THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE A LITERARY & ART JOURNAL VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 2 AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2021
Art • Words • Ideas
Cover art: Danit Melman Shaked, Trails, 2020
The Purposeful Mayonnaise is intended as an online journal that anyone with an internet connection can access from anywhere in the world.
@ 2021 The Purposeful Mayonnaise Copyright for all published content is held by the authors/artists. All rights reserved.
WELCOME A short note from the editor
Welcome to our second issue of The Purposeful Mayonnaise Journal! This time, we tried to go loosely in the direction of "TENDER / DELICATE," and we want to thank everyone who entrusted us with their work. When we proposed these concepts, our motivation was an intellectual curiosity to find out how other artists approach them. Therefore, we left this issue's theme entirely open to the submitting artists' interpretation. Surviving the brutal and harsh daily realities requires ruggedness and toughness, which end up dominating our existence to an overwhelming degree, to the point where the softer qualities of being, vital as well, can be diminished almost to erasure. Within the pages of this issue, we attempt to restore balance by creating a refuge where the sensitive and affectionate can be appreciated. Our mission is to bring you a new issue overflowing with art, words, ideas. Here, you will find the works of more than fifty artists from over twenty countries. We start off with two delicate pieces by Inês Matos, and we end with the visually rich "Messdeck" section. We speak with the multimedia visual artist Rebecca Casement about her sculptures and installations. We lose track of time immersed in Ivan Strelkin's essay "Seventeen postcards to Kasija." We feast on images and words from Mark Blickley, Clara Bolle, Ruby Deady Ridge, Charlie J. Meyers, Danit Melman Shaked and many more incredibly talented artists and writers. We hope you'll find in this brand new issue a perfect companion for the late summer months.
Anda Marcu Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Words • Ideas
Inês Matos 6 Tamir David 7 Artist Interview: Rebecca Casement 9 Samin Ahmadzadeh 20 Amelia K Fulton 26 Tonya Dee McDaniel 31 Eva Wang 32 Hakan Lidbo 34 Nina Seidel 35 Tiana Traffas 36 Cindy Ruskin 38 Charlie J. Meyers 40 Danit Melman Shaked 49 Sona Sahakian 53 Melina Gómez 54 Ryan Andrew Lee 56 Robert Matejcek 59 Gabriela-Alexandra Munoz 62 [ART] The Messdeck 85
Mark Blickley 17 Ruby Deady Ridge 23 Nina Testaverde 28 Jeri Frederickson 55 Rafaël Barnwell* 57 Erin Lorandos 61 Shloka Shankar* 78 Ashima Srivastava 79 Sanghamitra Tomar 84
* regular contributor
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Art & Words Belgrade Art Studio Online residency 42 Clara Bolle* 51 Ivan Strelkin 64
ART: INÊS MATOS
Title of the work: Transplanted (diptych), 2021 Medium: Relied Print, Dried Flowers, Rubber Brand, 5 x 25 cm
Inês Matos: I am drawing personal experiences motivated by issues of the limit of the relationship between space and the work of art and the paradoxical concept that images can represent the invisible. I seek to apply a poetic approach in every work, giving special attention to the presence of error and randomness. My work has been a progressive learning experience around the ability to deal with eventualities. In a practical approach to these ideas, I rely on techniques such as printmaking and painting. The reproductive print is opposed to the spontaneity of the creative act, demanding from the reproduction a correct performance. In this sense, the task of translating ideas into the paper has been leading me to reflect on the role of contemporary printmaking and how traditional techniques can communicate with the times we live in. With this work, I want to reflect upon the potential beyond fixed boundaries. "Transplanted" is not about being "frozen" in time but instead is a metaphor for ideas of nature in a world on the cusp of massive geopolitical transformation. It does not celebrate the absence of a fixed soil, a permanent accommodation. Instead, it seeks to manage the tensions and the nostalgia caused by the impossibility of going back in time. The hopelessness in finding a place to call home is held up by the presence of a horizon. But this stability is still nothing more than an illusion. Website: http://inesdiasmatos.great-site.net Instagram: @inesdiasmatos PAGE 6 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: TAMIR DAVID
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Tamir David: My art is dark. It is the inner workings of distress: cultural, personal, existential. My works point towards an alternative reality where the Inside is out, and deep scars can be worn with pride. I find it where the inner world meets reality, where culture meets nature and when life meets death. I draw from personal experience of post-trauma and displacement and by viewing my environment. I work from life or from visual references, either current or historic. I seek improbable heroes in unexpected places as subjects. The end result is a hybrid of the mental and physical realms coinciding. Website: tamirdavid.com Instagram: @tamirdav
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Rebecca Casement is a multimedia visual artist that creates affective abstract sculptures and installations using ceramics, mixed media, sound, and textiles. Her work beautifully calls to attention the moments in life that alter who you are and how you see the world. Website: www.rebeccacasement.com Instagram: @rmcasement_art Photo credit: Allison Miller
Tell us a bit about yourself... I am a Michigan artist currently living in Flint, but I grew up in rural central Michigan. As long as I can remember I have enjoyed making and building things, but I didn’t actually pursue art formally until I was 36. I had reached a crossroads in my life at that time and decided to go back to school to become an art teacher. During my first year I took a 3D form class and a ceramics class and fell in love with sculpture. It seemed to come naturally to me. I was able to make what I was feeling without the self-induced demand for perfection. My whole trajectory changed and I pursued a MFA instead. As I was learning new skills I leaned into the imperfections and used them to emulate life. The installation work began about 5 years later simply because I was interested in the challenge of it. I like that I can create a space that envelopes the viewer both physically and emotionally/psychologically. It has proven to be a natural progression to the stand-alone sculptures that I create. I think, to my benefit, I didn’t know the “rules” of art school and the art world in general before I set out on this journey. This has allowed me to do things in a way that feels authentic to me and not get too caught up in what is the “right” way. PAGE 9 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
Plaster form #1-detail, 2020, mixed media, 23”x33”x23”
What themes or ideas do you pursue in your work? How we interact with each other is at the conceptual core of my work. Some people don’t fit well together, some support each other, some destroy each other. I show the results of the negative interactions, but I balance that with a call for community, humanity, and care. I think that right now we are really seeing the need to feel connected on a more intimate and personal level. Even before the Covid -19 pandemic there was a growing desire to have spaces where people could hang out, work together, and socialize outside of the digital realm. Coffee shops, maker’s spaces, and community gardens are all physical manifestations of this desire for connection. By creating sculptures that are in dialogue with either parts of themselves or to other sculptures via color, texture, material, or proximity, I construct a visual connectedness. Accentuating or subverting these visual cues gives the sense of inclusion or isolation. Layering all of these elements establishes a storyline of how our interactions can create or destroy connections between people. We each grapple with hardness vs softness, malleability vs rigidity in both how we act with each other and how we respond to hurts that we have experienced. I’m always trying to draw those connections out in my work in order to create a dialogue about our personal and societal responsibilities to others.
Reclamations, 2020, 14’x48’x14’ | Photo credit: Aaron Word
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Can you tell us about your process and materials? I think it’s the relational process with my materials that I most enjoy. I don’t force them to be what I want. Like learning from another person and responding to who they are, I watch and respond to my sculptures as I am creating them. I wait for the push and pull that shows me where I should leave something raw and visceral and where I should explore and refine it. Material studies are one of the most important aspects of my art practice. Materials carry societal histories: plaster gauze is used in the repair of things that are broken, textiles are used to cover and comfort, clay is utilitarian and reliable, metal is strong and used to support or enclose/encase. I utilize these ingrained material histories to create an illusion of hardness and softness in order to echo the body in various emotive forms. A variety of materials are used and interwoven to represent our varied experiences and histories, and then they are pushed until weaknesses are revealed. In the process, the “scar” symbolizes potential, even beauty. A new strength is found.
Elysium, 2020, white earthenware ceramic, 13”x15”x11”
How Will You Know, 2020, red earthenware ceramic, 7”x12”x5”
Panacea, 2020, white earthenware ceramic, 10”x17”x10”
How did your practice and evolve over the years? Did your preference for certain materials change at all? I began working almost exclusively in ceramics. I love the texture and fragility of clay. It records touch in a way that allows me to mimic physical interactions between people. But I found, in my practice, that there were limitations in only using clay. I needed to broaden my visual vocabulary and the scale of my work. PAGE 11 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
This pushed me to move outward into many different materials. I still utilize clay regularly, but I now create with a focus less on what I can make with a particular material and more on finding which materials work together the best to create a cohesive visual dialogue.
Studio Shot | Photo credit: Allison Miller
Tell us about a typical day in the studio. I work best in the morning and early afternoon. I always start with cleaning my studio. It helps to clear my mind and focus it on the work that I need to do next. My sculptures often utilize layering of materials, so I begin with applying the next layer to whatever I have already been working on. After that, I start new work. By then, my mind is sharp and focused on not only the physical work but also the intellectual and conceptual part of it. I used to push myself to work until it was time to go to bed, but I’ve found over time that this isn’t beneficial to me. I am learning to nurture the whole person. Now I take the evenings to relax and read something that I really enjoy or spend time outdoors.
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Do you actively search for inspiration or wait for inspiration to find you? It ends up being a mix of both. Most of the time the initial idea comes from a personal experience, but I don’t tend to leave it there. I want to create a connectedness between the viewer and the work. I am always trying to form a sense of community and understanding through shared emotions.
Potential, 2020, mixed media, 28”x16”x21”
After I decide on the emotion or experience that I want to focus on, I then search for textures, things found in nature, and materials that inspire another way of seeing and expressing those concepts.
Disregarded, 2019, cotton, steel, plastic, 24”x12”x1” PAGE 13 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
In your statement, you say “As a woman, touch is central to my exploration as an artist.” Could you elaborate on that? As a woman and a mother, I use my body to nurture, comfort, and heal. As an artist, I try to do the same. I choose to create art that is predominately made using only my hands and with materials that are traditionally used by women. I focus on how my handprints are left in the work. Is it an aggressive or gentle mark? Does it evoke comfort or distress? Imprinted in my art is how we use our bodies and our words to harm and heal; to be left with scars, but still breathe. My forms almost always represent bodies as vessels. The body is an archive of all verbal and physical actions inflicted upon it. The forms expose the consequences of these histories visibly on our bodies, but also in the places inside us that can’t be seen so clearly. They represent all of the things we hold inside ourselves. The private, the painful, the joyful, the intimate. They hold our personal histories and our collective history as people.
Bandsaw blades series-detail, 2020, steel, cotton PAGE 14 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
Would you say other artists or art genres have influenced your sense of aesthetics? If yes, how? I don’t know if there are artists who have influenced my aesthetics exactly, but there are certainly ones who have inspired me in other ways. Hannah Wilke’s Intra-Venus series, a photographic record of her physical transformation and deterioration resulting from lymphoma really changed how I went about difficult subject matter. Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse are inspirational in their exploration with materials and process. Iris Van Herpen breaks boundaries in fashion by utilizing techniques and materials in really innovative ways. Honestly, I could go on and on. Learning from and celebrating other creatives is essential in my practice. It pushes me to never become complacent, to keep experimenting with materials in different ways, and to constantly view the world from new perspectives.
Hard To Swallow, 2018, white stoneware, glass, plastic, steel, 18" x 10" x 6" | Photo credit: Alex Nichols
Accumulations series, ongoing, resin, found materials | Photo credit: Allison Miller
What is your dream project? (let’s say, in an ideal world where money, time, space were not a constraint) I would love to do more large-scale permanent installation work. I really enjoy working on a project for a long period of time and then seeing it come to life around me. There is always that element of suspense and uncertainty because there is no way to see how it will look in the space until it is there. Being able to work on something like that from conception through installation is exhilarating.
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Tell us a bit about the future (any plans, projects, news). I am slowly working on a new body of work that is utilizing repurposed paper mache spheres from my Reclamations installation. The challenge of both repurposing old pieces and creating new dialogues within them is exciting. It is the part of my creative practice that is challenging my brain right now. I like to have a few different things going at once. This allows me to move to a project that I am more comfortable with (like my ongoing ceramic sculptures) if I get stuck. I can think through what I want to do with one project while still being creative and making work. The other thing that I have in the mix is that I have just created A Strange Landscape, a platform that celebrates makers and materials. Its purpose is to showcase artists utilizing materials and processes in interesting and innovative ways. I’ve created the social media elements for it so that I can begin featuring artists and I’m working on the website now. I’ve been thinking about this project for a long time, and getting social media up is pushing me to just be bold and do it. Celebrating and encouraging other creatives is one of my passions. This platform is a way for me to do that in a more meaningful and archival way. I’m hoping it will be a great resource for other makers and an enjoyable platform for anyone who appreciates seeing what others create.
When You Go (a part of us goes with you), 2018, red earthenware ceramic, sandstone, wood, 36”x9”x9 | Photo credit: Alex Nichols PAGE 16 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
Without Words – detail, 2019, 24’x10’x17’ | Photo credit: Alex Nichols
WORDS • IDEAS: MARK BLICKLEY
The Pigeon Man Sings by Mark Blickley It’s freezing outside. I’d say my fingers feel like icicles, but the truth is, I can’t feel them at all, they’re so numb. I’ve tried to toss the popcorn with my gloves on but it doesn’t work. You can’t aim. It always falls to the ground in a clump and that means the stronger and greedier pigeons crowd out the weaker ones. My name’s Wendell Mandanay and though I’ve lived in this neighborhood for nearly seventy years, most folks know me as the Pigeon Man. Kids sometimes taunt me. They shout ‘Pigeon Man! Pigeon Man!’ like it was something I should be ashamed of. But I don’t think they mean any harm. They’re just bored, that’s all, though I do get upset when they throw stones at the birds. I’ve been feeding pigeons for eighteen years. I try not to miss a day. Sometimes my shoulder acts up, starts really hurting, and it’s too painful to even put my coat on. That’s when the pigeons miss a meal. Those kind of days seem to be more frequent lately, and I feel bad for the birds. My shoulder problems come from forty years of carrying a mail sack for this city. I’m not complaining. I enjoyed being a mailman when I handed folks a letter that made them smile. Some days my letters made them cry. When I was a younger letter carrier that used to bother me, but as I got older, I realized bad news traveling through the mails is kind of like the weather—sometimes you can predict it but you can never change it. Three months ago I moved into the Senior Citizen Housing the city opened last year. It’s okay. The rent’s real cheap and it is closer to the park. Up until now I’ve ignored all the group activities the Seniors’ Commission have organized. Mostly they’ve been bingo games and chartered buses to the casinos at Atlantic City. I’m not a gambling man. Heck, I’d never have bet I’d live as long as I have. And what were the odds that me, Wendell Mandanay, twelve years older than my wife, Anna, would outlive her by eighteen years? Do you know that after dozens of years of living with that woman the thing I miss most about her is her smile? Lately the days seem to be getting darker quicker and I’m not so sure it’s because of winter. That’s why I’ve decided to tell a secret I’ve kept for nearly twenty years. PAGE 17 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
The day after I buried my wife, I stopped eating. I didn’t plan to stop feeding myself; it just happened. I enjoyed the taste of certain foods and had earned considerable praise for my cooking skills, but now the only taste I desired was beer. And plenty of it. All I had to do was pick up the phone and thirty minutes later there’d be a case of it outside my door. When Anna was alive we enjoyed taking walks and entertaining in our home. But these days I kept close company with the television set. I’d spend most of the time laying on the couch, sipping beer and listening to the TV. The television talked at me day and night. Sometimes I’d awaken in the morning or the afternoon or at night and to my surprise recall the exact content of programs overheard in my sleep. The neighbors grew concerned. Every couple of days it seemed someone would knock on my door. I’d rouse myself from the couch, place the beer bottles on the floor beneath the coffee table and quietly answer the door. “Good afternoon, Wendell.” “It is a fine afternoon.” “How are things going, Wendell?” “I’d say about three hundred and sixty degrees.” “Is there anything I can get you, Wendell?” “As a matter of fact, there is.” “What is it, Wendell? What do you need?” “I could use a smile. Whenever I answer a knock, I never see one. Everybody always looks so upset, so nervous.” “That’s because we’re worried about you, Wendell.” “But it’s all the unhappy faces at my door that makes me worry.” “If I can be of any assistance, Wendell, you know where to find me.” “Thank you. But to find you would mean that I lost you and I hope our friendship never comes to that. Good afternoon.” I just wanted to be left alone. When Anna died not only did I lose my appetite, but I stopped cleaning up our apartment. And then I stopped cleaning myself. About a month or so after my wife’s funeral I was watching a nature show on Public Television. It was all about pigeons. I was sleepy, a little groggy, and didn’t pay much attention. Not too much sunk in. Or so I thought. When I woke up the next morning (or a few hours later) and went to the fridge for a beer, I kept hearing the narrator’s voice in my head. He was telling me things like: Pigeons usually mate for life, rearing squabs season after season, often for ten years or longer. All pigeons naturally love to bathe and to keep their feathers clean and shining. Pigeons do not overeat.
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Mated pigeons are generally more productive if the male is decidedly older than the female.
I thought it was strange remembering that program because I always hated pigeons. To me they were nothing more than flying rats. And let me tell you, they made my life miserable when I was a mailman. I quickly forgot about the birds when I discovered I was down to my last three bottles of beer. When I phoned the corner liquor store, they refused to deliver. I owed them money from the last bill. This meant I had to go out to get it. And going outside was the last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t want to get cleaned and dressed, yet I didn’t want people to see me like that. So I compromised by taking a shave and hiding the rest of myself under a hat and an overcoat Anna had dry-cleaned for me. It was still in its plastic bag. After pouring two bottles of beer down my throat I closed the door behind me. On the way to liquor store I saw a huge flock of pigeons. Some wretch had dumped bags of garbage in front of my building and the birds were having a feast. They were all gobbling up that garbage except for this one bird. He had his back to the food and looked like he was tucked real tight inside his feathers. I walked around to face him. I wasn’t in front of him more than two seconds when he lifts his beak and stares up at my face. I got such a chill looking at his eyes, and this was in the middle of August! I tried to walk away but couldn’t. The pigeon wouldn’t let me go. That’s when I realized the bird wasn’t eating because he’d lost his mate. So I kneeled down, a bit unsteady from the beer I’d just drunk and the heavy overcoat, and gave him a pep talk. I told him to stop feeling sorry for himself, to stop punishing himself because his wife would hate to see him like that. I whispered that his wife had a husband she could respect and it was unfair to her memory if he became a bird that couldn’t be respected. And don’t you know the pigeon starts bobbing his head like he’s agreeing with me. So I stood up and hurried over to the grocery store for some birdseed. When I returned, he was gone. The other birds were still pecking at the garbage, but my pigeon had disappeared. Being out in the fresh air must’ve made me hungry. That night I cooked myself a big supper. The next day I began to feed the pigeons, just in case my bird was part of a hungry flock.
*** Mark Blickley is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and PEN American Center. His latest book is the text-based art collaboration with fine arts photographer Amy Bassin, Dream Streams. PAGE 19 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: SAMIN AHMADZADEH
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Samin Ahmadzadeh is an Iranian artist based in London. She completed her MA in Photography at Central Saint Martin's in 2013. Samin assimilates archival photographs into evocative, interwoven images; these private mementoes generate public discourses around the interconnection of identity, experience and memory across time and cultures. Her work is collected internationally and has been exhibited in America, Iran, UK, France, Netherlands and Spain. Artist Statement: My work is mainly based on weaving archival photographs together, focusing on the broader concepts of memory and cultural identity. I explore how the memory of our experiences can contribute to our perceived identities. I apply the interwoven images to birch plywood surfaces that are then sanded and varnished, resulting in a three-dimensional object. Weaving has become synonymous with my practice, becoming a motif within my work. The process of physically manipulating portraits allows me to explore the relationship between form, colour and surface to illustrate my ideas on memory. I attempt to describe people's memories, and the weavings are a pictorial description of the memory process. Photography, for me, is the documentation of who we are, what we do, a record of a moment in time. While the photographic medium is the starting point of my practice, I experiment with image manipulation to better illustrate my ideas concerning cross-cultural perspectives on identity. All works are handwoven photographs on birch plywood and varnished. Website: www.samin-ahmadzadeh.com Instagram: @samin_ahmadzadeh PAGE 22 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
WORDS: RUBY DEADY RIDGE From Epithelial to Stream, 2021 Waiting for the drips to drop from epithelial to stream the bold elixir stirring something tender notes of cat's medication still on my lists but none of her fur on my jeans. Flashes of nana's hospital bed just behind my eyes. Planning the incoming audacity to share my thoughts my feelings my spit your neck my neck my chest less rolling in the trough of the wave less rolling in the trough of the wave, Marlon says. Hands on thighs and pressures on thoughts: Go on, intrude. Jeans and shirts and bras and necks intrude down a loud red carpet of silent stubbornness. The elixir crashes through; skim the heavenly surf. You can devour me, if you like. You can have it. I'll try something different. Poems on paper and swims in mud: Public art and private pain: we indulge. I don't find her hair anymore. Not on black T-shirts, or folded linen, or armchairs, or tea towels On bed spreads, on carpets, or on jeans. No one told me about that bit. No one ever said the doors would still creak without a paw to politely push them. No one ever said her white clouds of fur, scattered so thickly, for so long, around the house, would be gone as quickly and as softly as she left. Let me play this back and redo it. Let me grieve her before I lose her. Let me lose her gradually, softly, like tearing cotton. Let the sun set behind faint spring cloud, so that we see a descending glow, easy on the eyes, warm on the soul. Shred up her death into small thermal fibres, so small my fingertips can brush over, ignore the splinters.
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A Tinder Raincheck Hi, I apologise profusely And somehow confusingly Had not anticipated This day Being Hard. No, you didn’t ask intrusively, Totally within your right, But its been ten years. Ten years and this shouldn’t be noteworthy. This should not warrant this text. Ten years and its really dragging out. But it’s ten years since I felt real family, And ten years since I first entered that type of drought. Ten years since her flat and her garden and her cake, My uncles, aunties, cousins and, of late, Family deemed that purely out of obligation, Her, holding each strand with thinly veiled desperation. Ten years since those strong, large hands let go, Unravelled that woolly threadI’m rambling and, again, apologise profusely, But once I get going it feels like that Tuesday, Pulled out of school, into Central Mid, A blur of white walls, secured doors, drooped eyelids. Where she’d worked, an immigrant, Gave birth to seven babies, Said goodbye to her son, her husband, and now maybe- me. I’d never met someone that tired, I’d never met someone for a final time. Ten years since I looked into her puffy old eyes, And could think of nothing other than to tell her “I’m fine”. I wasn’t, not for a while. It’s grey from here on in, I’m afraid. Probs a relief to you; now I get vague. No hand pulled me out; And so descended a fog, My sad boat set sail, drifting through a damp bog. Quicksand underfoot, my leg fell under; I wavered, maroonded, squandered. Reschedule? Yes. Let’s!
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Spilled Ink, 2016 It's all just spilled ink Over pint glasses And sticky floors Rickety tables And grim toilets The echoes on the cobbles as we run down London mews The comfort in the sloppy hug that will last forever It's all just spilled ink that will fade Hiccuping mumbled concerns Maybe just one more drink Blinking back alcohol tears, Sitting still to stop the spinning It's all just spilled ink The climb of the hill as the sun breaks The fumble for the oyster card as we board the night bus Our stallion Galloping through the empty streets to our beds Curled up on the front seat just heads and shoulders and warmth Whispered secrets and hazy plans for our last summer It's all just spilled ink.
Ruby Deady Ridge is a 23-year-old Actor and Writer of Irish heritage from North West London. She has collaborated on multiple productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as both Stage Manager, Writer and Actor. She takes a special interest in comedy and left-wing politics, and shares probably a bit too much about both on her Instagram, @rubydeadyridge. PAGE 25 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: AMELIA K FULTON
Medical tools, 2016, pointillism, 7 hours Ink on paper
Iris, 2021, pointillism, 40 hours ink on paper
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Heart, 2020, pointillism, 140 hours, ink on paper,
My name is Amelia K Fulton and I'm a 20-something-year-old Australian artist living and working in the UK. I dabble in a lot, but predominantly work with ceramics, lino-carving and do pointillism works. I've also been known to do loom weavings and painting. My art predominantly uses ink on paper, be that drawing or relief printing with forays into ceramics and digital art, fibre art and painting. I am most interested in creating with minute detail and folding moments of seeing more and noticing more, into the viewers' experience. My art reflects and explores my awe and fascination of the natural world and explores the earth's gentle mysticism and solemn intricacy that is birthed every day in the environments around us. It holds up a lens to the magic of intricate, perfect design and our relationship with it as the human race. Mythology and cultural beliefs play a large role in my relief printing practice while my pointillism is influenced more by realism, however both project a purposeful focus on the detailed, natural intricacies of living things. I endeavour to be intentional with the details I impress upon paper or build with my hands, using my art as a method for my own exploration and observation, more as an effort to spend time truly seeing the facets of environment, life and objects. Website: www.ameliakfulton.com Instagram: @ameliak_fulton PAGE 27 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
WORDS • IDEAS: NINA TESTAVERDE Nina Testaverde Excerpts from Japan
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Nina Testaverde is a mixed-media visual artist based in Rome, Italy. My current collection of musings, Excerpts From Japan, is a written work of wabisabi, exploring the imperfection, impermanence and simplicity in the connection with environment. Instagram: @ninatestaverde PAGE 30 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: TONYA DEE MCDANIEL
Blooming, digitized analog collage, 2020
Honey, digitized analog collage, 2020
Tonya Dee McDaniel is a undergrad Fine Arts student studying at the University of Guam and is drawn to the surrealistic imaginary of collage. She currently resides in Sinajana, Guam where she keeps a growing collection of old magazines and picture books. Artist Statement: Like dreams, my art is fleeting and a bit surreal. My collages are handmade with clean, precise cuts and careful placement, but then taken apart as quickly as they were constructed. Although I dabble in more traditional subjects and mediums such as charcoal, ink, and printmaking, I have a playful impulse to alter what already exists and reimagine the world as I see fit. Website: tonyadeemcdaniel.wixsite.com/website Instagram: @tonyadee_art
A Girl and Her Goldfish, digitized analog collage, 2020
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ART: EVA WANG
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Eva Wang was born in China. After obtaining a Graduate Diploma in Fine Art with distinction from the Royal College of Art, she is currently studying for a Master of Letters in Fine Art Practice at the Glasgow School of Art. She is a contemporary photographer using emotions to connect with the world. HOME shows the conflict of dependant and against in my relationship with my mother or father, shown by the combination of stuffing and nails. Home is usually thought of as a positive existence. Therefore, a distant shot only captures the fluffy feature. Only when people get close can they see the conflicts, revealed by the close-up shots that show the nails. I depend on the floor to stand up while the tension between my foot and nails brings a sense of "against." The shoes indicate that I have the choice to leave, but it takes courage and pain. The visualization of the shape of a stuffing room is inspired by the wool house built by the Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop (AUW). The supportive side of the home is mainly a physical shelter, which I need to sleep in, but I cannot sleep comfortably, indicated by my lying and staring at the nails, influenced by Edwina Sandy's "Marriage Bed." Website: evawang.home.blog Instagram: @evawang.photography PAGE 33 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART • IDEAS: HAKAN LIDBO Slime mold (Physarum polycephalum) is a slime of single cell organisms that work together to survive and grow, following simple but clever algorithms. This game is a collaboration between one of our planet's most simple forms of intelligence, slime mold, and the most advanced, the human brain. Rules: In this game, the Petri dishes are the pieces. Each player has 2 pieces. Place one piece of oat in the middle of each Petri dish to make the Physarum polycephalum grow. Move by placing one oat flake on one of the 6 dots seen through the Petri dish. When the slime mold has grown a nutrient-ferrying tube to the oat flake, you may move into an adjacent circle in that direction. The objective of the game is to take all the opponent's Petri dishes. To make it more difficult, an additional rule can be added: If a slime mold starts to develop spores it is out of the game. But this requires an environment with better control of light and humidity. One move normally takes one day. A game can take weeks or months.
Following a career in electronic music with more than 350 records released, Hakan Lidbo explores new ideas within interactive art, music, robotics, games, urban planning, and design fiction. He is also the founder of Rumtiden Idea Lab in Stockholm Sweden. Website: rumtiden.,com Instagram: @hakan_lidbo PAGE 34 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: NINA SEIDEL
I shine brighter than the stars, 2020, acrylic, pens & stamps on cardboard, 34 x 50 cm,
I deserve to be respected, 2020, walnut stain, acrylic and pens on paper, 30 x 20.5 cm
Nina Seidel Born and raised in Austria, Nina moved to Spain in 2010 to study Fine Arts at the University of Granada. After graduating in 2014, she moved to Cape Verde, where she co-founded an art class for a local NGO and started to portray local women, which was the starting point for women being her main inspiration. Nina has participated in group and single exhibitions in Spain and Cape Verde. She is a member of "The Art Queens" and the "Art Aviso" platform and launched "Suboart," her own platform for emerging artists, in 2020. She currently lives in Lisbon, Portugal. My portraits are my tribute to women, to their strength, worth and beauty. The colour gold in my work is a symbol for this, for their infinite preciousness. I usually portray women that I know personally, and I give preference to women from poor financial and educational backgrounds, black women and other marginalized groups. Words are a constant part of my work: the backgrounds of my images are filled with affirmations, and sometimes I draw the women's hair and clothes with words from conversations that I had with them. It allows me to share their stories with the world through my images. As I travel a lot, I create small & medium size pieces from light materials such as paper, carton, pencils & stamps and always: golden acrylic paint. I use a lot of repetition in my work: portraying the same women several times on different backgrounds and with different words makes me get to know them better. Furthermore, repeating and experimenting with colours, meanings, and motifs lifts the pressure of finding the "best version" and enables me to work more freely. My entire artistic practice is my way of exploring topics that interest me, and, at the same time, my artworks enable me to share my emotions and views on these topics with the world. Website: ninaseidel.art Instagram: @@ninaseidel_art Art platform: suboartmagazine.com PAGE 35 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: TIANA TRAFFAS In my art, I often paint and draw the female form. I explore the portrait or body to reveal what tender memories and emotions are stored within. Sometimes I even use parts of my body or my daughter's hands to make monoprints. Using our bodies in this way, I can dive deeper into the residual effects of growing up in a patriarchal world and strict Christian church. These institutions shaped how I view my body, and the harmful stories I carried for so long influenced my relationship with menstruation, sex, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. There are many things left to unlearn to empower my young daughter and me. I create work that thematically explores the taboos of motherhood. Untitled | colored pencil and watercolor on paper | 2020
Always Lonely, Never Alone | Acrylic, tea, baking paper and thread on paper
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My artwork's significant sources of inspiration include taboos, the psychology of motherhood, ancient Neolithic and matriarchal goddess cultures, myth, and other sources of esoteric knowledge. The esoteric subjects are wide-ranging but often related, including dreams, animism and biophilia. I've been drawn to symbolism since early childhood, and because of this, personal talismans are often present in my artworks. Menstruation, breastfeeding, birth, life cycles, shame, pain, anxiety, joy, love, death and ancestors are just some of the things explored through a feminist matricentric lens. My goal is to share motherhood's love, pain, and vulnerability, highlight what goes unseen, and weave these personal experiences with collective and arcane symbolism.
Animal Vessel | India ink on paper
It gets on everything | pencil and watercolor sketch on paper
Untitled | colored pencil and watercolor on paper | 2020
I am a self-taught artist, mother, and chronic daydreamer living in the beautiful driftless region of La Crosse, Wisconsin. My ongoing projects include street art, zine-making, painting, drawing, and an occasional small sculpture. My work has been shown in juried shows and galleries. I enjoy exploring folk herbalism, natural waters, folk art, thrift/vintage shops and good books. I can often be found dancing poorly to great music or making felt toys for my daughter whenever she asks. Website: Tianatraffasart.bigcartel.com PAGE 37 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: CINDY RUSKIN
Rosebud, 2019, oil on wood panel
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A Midsummer Night, 2012, oil on wood panel
Originally from South Africa, Cindy Ruskin has worked in many media from animation to mosaics and set design but she is primarily an oil painter. She worked as a teaching artist with low-income children for many decades before becoming a full-time artist. Website: www.cindyruskin.com Instagram: @cindyruskin_art PAGE 39 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: CHARLIE J. MEYERS
Boyfriend, watercolor on hot pressed paper
You Make Me Feel...Like Jello!, watercolor on hot pressed paper
Babe, watercolor on hot pressed paper
I Love You, watercolor on hot pressed paper
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Skin, watercolor on cold pressed paper
Charlie J. Meyers I am an American artist and curator working in figurative abstraction and portraiture. I have an MFA in painting and drawing from Concordia University. My work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout North America and the UK. I was awarded an Artist Relief Grant, an initiative organized by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, United States Artists, and Creative Capital in 2020. In 2021, my artwork was featured in Alien Literary Magazine and will be in Clover and Bee Magazine. 'Tender' (2020) is a collection of figurative watercolors inspired by the concept of 'Spring Fever' in quarantine. Spring fever invokes a sense of restless desire for romance and social connection. While stuck in quarantine, I've turned to memories, photographs, and films in search of an anecdote to my restlessness. Painted on hot & cold-pressed watercolor paper with floral and earth tones, the paintings represent a tender reflection on love. Website: charliejmeyers.com Instagram: @charliejmeyers PAGE 41 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART & WORDS: BELGRADE ART STUDIO ONLINE RESIDENCY Anda Marcu with Baxx Vladimir, Mahima Kapoor, Niamh-Erin Cusack and Rosie Feerick
On June 14th, one day before the deadline, I came across the Belgrade Art Studio (BAS) online residency call for submissions. I applied on a whim when I saw the theme of this round, "Artist on Standby." The theme resonated with me. For a while now, I had this relatively large canvas in my studio that I've ended up calling "canvas-on-standby." I would move it from one place to another, always in my way, always with the "tomorrow I'll start working on it" promise hanging above it. I've been on standby myself for the past year and a half. Since March 2020, all the galleries in my area have been closed. My work was on standby as well, shining online but eager to get out of the studio. The launch of my latest series, "Overlap," although successful, happened online. This series remains on standby, waiting to be hung in a place that's not its birthplace. While it was easier to reach international audiences, and my new pieces were seen by more pairs of eyes than ever, they remained locked inside. I started putting my work on hold. The Purposeful Mayonnaise was born in April 2021. We've been featuring over a hundred artists in the journal and at The Bagel Hole, and while this was very fulfilling, it left me with a longing for creative collaboration. For these reasons, I signed up for the BAS online residency; I was honoured and delighted to be accepted. My overall work is about memories - it explores reminiscing and the flow of time through the constantly changing landscape of memories. My BAS online residency project explored the theme of the artist on standby while resurrecting my own canvas-onstandby. My piece had its starting point in the convergence theory (psychology) and used materials that were on standby as well (in perfect condition but overlooked and ready to be put to good use): film photography prints, stencils, coloured pencils.
BAS online residency provided an environment that allowed me to regain my creative enthusiasm. I feel very fortunate to have come across such talented artists. In the following pages, we have Baxx Vladimir (BAS founder and coordinator) and Mahima Kapoor, Niamh-Erin Cusack and Rosie Feerick (BAS participants) sharing their experience from their own point of view. PAGE 42 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
Baxx Vladimir BAS founder and coordinator Baxx Vladimir is an international artist based in Belgrade but seeking inspiration all over the world. He toys with the idea of being a modern master of vibrance and expression in a world given over to cheap thrills, fast consumption and destruction. He has always been attracted to different fields of traditional and contemporary art. Besides painting, he does netart, different types of installations, performances and all kinds of multimedia art projects. Baxx graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, where he earned both his BFA and MFA degrees in Mural Painting. He pursued his Ph.D. at the Academy of Art in Belgrade.
BELGRADE ART STUDIO RESIDENCY (BAS) is an international art program designed to bring talented artists, creative practitioners, researchers and writers from around the world to experience a unique cultural environment dedicated to art. It was founded by Baxx Vladimir in 2011. Selected artists are invited to live and work in a specially designed studio for up to 3 months. By bringing the creators of art in a unique setting, the Program aims to situate art at the very heart of historical Belgrade. Over the last five years, BAS has become the most prominent international artists’ and writers’ residency program in Serbia. Our mission is to nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment to produce enduring works of the imagination. Different art forms are welcome. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. BAS offers the perfect environment for creative exchange and collaboration. It also extends the artistic boundaries and pushes artists to escape their comfort zone. Besides the stunning artistic experience, it is also a fantastic human experience. PAGE 43 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
With much of the world under isolation due to the pandemic, artists could not participate in their community and traditional residencies. For this reason, we launched our online residency program, a response to creating art and building community during social distancing. The residency program is a virtual space for artists to explore and create, build international communities, and have dedicated time and space to experiment with something new.
Mahima Kapoor (India) - July 2021 BAS participant Website: mahimakapoor.com Instagram: @mahimakapoor
Being a part of an online artist residency has been a one-of-a-kind experience, something I truly did not expect. Artist residencies allow us artists to move out of our comfort zones, to new countries, new studio spaces among new artists from all over the world. Doing this online at first sounded redundant; however, the lack of movement that I have felt during the past year and a half urged me to apply for one. Through my art-making, I was hoping to better understand and resonate with the artists in residence along with me with the gestures sent in by them in various visual representations. I requested the participating artists to send me a few movements that they were resonating with recently. Taking inspiration from those, I created three-dimensional drawings in space.
Niamh-Erin Cusack from Berlin created imagery from moving around in her space covered in a large jacket. The contours of the jacket and the movement of her arms created this beautiful dance between the geometry of silhouette and the movement of the human anatomy. PAGE 44 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
Baxx Vladimir from Belgrade sent in a video that seemed like this very mundane gesture that had become a part of his everyday life. This was a fascinating idea for me to turn into a moving sculpture taking inspiration from the repetitive movement of fingers in the video. Anda Marcu from Canada sent in a very geometric diagram recording the movement of one of her 'studio mates' (a squirrel) from the lockdown period. The flawlessly elegant movement of these animals was represented in the form of a diagram of what may have looked like a sign for 'repeat,' and I created a drawing juxtaposing these ideas together. Working remotely has been frustrating, but this residency and exploring the idea of 'standby' has definitely been an interesting step in my art practice. I have been resonating with the sense of urgency this idea imposed as if nothing is completely static, hoping that the task may begin promptly. It reminds me of the calm before the storm or the little vibrations that one may feel before a great idea is about to emerge. It is something that I believe is in subtle movement, swinging between the conscious and the subconscious mind.
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Niamh-Erin Cusack (Germany) - July 2021 BAS participant Website: www.niamherincusack.com Instagram: @bluuw.art
Based on astronomical theories and discoveries, Irish artist Niamh-Erin Cusack undertook the project "the _unseen series" in 2017 and has been working with the night sky ever since. Her belief in creating a body of work that combines both science and visual art in a spontaneous yet visually orchestrated way is a key motivation to her practice. She is determined to expand her knowledge in history and astronomy through her artistic works. Lines, brushstrokes and symbols are measured precisely and interpreted through gestures as Niamh-Erin's discoveries are recorded and abstractly illustrated from under the night sky. She creates colourful contemporary patterns and designs from various star constellations and asterisms through paint, photography, drawing and research. The _unseen series derives from what is unseen in our world and what wonders lie above. Niamh-Erin portrays her idea of the night sky, time and space through ambiguous visual representations, with the help of ongoing research in astrophysics and theorized Celtic literature. She believes that symbolism plays a major role when associating with astronomical exploration. In relation to her creative process, the empty space represents her lack of knowledge to understand the greater aspects of our solar system. Growing up under the stars in the countryside and now living in a metropolitan area where the night sky is less visible, she enjoys using bright colours to illustrate her childlike curiosity and how she would imagine our solar system to look like.
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Since her time with Belgrade Online Art Studio, Niamh-Erin has been focusing on the theme "Artist on Standby" and what that means to her at this moment of her artistic practice. For her, "Artist on Standby" represents the artist in a state of pause yet also represents the artist in pure intimacy with their work. There are no distractions, which can be both a calming yet formidable position to be in. NiamhErin began exploring abandoned buildings around the city of Berlin and how they have been on standby for decades, yet the life and artwork have been thriving inside of them. She is interested in the wonderful shapes and lines that decay and isolation have created. She began the project of bringing her paintings and prints into the derelict sites, a medium considered fine art, into a more street art setting, using the shapes and colours found within the buildings to create a contemporary "post-Covid-19" installation. She aims to create a space that will unfold the site's history and undertake research such as how long it has been on "standby" and what will happen to this building after the pandemic. There is a story to be uncovered, and through art can be told.
Rosie Feerick (Ireland) - July 2021 BAS participant Website: www.rosiefeerick.com Instagram: @rosiefeerick
I am a multidisciplinary artist born in London but raised in the rural West of Ireland, and at the moment, I’m based in Dublin. I am an aspiring documentary filmmaker also. This past month, I took part in an online residency with Belgrade Art Studios in Serbia. It was a great experience to meet other artists and develop our practice while being in touch with each other’s progress. The support network and structure were exactly the kinds of setup that helped recreate a studio atmosphere that had gone missing in my practice since the pandemic began. In response to the ‘Artists on Standby’ theme, I recovered oil pastel drawings I had left but not abandoned several months previously. Other participating artists were printmakers, dancers and physical performance artists, alongside painters and PAGE 47 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
collage artists; the various styles and approaches enriched the discussion of each person’s work. What furthered the program was the international aspect. Each person bringing their own culture and background to the Zoom conversations made the residency program uniquely interesting. However, this meant finding times to meet that suited everyone was challenging, as I was working full time during the residency, I missed half of the Zoom calls. They were recorded, however, and the WhatsApp communication helped. In my work, I explore the space between the conscious and unconscious experience. I have focused on creating work that articulates psychological concepts while also giving a sense of embodiment to the viewer as an art piece. For this residency, I have worked far more in 2D. I made oil pastel drawings of figures and focused only on enjoying the process and following intuition and spontaneous decisions about shapes. This came from wanting to appreciate the intuitiveness of child-like art. I also was continually drawing overlapping figures that were feminine in their curves and lines, and I made a parallel between the various figures in one drawing to the many parts and opinions in one mind. I also considered the line and how it is primitive and simple, yet the first mark-making step towards making an idea conscious. During the past few weeks, artists such as Endre Roszda, Camilla Claudel and Shinichi Maruyama influenced my work.
I made oil pastel drawings of figures and focused only on enjoying the process and following intuition and spontaneous decisions about shapes. Moving on from the quick oil pastel, I am going to make larger-scale oil paintings on canvas of some of these drawings. I’m delighted to have participated in the residency and to have met such brilliant people there. It must be said that the coordinator Baxx was very accommodating and an all-around super lovely guy to be facilitating the program too. *** For more info on Belgrade Art Studio Residency please visit: www.belgradeartstudio.com PAGE 48 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: DANIT MELMAN SHAKED
Requiem, 2020, mixed media, H28 x W67 x D38cm
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Fragile, 2020, H11 x W86 x D31cm
Danit Melman Shaked (b. 1973) is a mixed-media artist who received her Bachelor of Art from Kalisher Collage, Tel-Aviv, and studied ceramic sculpture and design at Sapir College, Shderot, Israel. Her works have been exhibited in numerous shows regionally and internationally, recently in BORDERS Festival 2020, Venice, Italy, Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design (TAD), Toyama, Japan, Keramikmuseum Westerwald, Germany and COCA21 online. Artist statement: My work is influenced both by the quietness within me, connected deeply to nature, and by the violence surrounds me, living in an area of constant conflict and the underlying threat of death – contrast yet related subjects in my life. For me, creating is a way to arrange my mind, my environment, a way to create order out of chaos, deal with the inherited paradox of destruction and creation, and examine the space between the inner and outer worlds. Following the paths material leads me in the evolution of each work, I am looking for ways to break formal patterns, find lines and shapes, dive under the elements of representation and uncover its elements in order to create a new way of observing; the unknown is where I want to reach. Website: danitmelman.wixsite.com/ceramicart PAGE 50 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART & WORDS: CLARA BOLLE
The Secret Lives of our Hands Clara Bolle
Two hands holding each other. One hand veiny, liver marks, riddled with age. The other hand wears a wedding band, nails painted in a colour which I like to call tropical coral. The story behind this image is one we experience or read so many times during the pandemic. Loved ones saying goodbye has become a treacherous affair. The chance of contamination is so high that many had a lonely death. These two hands are the only parts not wrapped in medical attire. Touch is a touch of the hands, not a kiss goodbye on the forehead. The news comes in. We need to wear face masks in The Netherlands in public spaces. Eyes staring at each other. No mark of a smile or a whispered thank you when your fellow Saturday shoppers hand you their used basket to do the groceries (not that sanitary, I know). Who are these anonymous people? The Dutch don’t use hand gestures, but a hand does tell a story. A hand is expression, identity, symbol, part of a larger body. Our hands are not only a mark of a physical body or an individual life story but a community in its own right. We use our hands and that of others every day. We grab stuff, we touch, feel the world by the tips of our fingers. Our hands are where our body ends, and the world outside our body begins. The hand is a mediator between the inside and the outside. Only skin prevents us from a symbiotic unity between us and the other. Just like our feet, our hands carry us during a lifetime. They are the witness of pain, joy, anger. They tell us our story of what we do for a living: a piano player or a blue-collar job. We are our hands. PAGE 51 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
During Black Lives Matter, our hands became a fist. A symbol against injustice. We marched the streets. We typed articles to express our feelings. Pointing fingers. Praying. Our hands became a force to be reckoned with. An individual body became a legion. From the tender touch of a goodbye to a symbol of power: the hand is quick to change when it comes to emotion. Some people even dare to say that we cannot only read our past in the palms of our hands but also predict the future by following life lines marked in our flesh. Our hands hold secrets we are not even aware of. To translate the many lives of thumbs, pinkies and index fingers to art is not an easy task. The hand of the artist has its own way of expressing itself. The mind is strong, but the brush is even stronger. A stroke can make a U-turn or forget where it was going. Colours can be unfriendly neighbours. A hand painting a hand is a surreal experience. It’s also one of the first exercises in art school: draw your left hand. As an artist, you’re your first life model. Exploring our body starts with exploring ourselves. A baby touching its feet with its tiny hands or sucking its thumb in the womb of its mother. It is only at the end of life that we realize that we get to know ourselves by touching others. Our last touch is the touch of the hand holding our hand.
*** Clara Bolle As a philosopher I view my writings and art as tools to do research. My main question in relation to thinking and making is: What does it mean to be your body instead of having a body? Website: clarabolle.com Instagram: @clarabolle PAGE 52 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: SONA SAHAKIAN
Sona Sahakian is a visual artist based in the Hague, the Netherlands. She graduated from the department Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of the Arts, The Hague. Her works consist of paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, installations and films (video art). In recent years she has participated in various group exhibitions and projects. My project 'Oblivion' is based on the journey I made in Meghri, Armenia. Returning to my roots, I experienced the traces of the past, which gave me a sense of a timeless dimension. The installation looks like film reels, where I processed my photos with water to create an atmosphere where a trace of the past breathes new life into the new present, which is transient and temporary and remains anchored in our memory. This infinite event creates a transformed image between our thinking, reality, feelings and emotions; a place where a fusion and inspiration of the past arises into the present, which breathes new life, is more valuable and makes us who we are today. Website: www.sonasahakian.com Instagram: @sonyl_artartart7 PAGE 53 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: MELINA GÓMEZ
Melina Gómez I'm Melina, a photographer from Argentina, based in Buenos Aires. My photos talk about daily life, friendship, being young adults and a kind of nostalgia. I work with analog cameras and develop the negatives myself. I love the experience of being in touch with the materiality of the image. These photos are from my daily record of the last two years. My friends, family, nature, encounters, and also solitude are the main characters in my work. Website & Instagram: linktr.ee/melifdm PAGE 54 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
WORDS • IDEAS: JERI FREDERICKSON
A Letter for the Pseudonyms at My Job After Bruce Mackinnon’s Lady Justice
you beautiful quiet torn shells pearls and dinosaurs you pulsing current surprise strength, undulating serenity you silent chasm below the unexplored depths you root volcano pushing bubbles to the diver’s cliff you feed the future fuming in brine of moons never sounded you razor of color poison anchors coins teeth and hats you deep sleep of the suctioning tendrils you beautiful avalanches birthing rock, you too spin fast back towards the center you too push against the plastic colonies you are beyond our imaginative tagging. I watch you rise from the endangered list and reclaim your name.
Jeri calls Chicago home with her two cats and many plants. She swims in literary, visual, and performing arts as an expression of survival and a channel to nurture love and access beauty while questioning the experiences that hold people together. She graduated from Antioch University Los Angeles with an MFA in Writing. Her chapbook You Are Not Lost is forthcoming in October 2021 from Finishing Line Press. Jeri has been published in print and online in Vine Leaves, Thank you for Swallowing, Awakened Voices, Silver Birch Press, and Thimble Literary Magazine. Instagram: @bshl_furmonsters and @jfredcreates Twitter @Jeri_fred. PAGE 55 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: RYAN ANDREW LEE
Wonnarua, 2020, fine art photography
Ryan Andrew Lee "Wonnarua" is a contemplative moving image installation work that aims to provoke discussion around themes of Indigenous ways of living in juxtaposition with western settler-state system's unsustainable, damaging ways of using stolen lands. The video diptych contrasts living portraits of five Aboriginal people from the Wonnarua Nation with drone shots of the vast Muswellbrook coal mines, which are situated in the heart of the Wonnarua Nation. https://www.ryanandrewlee.com/videoart/wonnarua Website: www.ryanandrewlee.com Instagram: @ryan_andrew_lee PAGE 56 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
WORDS • IDEAS: RAFAËL BARNWELL
A Fresh Start by Rafaël Barnwell
The apartment was seemingly quiet. He’d left a couple of hours ago. My boyfriend. I’m in love. He started work at 7h30 am. I stayed in bed while he got ready for his day. I remained somewhat drunk half asleep. Sounds turned into gentle dreams and flowing sensations. Warm lips on my cheek. April sky was bright and daylight was seeping through my puffy lids. The front door shut. I heard footsteps down the staircase fade away. Loud silence, except for the faint sound of traffic, filled the room. I swam out of bed. Dragged my self to the desk and flipped open my laptop. A few clicks on the keyboard. Fingers loosened up. And so began another day of home office. Socials before emails. Scrolled on Instagram for the latest update on my friend’s pregnancy. Skimmed through LinkedIn’s feed for creative industry news. And that day, Facebook reminded me of a memory from April 15th. In the picture, I’m sitting on sunny steps in Montreal. Taken a few hours before my plane, two years ago. Moose, my dog, my everyday, my cuddle buddy and exceptional friend, is sitting next to me, my arm around him. Kissing his furry head. Behind his sun bleached curls, his heartwarming brown eyes staring straight into the lens. He knows. My gaze says it all. I’m already elsewhere. At the fresh start of my thirties, scanning familiar surroundings, I wasn’t able to see myself in any of the settings. Had a handful of everything one could wish for. But needed something else. I wanted different, unknown. One keeping fists closed, also keeps more from coming in. What if I opened my hands a bit? Let go some of that handful? To reset and give room to ideas, opportunities and experiences. April 15th 2019, I left my home in Montreal and moved to Berlin. With nothing but a suitcase.
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Bright sun rays hitting the white desk sucked me out of memory lane. Hadn’t been prepared for such a cocktail this early in the morning. A mix of happiness and nostalgia with a pinch of sadness. A film of salt water covered my eyes. Turned to the window. The Berlin sky. Moved. Naturally the sky didn’t actually move. Clouds were traveling fast across the blue that day. Gave me the impression of being in a car, driving full speed on an open road. No matter how fast, the sky and clouds watched over me. There was comfort in believing that. Reset was still in progress. The before and now were still being felt. As if holding on to a rope, attempting to find a way back home while detaching every finger from it at the same time. A rich experience. Tremendous. And well worth the challenge. This I was convinced of! My mind drifted to the casted art work on the wall. Sunshine painting dancing shadows in a soft yellow palette. Bright life. That day the room was drenched in yellow shades. And I was floating in it. In reality, creativity was pouring out like beams of light escaping and reaching new surroundings. New beginnings. My stomach rumbled. I was hungry. Went to the bakery. Never thought of living in Germany. My sister lives here. A reassuring starting point to a new chapter. Few are the places with bagels in Berlin. There was one nearby. Moved halfway across the world and still sought familiar products that reminded me of home. I bought two sesames, a Philadelphia cream cheese and walked back. Surprised myself drying running tears. Being an expat came with its set of lows. There were mostly highs though. And gushing waterfalls. That gently forced me to keep palms facing upward and hands slightly apart to let the constant rush flow in. I took a quick shower, brewed coffee, ate breakfast. A fresh start to another day.
Rafaël Barnwell is an emerging poet, writer and artist. She is a French Canadian from Montreal and writes in both English and French. World traveler and people lover, she strongly believes that sharing stories is an essential part in inspiring others and ourselves. Today, Rafaël lives and writes in Berlin. Website: www.rafaelhbarnwell.com Instagram: @rafhart PAGE 58 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: ROBERT MATEJCEK
Troth, 2020, digital photograph(s)
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Nest No. Two, 2020, analog photograph (2.5″x2.5″ paper negative, Kodak Brownie Hawkeye with inverted lens, Caffenol developer, digital editing)
Tableaux Automatique: Post, 2021, mixed media (digital photograph - original small-scale diorama)
Originally from North Dakota, Robert Matejcek obtained his BA in Art, Magna Cum Laude, from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. Robert's work, a combination of traditional and new media, has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Robert and his wife, Anna, currently reside with their dogs, Willow and Indy, and their guinea pigs, Ivy, Honeysuckle, Poppy, and Zinnia in La Junta, Colorado. Website: robertmatejcek.com Facebook: @robert.matejcek PAGE 60 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
WORDS • IDEAS: ERIN LORANDOS
maybe next year flowers will bloom instead of fires the tender land may heal and over all our scars
Originally from Wisconsin, Erin Lorandos is a librarian and writer living in Phoenix. Her poetry can be found in Spilled Milk Magazine, and in various other corners of the internet. After winning her first NaNoWriMo last November, she's found a deepened love for poems that can fit on just one page. PAGE 61 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: GABRIELA-ALEXANDRA MUÑOZ
En El Cemento, 2021
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Como Se Hace Limpieza?, 2021
Gabriela-Alexandra Muñoz is a Chilean-Canadian interdisciplinary artist, with a focus on painting. Gabriela graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, majoring in visual arts and minoring in curatorial studies. Her work mostly hinges on the nuances of communication and the utility of nonverbal language to convey universal ideas--ideas that encompass cultural identities, means of communication and storytelling. As someone who has to use language as a tool rather than something inherent to her being, Gabriela uses her painting as an atmosphere embedded with jargon to translate everyday human experiences. Website: www.gabriela-alexandramunoz.com Instagram: @gabmunoz
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ART & WORDS: IVAN STRELKIN
Seventeen postcards to Kasija 1 At age 12, I read "The Plague" by Albert Camus. There was one character who wanted to become a great writer. His ambition was not to create a genius novel or theatre play: he wanted to write a single phrase but in a perfect way. He was working on it day and night, remaining unsatisfied with the precision of his language. The phrase (its work-in-progress version) was "One fine morning in the month of May an elegant young horsewoman might have been seen riding a handsome sorrel mare along the flowery avenues of the Bois de Boulogne." As a teenager, I was very intrigued: what is this Bois de Boulogne? How flowery are its avenues? Do horsewomen really appear there in May? Might they have really been seen? At age 29, I visited Paris and took a walk in the Bois de Boulogne. It was New Year's Eve, moist sky, cold wind, ambiguous sorrow in the air; the avenues were blue and lonely, as you can see on my Polaroid shot.
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2 Once I played a writer in the theatre. My character, Katurian, had not been working on one single phrase. He was an author of numerous short texts: scary fairy tales that would rather serve as the premise for a horror movie than as a bedtime story. He had a mentally sick brother, who committed cruel murders, inspired and enlightened by Katurian's bloody novellas. Rehearsing this role, I was contemplating: is an artist responsible for the resonance that their art piece produces? I have still not arrived at answering this question, and neither did Katurian, the brave and clumsy superhero of his brother's dreams; look, Kasy: he is sitting in an interrogation room after completing several juicy tortures and is thinking about the story of his life, which is being written right now.
As all of Katurian's creations, this story is creepy and hopeless, but he considers finding bliss in hopelessness and virtue in creepiness, as, perhaps, all true artists do. 3 However, expressions like "true art" have always sounded too pompous for me. One June of my life found me on the coast of the Adriatic sea, at the best lagoon in the world; I was drunk in a crowd of Italian teenagers and German tourists; by the way, the girl in the red dress is a sculptor, and the spooky shadows around her – some other students of the Venice Art Summer Academy, who were probably discussing "true art" at the very moment, when I took the picture. I remember this second: I sat down on the ground and placed my camera on the stone; the air of the summer night was so hot, I was slowly melting; my bones got soft, my skin – porous and wet. Time was floating through my body like sand through a sieve, and I pressed the button on the camera. PAGE 65 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
Having stumbled upon this photo after a while, I recalled the square, the sweaty clouds passing by some Venetian tower, the girl in the red dress, and realized: something stayed, remained in time, a tiny pebble in the sieve, a short flash of summer heat, and how can I say, was it true, or was it art? Obviously, if I had not pressed that button on my camera, I would have stayed on the canvas of that night as just a wasted Russian guy lost in the abundance of voices, smiles, bare feet and naked shoulders. What specifically made me an artist: an invisible contraction inside my finger that opened the camera lens? How "true" was that contraction then? 4 Some think that truth is measured in victims, in sacrifices, in pain. I must admit, pressing a button on my camera in the middle of a Venetian night didn't provide any uncomfortable sensations, and that moment itself was a second of absence rather than a flash of revelation. What can I say… Among the possible senses of life, art is the most unreliable; like any passion, art has no solid ground under its feet, but in opposition to religion, art rituals are destroying the temple of faith rather than supporting its firmness. Practicing art, one can quickly realize that the connection between the amount of effort put into training a craft and the "truth" of art pieces is bizarre, obscure, unclear and ungraspable. However, no one would dare to say it doesn't exist at all. Knowledge, experience, craft, talent, vanity, fame, and the notorious "truth" eat from the same plate, but none of them served this dish; none of them will wash it after it's empty. Every true artist carries their own cross, trying to PAGE 66 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
be courageous enough not to pray to "true art" on the way but to count steps and feel how the heat of the sun makes the bones soft and the skin – porous and wet. I believe a true artist measures the self in flowery avenues, in the ambiguous sorrow of the winter air, in red-dressed girls, independent of the fact if the finger reaches the button of the camera or not.
5 Thus, there is no true holy art, but there are true artists. There is no true, holy madness, but there are truly mad people. Truly mad people lose their hope to reach health, and this hopelessness is bliss. Only in loneliness can a self be born, and one can only pray sincerely when abandoned by all gods. A true artist prays hopelessly and addresses no one, turning back to the window, trading picturesque views of beliefs, concepts and convictions on the four walls of one's own consciousness, greeting people coming in and out. The entire universe breathes heavily on the other side of the window, accepting the choice, and lays its chin onto the artist's shoulder, thus joining the observation. PAGE 67 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
6 I have told you, Kasy, at age 22, I played a famous Russian poet in the theatre. My first wife (at that moment – my future first wife) also played in this performance. Her character, Maria, didn't love my character, Mayakovski. I can still recall: she was lying on the floor in a pose of desperate refusal. I was looking at her exactly how a twenty-two-year-old guy looks at his future first wife – fascinated, perplexed, confused and thirsty. To love a woman is in a way also a hopeless prayer without address, but let's avoid going further into details; let's stop at this poetic, thoughtful corner and just enjoy the panorama. It is him in the photo: Vladimir Mayakovski – with his severe jaw, with his tremendous nose, with his thirsty eyes of an unloved dog.
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Love and art have the same purpose: unconditional and inexplicable desire; so, it is highly probable that love and art are the same movements of a soul. Rituals of love are as intimate and ambiguous as art rituals; the connection between being in love and being loved breaks under the slightest touch. Lovers are strangers on the square in Venice, trapped in the web of sounds and lights, and sometimes also forget to press the button, which opens the camera's lens to capture a dissolving moment of ephemeral togetherness. 7 The moment always dissolves; memory cannot hold it firmly. The moment finds its way to escape, to flee from the cage of human sentimentality. The moment is the ghost of a dead dragon that floats through the walls, floors and ceilings of the mind, seeking a cave to rest. Dragons like gold; they have cold blood, that's why warm, sweaty palms of nostalgia disgust them.
Theatres are shelters for lonely dead dragons, caves full of golden chandeliers and shiny decorative shit on the walls. A dragon lands between rows of chairs in the parterre and feels relieved and calm; it hears rustling branches, recognizes the sweet smell of fir-needles, feels home for a while, and falls asleep. The audience stares at this miracle, holding its breath unbearably long until sudden clarity fills the space: the forest is drowning on the naked back wall of the stage, and the entire baroque gold is fake, and the dragon is just an old prop from some performance for children, a fairy tale about abandoned time. PAGE 69 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
8 Do you agree with me? Isn’t it lonely, my dear Kasija, that moment, when a self is born? But wait, don’t dead dragons go to heaven? Flirty dragons never forget to take their shoes off before stepping into the sky, before dreaming and cuddling in sweaty clouds of Venice or tear-stained overcasts of St. Petersburg. And furthermore: dragons don’t believe that togetherness is measured out in victims, sacrifices and, eventually, also pain…
9 At age 22, I had an idea for a dance performance of "Carmen," based on the musical piece by Rodion Schedrin. At that time, I was a student of the theatre academy and had nothing to do with dance. I wanted my piece to focus on the character of this gypsy girl, who travels through the story of her life, like a boat through a storm. You once said: "I choose fate like a dress. I put it on and go out." You see the dress of Carmen in the photo – it is red, obviously, because it suits her best. But back then, in my twenty-two-year-oldness, someone told me, my concept wouldn't work well because "Carmen" is actually the story of Jose, an ignorant soldier whose life is destroyed by passion, and Carmen herself is a symbol, a Kantian thing-in-itself. She is an object of desire: she is wanted, she is unreachable, she is destroyed. This conversation took place in the center of St. Petersburg: the sky was moist, depressing clouds were leaning down to look into the eyes of passersby, and I realized: the main character of a story should always experience some development. PAGE 70 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
I took this picture at age 31, in Gießen, in the rehearsal room, a few days before the premiere of my "Carmen." These two moments are married: gloomy Russian afternoon with Carmen-in-herself contemplation and costume rehearsal in Germany. These two seconds are married in the same way, as the imaginary Bois de Boulogne of my teenage days and the actual one seventeen years later… You see my point, Kasy? 10 In fact, my German Carmen didn't experience any development. She loved Jose out of pity and Torero out of sexual desire, but none of these two men changed her. Every lady needs a drink and a pet, so Jose was her pet and Torero her drink.
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She enjoyed the closeness, but like a shiny dragon from a fairy tale, she didn't measure togetherness in victims and sacrifices, so she preferred to die and stay true to herself rather than become the wife of a soldier. But if refusal to change is a conscious decision, isn't it paradoxically a change indeed? Once the moment of reevaluation occurs, once the feet are off the ground, who dares to say, that the decision to remain constant is easy and light-hearted ignorance? 11 Furthermore, love and togetherness are married, like two Bois de Boulogne, like two moments of Carmen. They go out together sometimes, but their dates are always tense and nervous.
It feels more like an exam situation: you should look cute and smart, put on perfect makeup, iron your dress, trim your nails, rehearse a charming smile in front of the mirror, while every cell in your body, every particle of your soul anticipate failure. You blush, and even the thick layer of makeup can't hide it; you cry, and tears slide down your cheeks, leaving wet traces in the concealer; you try to understand, what exactly then is measured in pain, once we clearly see, there are sacrifices, and there are victims to count here. PAGE 72 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
12 But Kasy, don't you find that the universe seen through a teardrop is usually not that scary? It is a natural filter for sharp corners and intimidating spikes of reality. You know what I mean?
13 As you see, it's me again, in the first week of the first lockdown; do you remember this time? Our love was fragile and vulnerable, I was lost and abundant, and obviously, I had no idea that one and a half years later, I will be looking at myself from another side of a teardrop and smiling mistrustfully, wondering, who is there on the photo.
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But I believe everybody cries sometimes, and therefore, please, kind reminder, never forget to press the button on your camera, to open a lens, to stumble upon the picture later, in the right moment, and see that the second of deep mourning and the second of comfort are married for many years, they have children and grandchildren, who already go to school. And weird disclosure: look at this photo, how creepy it was, and nostalgic, chasing the moment that memory didn't hold tight enough, and another teardrop fills the eye, a teardrop with another chemical structure. How creepy I was, I mumble quietly, understanding that the creepiness of the groom is becoming a virtue in the eyes of his beloved bride. 14 It is funny that we met in Austria, in tiny Linz, perhaps, the least romantic place in the world, and that you eventually fell for my severe accent and my chaotic artistry. I hope my English improved since our first encounter, and I know my existence in art supplemented by one enjoyable activity: to photograph you so that the moments of our ephemeral togetherness lasted longer, trapped in a picture. Do you remember that day in Wroclaw, you went to pee, and I waited for you near the public toilet with my camera to catch your face and my reflection behind
It was you who said: "What if everything is art?" – and this simple phrase suddenly made me think: "Hey, wait, but really, what if…?"
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15 What if nothing except art exists in the weird universe, where moments, separated in time and space, are married and have children, in the solemn universe of dead dragons flying around? What if Bois de Boulogne exists solely on a Polaroid shot, and the truth is the infected saliva spilling out of one's mouth while coughing? What if every single person on Earth is an artist, who just regularly forgets to press the button on the camera, and the lens stays covered, so the moment happily slips away from handcuffs and life imprisonment? What if every life is measured out in moments that have been let go by their unskillful guards to conduct their sacred weddings throughout time? Then anyone could try on Katurian's superhero costume and write at least one story: the story of one's own life, which would be measured out in happy marriages of distant moments!
16 However, I shouldn't have spoken on behalf of humanity. I shouldn't have called upon "every single person on Earth," that was unfair. What do you think, Kasy? Look at me in this photo: I am getting drunk alone in Germany because I am sad. I remember that night well; a bunch of dead dragons landed on the windowsill of my kitchen, and I couldn't resist the temptation to take a picture. My sadness had nothing to do with humanity, and it is highly probable that humanity's sadness also has nothing to do with me or you. PAGE 75 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
17 So fuck humanity, let's talk about us. You and I are full of contradictions: we build our future while becoming the past of each other; we are so afraid of togetherness that we spend days and nights in one flat, sharing every instant, every movement, every half-thought; we speak of art in the way we talk about weather and weather changes touch us as deep as our artistic revelations. Ironically, we are so human for true artists, don't you think? Then, maybe, nothing but humaneness exists, and, perhaps, every artist is an ordinary human being who is just keen on collecting small porcelain copies of themselves and exhibiting them on the window sill of the bedroom? Frankly, I don't know whether art is everything or not; in my humble opinion, it is pretty hard to estimate. Anyway, it is reasonably enjoyable to believe so, to get carried away by the magical "what if," to hover like a shiny dragon over the ocean of sand, to scoop its grains with a sieve and see what stays… We both are badly apt to live so and even worse: occasionally, we attempt to call our questionable inclination "the meaning of life." And – you know – it's good enough. I really believe it is. PAGE 76 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
I am not sure what I wanted to say to you with these postcards. Neither do I know why there are seventeen of them. I am writing this last one, which is permeated by tenderness as much as the sixteen others, and you are drawing in your notebook; I am secretly taking a picture; you don't notice: you are carried away by your imagination. I love to see you now; you are so beautiful and pure. You are my favourite artist.
Love you, Ivan
Ivan Strelkin was born in Russia in 1988, completed his BA degree at the St.Petersburg State Academy of Theatre Art in 2010, worked as a director in various theatres in Russia. In 2013 he went to Tallinn, Estonia, to stay at the Russian Theatre of Estonia in a full-time position as a director. 2016-2019 he studied at the Folkwang University (Essen, Germany), MA Choreography, and worked as a choreographer and a dancer. In 2019 Ivan came to Linz and entered the MA program "Movement research" of Anton Bruckner University. In 2020 he entered the Ph.D. program at the Art University Linz. Photo by Kasija Vrbanac Strelkin
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WORDS • IDEAS: SHLOKA SHANKAR
A room is just a room
What direction should thoughts take? I flounder [in the desire] to understand. Oranges are liquid sunshine. Put pieces of possibilities together through a knothole (whispering, whispering). Hear laughter freed.
Source: A cut-up/remixed poem composed from chapters 1, 4, & 6 of Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews.
Shloka Shankar is a poet, editor, publisher, and self-taught visual artist from Bangalore, India. A Best of the Net nominee and award-winning haiku poet, her poems and artwork have appeared in over 200 online and print venues of repute. Shloka is the Founding Editor of the literary & arts journal Sonic Boom and its imprint Yavanika Press. Website: www.shlokashankar.com Instagram: @shloks23 PAGE 78 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
WORDS • IDEAS: ASHIMA SRIVASTAVA
A Walk Down Memory Lane by Ashima Srivastava
It had been ten years since my last visit home. Where was home, you might ask? Home to me would always be where I grew up, Mumbai. Adolescence, critical exam years, university, boyfriends, and the years just flew by in a blur. My parents visited us every year in the summer for a couple of months. But it was different this year, dad was not keeping well, and my parents would not be able to make their annual trip. I remembered vividly the conversation I had with my mum two months ago when I had decided to book my flight. She had tried her best to convince me to delay my visit as I had probably forgotten what Mumbai was like in the monsoons. “Of course, I remember what it is like, Mum,” I had replied vehemently. “I want to see you and dad, and I don’t want to wait till the monsoons end in October.” To avoid any more discussion, I booked my flights the very same night. As the day of my travel came closer, the excitement and the apprehension grew in equal measure. I started thinking of the things I would do, the food I wanted to eat, the shops I would visit, the clothes I would buy to keep up with the latest fashion trends, the friends who may still be there and the old haunts I wanted to visit. The transit at Dubai airport was 90 minutes, and I had to make a frantic run to make my connection which, with a little help from the ground staff, I did. Once I had settled into my seat for the final leg, I curled up my legs and fell asleep. I woke up as the air hostess came around to collect the blankets and the earphones. I quickly went to the toilet as I was unsure how long it would take through passport control.
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Once back in my seat, I waited for us to land. No sooner had the wheels touched down than the plane seemed to erupt into a cacophony of mobile phone rings and beeps. Passengers started talking loudly on their phones whilst trying to get their bags down from the overhead lockers to disembark quickly. The jostling and pushing had started even before the ‘unfasten your seat belts’ sign had been switched off. The cabin crew did not bother to ask the passengers to wait; it looked like they, too, had reconciled to the Indian way. As I stepped off the aircraft into the aerobridge, I was hit by the intense humidity, and with dismay, I felt my hair expand in volume with the frizz. Walking towards the immigration counters, I could see the long serpentine queues, and I prepared myself for a long wait. Everything had changed in the last decade. The airport had transformed. It was aesthetically beautiful, and staff were there at hand to help with any query. The toilets were clean, and the trolleys were easy to push. As I made my way to the prepaid taxi kiosk, two floors below, I marvelled at the advances India had made. At the counter, I was asked by a young girl if I wanted an air-conditioned or nonair-conditioned taxi. My mother had insisted I take the air-conditioned taxi, and so like an obedient daughter, I did. I was given a receipt and told which gate I should leave from. As I exited the airport, the humid heat hit me, and I reeled in shock. I spotted my taxi and walked towards it. The driver approached me, took my receipt, loaded my bags, and we were away. It was going to take me a couple of hours to get to south Mumbai in the rush hour traffic. As we left the airport, I asked the driver if the air conditioner was on, and he insisted it was and that it would take a bit of time for the taxi to cool down. I patiently waited for that to happen, but I might as well have taken a non-airconditioned taxi; at least that way, I could have opened the windows. About fifteen minutes into the drive, the driver asked me if I knew where we were going? I told him I did, and then he asked if I could give him directions, as he was new to the city. I asked him to use the GPS on his phone, but he said he was unable to. I had not been to Mumbai in a while; this city of my birth had changed a lot. Roads had become one-way streets, and there were flyovers and the sea link now connected south Mumbai to the suburbs. I was not sure I would be able to direct him but seeing that I did not have a choice, I tried to remember the route we had taken numerous times in the past. As I gave him directions to my parents’ home, I realised even though things had changed – not much had. The roads were just as crowded, people were zigzagging to cross in front of the cars, two-wheelers trying to get into any gaps, beggars and street vendors coming up to cars at the red lights, the insistent mindless honking of the cars, the fumes from the vehicles, the smells, all soon made me realise what I had not missed. I was impressed with my sense of direction, and we got to my parents’ flat without taking any wrong turns. PAGE 80 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
As we entered the building gates, I saw my mum sitting on the bench reading a newspaper whilst anxiously for me. She asked the watchman to unload my bags, and after hugging and kissing her, we started to make our way to the lift. Dad was waiting for us at the door. My dad engulfed me in the tightest hug. Neither of us had to say how delighted we were. Once my eyes had dried up, and my voice was no longer catching in my throat, we sat down and spoke about my journey. We had tea with vada pav (a must-have Mumbai street food). My parents’ flat is surrounded by the sea on three sides where I have spent countless hours looking out of the full-length windows. I went to look at the vastness of the sea, and it felt like I had gone back in time as I felt the cool breeze on my face and the unmistakable smell of drying fish wafting up. After freshening up, my mum and I decided to go to the market to get a sim card for my phone to get on to WhatsApp. Neighbours and other residents in the building recognised me, and we chatted. I remembered the walls I would jump over or walk on with friends, the trees I would jump from. I had very fond memories of my childhood, and it gave me great comfort being home. As my mum and I walked down the crowded streets and reached the traffic lights, we waited for the green man so that we could cross. I had forgotten that pedestrians do not have the right of way; it is common knowledge that the bigger your car, the bigger your right. Though it did not take long for old habits to kick in and soon, I too was crossing in front of cars, not waiting for the green man, holding out my hand to stop cars while I sprinted across the road. Jaywalking was a way of life here, and it did not feel like I had been away for this long. Mumbaikars are extremely helpful; they will offer you help even if you don’t ask for it. The man at the phone shop, not only changed my sim but set it all up for me and made sure my phone was up and running before I left his shop. It was close to nine by the time we headed home, but the streets were just as busy, and I thought how apt it was when people said, “Mumbai never sleeps.” Mum had cooked my favourite meal of mutton biryani, raita, dal and kachumber (salad), and after a finger-licking dinner, I let the jet lag creep up on me and called it a night. The next morning, I woke up to the sound of the helicopters taking off and landing from rooftop helipads, people filling water from big pumps in the slums below, the sound of temple bells and the chanting of the aarti (devotional chants), the non-stop ringing of the doorbell and the annoying caw-caw of the crows. I tried hard to block it all, but it was a losing battle. It was barely six am, but it felt like it was midday. I got out of bed and made my way to the windows which were my eyes to the outside world. I could spend hours just looking down at life unfolding in a multitude of colours in this beautiful bristling city. Sipping my tea, I watched the fishermen bring in their catch of the day. The sabzi mandi (vegetable market) was opening, PAGE 81 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
and soon there would be no place to walk on the street without bumping into someone. Seeing that I had a long shopping list, my mum and I decided we would try to finish everything as soon as we could as we were dependent on dry days. The Mumbai monsoons are a force of nature. It can rain continuously for days leading to flooding and chaos, but despite that, life doesn’t come to a standstill. Mumbaikars are very resilient people. As we walked down the familiar streets of Colaba causeway, I realised that everything was almost as I remembered it. The smell of corn on the cob being roasted on a small fire pit, the samosas fried by the roadside, the aroma of the Bombay sandwich being toasted in small roadside thella (improvised food stall on a hand cart), the vendor expertly slicing the coconut for the thirsty customers as they walk along. The temple I had visited every week for years, with my offerings of flowers and prasad (food offering). The cow still tied to the side of the temple and who, even today, was being fed hay by the worshippers. The beggars sitting outside waiting for the offerings to be distributed to them. Nothing had changed except for their faces. Oh, but wait, now everyone had a mobile phone in their hands. Be it the milkman, newspaperman, fruit vendor or the cobbler. As we walked a bit further, my nostrils discovered the aroma of freshly made Frankies, and I could go no further; I just had to eat it. My first bite into the deliciously cooked meat with chillies, fresh onions and a special spice mix rolled into an Indian wrap had me salivating (just like I am now). As we walked a little further, the first few drops of rain started to fall, and the distinctive smell of the parched earth sponging the rain drifted up. The rainbow of opened umbrellas flooded the pavements, making walking tricky, if not impossible. We decided to head home and made our way back, avoiding the numerous potholes. The pitter-patter of the rain sounds decidedly more romantic when one is indoors rather than dodging umbrellas and cars. Once back and dry with the air conditioner on at full blast, the outside heat, humidity and car horns were all quickly forgotten. The monsoon had arrived and unleashed its fury. We spent time going through old photographs, reminiscing about old times, and we emptied my cupboard for mum to give my clothes away to charity. The days faded in the blink of an eye, and it was nearly time for me to leave. Most of my list remained undone. I had spent ten days with my parents doing nothing except being with them. This was a very memorable trip. My eyes welled up as we said our goodbyes, distraught at not knowing when we would see each other next. As we drove to the airport this time, I saw the streets I had cycled down, and we drove past my school, where I had spent ten years of my young life. Next, we passed PAGE 82 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
my junior college, which was by the sea, and where we spent many an afternoon bunking classes. Looming up next, I could see the institute where I had got my degree in Hotel Management. Through my tears, I could see the Taj hotel where I started my career, and I wondered where the years had gone. These memories would live with me forever. I had long stopped wiping the tears that had been flowing down my cheeks. I was not ashamed of them. This walk down memory lane had been very cathartic. I was ready to go back to my family in Glasgow but with a firm conviction that I will return every year.
Ashima Srivastava lives in the vibrant city of Glasgow. She is part of a writing group called Eastwood Writers. PAGE 83 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
WORDS • IDEAS: SANGHAMITRA TOMAR
TENDER/DELICATE 1. The photograph is blackening on the wall and you can do nothing to push tomorrow away. So you lie down under the shadow of your closure and learn how to speak to the walls in silence. They teach you how to cry with your tongue pressed between guilt and regret. 2. Yesterday I saw three tulips bleeding into oblivion. They taught me that decay is brief but eternity, brave. 3. Because the window on my wall gossips of pleasure and dust and midnight bikers who think they are faster than death. Because this window is my eyelid in an hourglass, it is time and wonder and escape wrapped in a pall of reticent grain. It teaches me how to sleep when the back of my head is still torn and bleeding from last night’s fall. 4. I saw a bird flying in the white and blue strokes of somebody’s whims. It was small and small and farway. It was calling me. It was calling someone. It was calling us. It was humming- emptiness could also mean freedom. Maybe it was falling up. It taught me how to break the air like a promise. 5. Ask me a question and I'll fold it in an excuse. Ask me a name and I'll puke vodka and yesteryear’s memories. Ask me the definition of imagination and I'll teach you how to paint your hands with truth and capacity.
*** Sanghamitra Tomar I am a student and counter speech fellow with Young Leaders for Active Citizenship. I serve as a junior journalist at ReDefy. PAGE 84 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
ART: THE MESSDECK
Kayla Cloonan, #3 Oklahoma Paper, 2021, mixed media on paper, 8.5"x11"
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Carina Chang, Window series 09, 12"x24", oil on canvas
Carina Chang, Window series 05, 5"x7", oil on canvas
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Carina Chang, Window series 07, 5"x7", oil on canvas
Sara Radomirović City Sky Delicately Caged, 2020, photography (above) Love Me Tender, 2021, edited photography (left)
Joe Klaus, Leather and Pearls 2 & 3, 2021, mixed media (gelatin print, thread, spray paint, acrylic paint)
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Josephine Florens, CORONAVIRUS PAUSE
Krokhmal Anastasiya Always together, 2021, oil on paper (above) Сalmness, 2021, oil on paper (left)
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Nina Kravchuk, Lone Sparrow, 2021, oil on panel / fiberboard
Billie Mae, Honey, 2021, collage
Ugonma Chibuzo. Regal, 2020
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Ugonma Chibuzo. Ennobled As You Are, 2019
All four works: Sanjib Mondal, Untitled, 2020, mixed media on fabriano paper PAGE 90 | THE PURPOSEFUL MAYONNAISE
Gardenia Barros, Geni
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Emma Coyle Binary 030, 2020, acrylic on canvas (above) Linda No. 4, 2020, acrylic on canvas (left)
B a r b a r a Schneider, This is NOT a joke, 2020, photography
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Coco Huang, Tree Rings, 2021
Irina Novikova, History of the Horse, 2019, ink on paper
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Irina Novikova, History of the Mouse. Sheet 4, 2020, ink on paper
Suman Kabiraj, Rhythm, 2020, acrylic on canvas
Suman Kabiraj, Hybrid Flow, 2020, acrylic on canvas
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Daniel Lingiah, Seascape 2
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MESSDECK ARTISTS Gardenia Barros In my work, image and text construct the meaning together. In all the photos, I use the delicacy of my body in a dichotomous way. All are part of my Instagram. My Instagram is a free space of error, inhabited by non-works, instants, fragilities, shouts and whispers. My poetic diary, my skin, my pulse, what I am and nothing else. Instagram: @gardenia_just_art Julia Brake Julia Brake is a 25-year old recent graduate of Visual Arts, based in Corner Brook, NL. Instagram: @juliabrakee Carina Chang Carina Chang is a Chinese American painter based in New York, USA. The window series was completed during the pandemic lockdown. Her figurative work examines the complexity of humanity. Website: www.carinachang.com Instagram: @carinatangerine Ugonma Chibuzo Ugonma Chibuzo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 2017 with secondclass upper honours in Fine and Applied Arts. Ugonma began practicing art professionally in 2019 and has grown in her art style and conceptual works. She is a member of the Female Artists Association of Nigeria, which supports and develops female artists and art while also lending their voice through art to gender-related issues. She resides in Lagos, Nigeria, where she has her studio and engages in her art practice. Instagram: @meettheartist_nma_art Kayla Cloonan Kayla Cloonan was born and raised in South Florida with a varying history of creative study, including orchestral music, creative writing, film photography, mixed media, painting, installation and performance art. She received a BFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013. Kayla lived and worked in Los Angeles, CA, for seven years after graduation, presenting in a myriad of group shows as an artist, curator and collaborator in various alternative and established spaces. Since August 2020, Kayla has taken the studio on the road. Website: kaylalcloonan.com Instagram/Twitter: @klcloonanart Emma Coyle Coyle has been working within art for over 20 years and has been based in London since 2006. Her current series 'Linda' and 'Binary' deal with embracing and disrupting formal composition. For the first time in 2020, Coyle painted mixed white backgrounds in certain pieces; mixing colours is very important to each piece.
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This year Coyle continues her work in figurative art and abstraction. She has also started working on woodblock prints and, after 16 years, has now returned to photography, focusing on Polaroid and 120mm camera formats. The work deals with ideas in capturing and using negative space as a focal point. [Coyle travels annually to study Scandinavian 18th and 19th Century art and has interests in horticulture, astronomy and film noir] www.artsy.net/artist/emma-coyle/works-for-sale www.linkedin.com/in/emma-coyle-185187a0
Nina Fedotova (Kravchuk) I was born and have lived in Ukraine to the present time. I gained knowledge in the field of painting in a fine art studio and a private painting studio. For me, painting is a part of my life since early childhood. I am a member of the artistic association "ART-Uman." I do not adhere to a specific topic. I just paint the world around me. My paintings are my thoughts, my passion for a particular subject, and new is always an endless resource of inspiration and knowledge. My art is my strength and an example of how a person can choose their own path in life. They can combine their primary profession and specialty with their favourite pastime or hobby; they can achieve certain results and success, be in harmony with themselves and the world, not limit themselves, be freer, and therefore be stronger. Instagram: @nino_k_art Josephine Florens Josephine Florens was born in Odesa on September 22, 1988. Graduated from Odesa Law School, Odesa National Law Academy and received a Master's degree in Civil Law; graduated from Odesa International Humanitarian University and received a Master's degree in International Law. She started painting in 2017. She studied individually at the Art-Ra school of painting with the Odesa artist-painter Sergei Simora. The main direction of her studies was the South Russian school of painting. Josephine Florens is a member of the Odesa Marine Union, Ukraine and the "Environmental Protection and Monitoring of the Black Sea." She creates oil paintings in various genres, such as portrait, landscape, still life, genre painting, animal painting, marina. The painting styles used in her work are realism, impressionism, mixed styles. Website: josephineflorens.com Instagram:@josephineflorens
Coco Huang Artist + yoga teacher + dreamer. I mainly like to draw and explore with natural materials to create art inspired by nature and our complex emotions as humans. I currently live and work with my husband and our dog in Taipei, Taiwan. My art is inspired by my reverence for nature and my admiration of the unique emotions that make us human. The focal points of my work feature the exploration of joy, grief, uncertainty, gratification and the search for meaning. Instagram: @cocohuangart Suman Kabiraj Suman Kabiraj is a multidisciplinary artist based in India. Suman was born in a small town named Suri near Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India. He has pursued his MFA and BFA with 1st class from Govt. College of Art and Craft, Calcutta University. He visited London and Paris while doing his Masters and studied international modern and classical art scenes through museums visits. Kabiraj's work includes paintings, drawings, large-scale murals, photography, installation, art videos and multimedia works. His works are represented and exhibited in several international galleries, festivals art events and film festivals. He lives and works in Calcutta. Instagram: @sumankabirajartstudio Joe Klaus Joe Klaus, born on Long Island, NY and currently residing and working in Philadelphia, PA, is a contemporary artist focusing on abstracting and altering compositions to challenge viewers to look past the visual and focus on the emotion it gives. Website: www.joeklaus.com Instagram: @jklausart Anastasiya Krokhmal Krokhmal Anastasiya (1997) Lives and works in Moscow. The artist's paintings are aimed at exploring people and their inner world. I paint in oils on paper and canvas. My art is a reflection of my inner state and vision. This is how I feel the world. My art style is close to expressionism: the characteristic features of my paintings are bold strokes, pure colours, strong contrasts and raw paper margins. With the help of these techniques, I strive to share my energy with the viewer. All my paintings reflect my interest in two components of art: internal (the state of the people) and external (the colour in my art). Therefore, I try to pay attention equally to both the semantic load of the painting and the technical part - in particular, colour, colour combