katherine and Gavin Hainsworth, authored “A New Westminster Album,” and collected mountains of paper while researching it. Gavin has taught special needs kids for eighteen years and Katherine is a full-time artist and an historian.  Cartons proliferated filled with files from all their pursuits.  I always felt relieved after I visited knowing I was not the only one staggering under the remains of days working on projects.  One weekend I was surprised to hear that Gavin had made three trips to the paper recycling dump.  Each time the van was filled to capacity with these cartons  of paper.  The weight of his deliveries was calculated at one and a half tons.  Yes, tons!!!!!  What are we all sitting on in our own spaces??

Some people stack newspapers up in and around their homes.  I have a modest half banker box of clippings clumped into a half dozen yellow file folders.

At one time there were plastic bags full of New York Times Week-end editions I had hoarded and bunched about so I could sit and clip.  Here’s the reason I stopped saving them:

I was formerly a Real Estate Broker and had gone to visit a couple in shaky health whose house I had listed.  They were in their last decade of life at best.  This couple lived on one acre and their flower and vegetable garden had attracted visitors and won awards in the past.  The ocean was a couple of minutes drive away yet the newspapers had taken priority over nature. When I saw the wife sitting at a card table surrounded with stacks of newspapers arranged in the middle of the livingroom, cutting away, newspapers became an arm’s length item for me. No longer something to follow but a quick peek at now and then; I only went for the arts, and books and fashion anyway.

Aslett goes on:

“Keep files up to date and when you need something you won’t have to mount an expedition or perform an excavation to find something.”

“Shrines need to be tended.”………and dusted!

“Keep a piece, a symbol, or a sample of a big object or item and let go of the rest.”………….Huh???

“Storage units are the ghost towns of clutter, a testimony of shame.” …………….Oops!

“A rental unit is a kind of oversized Emotional Withdrawal Box.” ………………..Is he talking about an apartment-sized storage unit?

I laugh a lot as I read what Aslett has to say next: “A varnished horse pooh with a few wires for legs, wings, and a beak:  The “Turd Bird” @ $5.99 each which tourists flocked to the store to buy.”

“We’ve junked up simple pleasures – everything needs accessories, costly ones, or else it seems impossible to do.”

“New – improved:  it failed, and we want you to guinea-pig the second round.”………..Top Producer in the nineties anyone?

“Kids don’t get much satisfaction out of elaborate toys because there’s really not a lot a kid can do with them – toys do everything themselves.”

“Accumulate good health, talent, friends, experiences, and sensations.”

“You can get used to what you are instead of what you have.”

I followed Lagerfeld on Twitter and found this advice:  Karl Lagerfeld admits: “I try not to be sentimental and obsessive about possessions. I love collecting, but I hate owning.”

The Story of Stuff:  The Important Information in this Video must be embraced by Everyone ASAP!  Every Mother and Child is well positioned to organize and bring much-needed change into the world.

http://www.youtube.com/user/storyofstuffproject#p/a/u/2/9GorqroigqM

The Book is also available, but this short video is so thorough, we may not need to add a book to our overstuffed shelves.

Copyright © Nicole Rigets

iPages

"Frenchie"-Tulle over Fur

I consider my journals a collection of me! – in a visual and voiced format.  A formation of me; a framework generating a material composition of my days.

Working my way through fashion magazines reminds me of my teens when I reverted into them for place and inspiration.  Each glossy page announced the promise of a beautiful future.  I spotted people I needed to adopt as role models.  The pages whispered of excitement and destinations like Paris and New York.

"Lanvin & Peonies" - I Want it All!

If you see something in a magazine that makes you think of a friend, clip it out for them, and send it off with a hand-written card or note.  My friend Sonny always reaches into her handbag as soon as we sit down together for coffee out, and produces a small sheaf of magazine clips for me, to inspire me.  I rework hand-me-down jewelry into new designs by re-assembling elements from multiple pieces.  Sonny’s thoughtfulness has led me to new ways of seeing and inventing.

My friend Elaine provides me with three huge shopping bags of fashion mags and one of Vanity Fair annually.  She passes them along to me because she knows I need them for collage, and subsequently, I pass them along down the line to friends who are also artists.  I keep beautiful floral file folders available for the parts of mags I’m saving. One for articles, one for writing prompts, and one for design tips and ideas.  Oops… there’s more:  one for creative ideas for paintings and the fifth one is for photographs I admire for their lighting, composition, or novelty subjects.  Magazines make excellent reference tools when you slip a piece of silk ribbon or a lovely bookmark into the pages you’re interested in re-visiting.

Begin this art exercise by cutting out things you are attracted to for just twenty minutes. Don’t think about it.  Pretend you’ve won a shopping spree and you’re just grabbing everything you can and throwing it into your basket.  Have a pretty basket beside you and drop your clippings into it.

These will be, what I call your ipages, or your VIP’s:  Very Important Pages.  Spend ten or fifteen minutes arranging these on a few large pieces of paper.  Choose any background to attach them to.  I like pure white or lined, but you decide on the color that best resonates for you and then take a gluestick and secure them neatly to the papers.

Now lay them out and contemplate what you’re seeing.  How do you like this glimpse of your inner workings??  What shapes repeat themselves?  What colors dominate your collages? Are there ways for you to make changes in your wardrobe or environment using these ideas and objects.  A new tabletop display perhaps or outrageous accessories to liven a conservative outfit.  Take time; sit down and record your thoughts and feelings about the work you just accomplished.

"Toney Three-Button Cropped Sleeve and Leather Gloves"

Flower and garden magazines offer beauty in landscape that can be cut out and pasted over a nondescript book or journal to enhance the cover.  Used bookstores have so many bargains jumbled on shelves or tables you might want to pick up a good solid one. When you get home with it you can paste or staple a fresh sheet of paper over a page and make it presentable for attaching particles of fabric, color swatches, ribbon, stamps, photographs; the choices are unlimited.  As an alternative, gesso can be brushed over the page and left to dry, and now you have a plain white sheet to work on.  Yes, it may be a little imperfect, but in art that’s all the better to show life in matter.

Go inside your ‘new’ journal, your source and improv book, your altered book, and live between the pages for awhile.  Photograph some of your results and post the pictures inside.  Send me images to post here and we can all be inspired.  Failing that show them to your friends and help them try something new; bring them to my blog to view these examples.  I remember when I bought my first journal; I could hardly think of what to do, or write down in it, or even what to collect in it.  Now the family is horrified wondering how many truckloads it will take to clean out my studio when I… well, you know when.  How many trucks it’ll take is open for debate.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Kate Crop

"Kate Moss in Water"

Photography is written about in “Anagrams,” by Lorrie Moore.  Moore says:

“I would never understand photography, the sneaky, murderous taxidermy of it.”

This has to be one of my favorite quotes surrounding the subject.  As for me: “it’s because I keep trying to photograph the truth and realizing it’s not true.”

Above we see Kate Moss looking seal-like. Her head looks like something attached haphazardly to balloon-wear.  Resting on her “flippers” her severed legs float to the surface behind her back.  Paying no mind to any of this she smiles exuberantly at the camera.  By all means and appearances helpless why does Moss look so happy.  She must know something the viewer (those few souls who have no idea who Moss is or what she does) does not know:  a secret.  She’s not what we see:  the image lies to us.

Photographs and Sculptures have a lot in Common - a propensity for making what's not real seem life-like.
"Dried and Unfolded"

Un-chiseled and laid out in 2-D we see the real Kate Moss.  Oh, but wait a minute, don’t forget to read the background into the image. Who is that person following right behind with the worn-out pants unfashionably bulging over worn out unpolished boots? We’ll form our own opinion based on our values.  I have read on occasion of celebrity types dressing beautifully and wearing this kind of footwear with their outfit, just so they don’t look too perfect.  Someone inside is glancing backward toward us.  Is that curiosity or the ‘evil eye?’

So many questions remain unanswerable in photographs.  Every assumption about Moss will change depending on the background she is seen in.  Change the photographer and she changes.  Change the lighting and we see her in a different mood.

“Photographs are chameleons.”  (N.R. Rigets)

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Lamped in Animal Forms

Black coffee seems too serious for this read; let’s make it a latte to accompany a copy of Abigail Ahern’s book, “A Girl’s Guide to Decorating.”  Ahern’s shabby chic meets industrial high tech is lacquered, textured, papered, booked, lamped in animal forms, cushioned, collected, colored, diverse, rich, and mighty.

She advises: “Have Something that seamlessly holds it all together.  ie. a paint color, textural feature, or a personal choice of furnishings.”

Stacks of books arranged beautifully make excellent plinths for displaying favorite objects.

"I adore this photograph and the over-the-top tabletop"

Pairs create balance.

Equalizing with Chairs, Lamps, and Stools

What kind of mood do you want to set; cozy, glamorous, formal?  Something that is often overlooked is levels of lighting in a room. Lighting contributes so much to the inner realm. I have always advised hiring a professional lighting designer to make sure you achieve the look you desire.  To start: mix table, pendant, and floor lamps to mingle the light.

Intimate
Distinctive
Exactly the Right Portion of Yellow

Ahern offers ideas for all seasons and settings… when zoning in multi-use rooms make space feel more intimate by concealing areas you don’t want on view.  Use a decorative screen, free-standing bookcase, or a group of large plants to provide a simple partition.

If a physical barrier seems too obtrusive, lay different rugs in separate zones to give each area its own personality.

I chose these tips for the kitchen from her book:

Push button catches on kitchen cabinets eliminates the need for door handles… this is the answer if the room is tiny!

Glass test tubes with cork tops can be filled with spices and set into a metal rack.

Elongate kitchen cupboard doors.  This is a simple and inexpensive trick that looks indulgent and luxurious.  I’d like to see these cupboard doors painted in Warhol colors.

Ahern likes the way dark smoky colors bring sophistication.

The use of lime, primrose, and hot pink

Here are a few more of Ahern’s color palettes:

  • Burnt sienna, damson, raspberry and pink.
  • Nutmeg, stone, pink, pecan, and chocolate.
  • Bronze, azure, deep grey and pearly white.
  • Salmon, buff, ochre and sage.

I like to collect paint chips and turn them into assemblages on the blank face, white pages of journals with jazzy covers.  Scissors, glue stick, imagination and possibly even a thin black felt pen:  now I have all the tools I need to keep me busy for hours.  I like to take these things with me when I go downtown so I can experiment with shape and composition over a coffee and a chocolate almond biscotti.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Forensic Eight Year Old Uncovers a Magical Substance

Carsen was playing on the black chair in the livingroom enjoying the soft texture of it.  He was rubbing his hands up and down the back of it when he thought he’d like to swipe his hands across the tops of the arms.  “Oh look!”, he said, “Dust poufs going up to heaven.”

“Oh Great!”, I said silently – so much for my housekeeping.  The forensic eight year old uncovers my bad habits and a cloud of dust.

Dust:  A magical substance from another universe that could awaken people in the film, “The Golden Compass”; alchemy.

Dust:  Blown into rooms and onto furniture by the movement of air or wind; the ordinary.

Dust:  Dirt roads; earth.

Dust:  Covering the city in New York after 9-11; explosions.

Dust:  The bones of the dead ‘Clefts’:  females from Doris Lessing’s Book, ‘The Cleft’.

Notes I made after reading ‘The Cleft’.

  • This story was a Genesis (better than the version in Bibles).  It’s the way the first book in Bibles should have been written:  and I’m not kidding!
  • Men and Women – we cannot live without each other, procreation aside.
  • Women don’t seek change, but men do.
  • Men cannot be bothered with details.
  • Men are living fearlessly.
  • Women wait for men.  (I found a spelling error; this sentence originally read:  Women wail for men.)
  • Women hold fear.
  • Memory; oral and auditory, versus Marks; written and recorded.
  • Impermanence is infinite.
  • Perishing is surface.
  • Change is not in our control; it is in the hands of nature and the forces of evolution.

I never dreamed I could love a story of this genre so much. The internet offers kudos and criticisms that made it even more interesting for me to follow having read the book first.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/jan/07/fiction.dorislessing Harold Bloom once accused Lessing of ‘a crusade against male human beings’ but she has always resisted the designation of feminist novelist on the grounds that she is as coolly unsentimental about women as she is about men and unafraid of political incorrectness. There will, no doubt, be some (enthusiasts of the great monotheistic religions, for instance, in which male primacy seems to be a pretty key ingredient) who will take a Bloom-like view of The Cleft as a kind of feminist tract. But, in reality, this is a novel that appears to have no political allegiance, beyond a statement that women came first. She suggests that the capacity for cruelty and self-defence has as much potential to take hold of women as it does men.

http://evesalexandria.typepad.com/eves_alexandria/2007/02/squirts_on_the_.html Last Saturday Ursula Le Guin lambastedDoris Lessing’s new novel The Cleft in the Guardian Review as ‘a parable of slobbering walrus-women’, and went on to conclude:

‘I can’t accept it. It is incomplete; it is deeply arbitrary; and I see in it little but a reworking of a tiresome science-fiction cliché – a hive of mindless females is awakened and elevated (to the low degree of which the female is capable) by the wondrous shock of masculinity. A tale of Sleeping Beauties – only they aren’t even beautiful. They’re a lot of slobbering walruses, till the Prince comes along.’

Which side are you on?

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets


Don’t Think Small-Think Big: The Biggest War is Yet to be Fought!

"Monsanto's Seeds of Distinction will Cause Our Extinction"

Genetically Engineered GMO seeds and foods have been a source of misery for my soul for a very long time.

But even if the GE-seeds did deliver what was promised, the real problem with them are the patents they come with. “The biotech companies are monopolizing seeds themselves, actually privatizing the DNA of life.  They sell the GE-seeds at many times the price of normal seeds.  In India, where Bt-cotton farmers have been committing suicide in huge numbers because of debt, Monsanto sells Bt-cotton seed at 1000% higher than normal seeds”.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousands-Indian-farmers-committing-suicide-using-genetically-modified-crops.html.

Please check out this short and direct explanation of how Monsanto is Round-ing up alfalfa and systematically eliminating each individual’s right to choose between conventional and organic foods.  Alfalfa is a main source of cattle feed and as this GMO mutant rapidly pollutes organic fields people who are fearful of, “mad cow disease” will no longer have the option to buy organic beef. Three comments (and ‘Moi’) follow this post at the link below and they contain excellent information.

http://dcprogressive.org/2010/01/25/food-reg/

Do we want to find our hands bound by losing ownership to the seeds of life?  Will we tolerate one publicly traded company to control whether or not we’ll eat, how much we’ll eat, how much we’ll pay to eat, and whether our grandchildren and beyond live or die because just maybe the GMO experiment fails because its mutations even to date cannot be controlled or predicted.

Read:  Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

Oryx and Crake explores developments in science and technology.  This society, which not only tolerates but promotes such extreme commercialization and commodification of life, has also produced an exacerbated gap between rich and poor, as well as the commodification of human life and sexuality. Oryx and Crake does not depend on imagining new scientific or technological discoveries; the novel merely extrapolates on the basis of technologies that are, in principle, available today and carries current social and economic developments and their attendant ethical choices to their radical conclusions.”   (Wikipedia)

I seldom post an alert for my viewers yet I believe the underbelly of Monsanto needs to be exposed as the out-growth of impending catastrophe gains momentum.  Shun GMO products and let your circle of influence know about Monsanto’s determination to become the one-party ruler creating the world’s monstrous reign of terror and domination.

Thank you all for making February my best month since I began blogging last year in mid-November.  XXOO   My family’s happy: less harping, more blogging.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

What Jeans are You Wearing this Season?

The first question is: "What jeans are you wearing this season?"

It’s the beginning of the question session at Vancouver College of Art and Design.  I have been invited to talk to Fashion Merchandising students about my art and process by Jannette Maedel who is teaching these students fashion writing.

  • I wear Acne jeans!

Is the beginning of your design process the same every time?  Describe your process.

  • My process is always changing and evolving; fueled by my emotional nature.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

  • From nature, lucid dreams, the history of art and design, cultural – visual milieux.

Do you ever fear that you will run out of ideas?

  • No – never!  I fear I’ll run out on my life’s timeline.

Who do you do your art for:  yourself or an audience?

  • I do my art for myself because I can’t not do it:  it’s pervasive and permeates all that I am.   I like others to see the work and experience it.

How long does it take to complete a piece of art?

  • From 27 minutes all the way through to no boundaries of time (infinite).  Every project is unique.  Each one depends on process, and process depends on the following factors:  money, research, support, supplies, environment, market, resolution, time sensitivity, and the ‘Artist’s Zeitgeist’.

What was the last book that you read?  Did it influence your work?

  • ‘Second Sight’ by Judith Orloff, M.D.  Orloff is a psychiatrist and psychic who tells a compelling story revealing her courageous journey to embrace her psychic gifts.  All of us are born with psychic abilities and this ground-breaking book will show you how to recognize psychic experiences in your everyday life.  The book is hard to put down.  It’s had a powerful effect on me and I’ll likely see its influence on me as my work evolves.

Do you keep some of your art or give any of it away?

  • I donate at times to fundraisers.  Some has been given away.

Do you listen to music when you work?

  • Usually I have music playing.  I listen to jazz – sometimes blues or classical.

What do you mean by, “Harmony is a velvet universe?”

  • Years ago when I first said this, I believed peace could be universally achieved.  More recently I feel my belief to be purely utopian.  Warring parties have existed for-ever and my words are my wish, they’re my divine dream, my intent.  I want to fell weapons with mindfulness and love. Wesley, a student in yesterday’s class, has written: “As hard as we all try to make the world a perfect place it will never happen.  I once heard that angels need demons…and it’s true; how do we know we’re doing good if there is no bad to compare it to?” www.wesleyjbarisoff.blogspot.com February 17th, 2010 ‘is it just me or is it harder to breathe?

What specifically in the natural beauty of Vancouver inspired you with your work?

  • Mountains, the sea in all its moods, trees, flowers and flowering shrubs.  I have invented a color called: “Vancouver Grey.”  It is a distinct color I see all around me in our atmosphere.  This perfectly balanced neutral shade needs to be manufactured to compete with “Payne’s Gray”. “Vancouver Grey” weather makes an outstanding background for photographs; it reflects detail and adds extra depth.  Shoot when it’s overcast.

Who are your favorite artists?

  • Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, Hannah Hoch, Alexander Calder, Edouard Manet…too many to list.  I used to sit for hours in the fine arts section of the Library at the University of British Columbia in the late nineties and pour through every book, over and over, page by page until my head was reeling with colors and lines and tangles of inspiration.  This old building that housed the library designated a large concrete room to visual arts.  I very much felt like I was below ground. The few windows were inside and small.  The glass was frosted and all the panes had chicken wire fastened over them.  I loved moving a stool along the aisles and sitting hunched over under flickering fluorescent lights dreaming of all I could construct.  I could hear the dark. The cold weather rained on the other side of the walls and this was like music to mentally create by. Strangely, I seemed to be the only one in there late at night which added another dimension to time and art absorbing me and taking me in fully.

When you were a child, did you dream of being who you are now?  How did your dreams and expectations shape the person you are today?

  • When I was a child I was skittish; abrupt noises, adults, energy fields…often caused me to experience anxiety, moods, and sometimes fatigue.  My dreams were relentless, aggressive toward me, and saturated with color.  I’m passionate about continually learning and doing new things; this has kept me shape-shifting as life unfolds.

What are your favorite styles in photography?

  • Still Life, Social Landscape, Street Photography, Milieux of Cities and People, Reflections, Fashion and Nudes.

What tools do you have “on-the-go” for inspiration?

  • Color always, and a jillion beads, trinkets, buttons, drawers full of saved paper, dried bones and flowers, one dead bird, photographs, magazines, books everywhere, my Maternal Grandmother’s Love Letters, rivers of sentimental clutter and a narrow path to navigate through.  Sometimes I feel “crazy overwhelmed” with it all, yet I know I would be depressed and despondent without it. These papered boxes, tablescapes, and shelves are reminisces of people, places, times, and everything in my life.  Even the insides of the cabinets look like collage.  As a full-time artist, I cannot relate to all my clutter as a conglomeration, when I can “legally” call it an “assemblage”.

When you write, do you prefer writing in a quiet place or do you write anywhere?

  • I write anywhere, everywhere; sometimes even as I walk. I always tuck a few index cards into my pocket or purse when I go out so I can make notes and record observations.

I love your poem about the pair of jeans.  What inspired you to write about that?

  • ‘A Pair of Jeans’, came through while I was sitting in a group at Emily Carr.  We had been meditating and doing warm-up exercises when this flowed through the tip of my pen.  Poetry comes through me at odd times.  I don’t sit down to write poems. Someone said the poem reminded her of Rita Wong’s voice in ‘monkeypuzzle’.

Wong’s poetry often addresses her relationship with her environment. Her poems show a close connection with nature and a support for local product, while expressing distaste for genetically modified foods. In forage, her poem ‘the girl who ate rice almost every day’ encourages the reader to look up Monsanto in the US patent database, and see how many patents there are for genetically modified foods, including the type of foods affected. There is also a poem, ‘canola queasy’ dedicated to Percy Schmeiser, the Saskatchewan farmer sued by Monsanto because genetically engineered canola blew into his fields. Her work challenges the reader to think about how they effect their environment. (Wikipedia). I see now from the excerpt above that Wong and I share the same sentiments regarding seeds as life and death.  Over the weekend I will post an image with text I’ve created Re:  Monsanto.

What advice do you have for young artists and designers?

  • Be 100% yourself!  Be authentic, explore, read, be curious.  Delve into photo and art history for inspiration, then put your own twist on it.

Having written this up as a blog, I noticed these questions could be used to draft an Artist Statement.  Go for it!!

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets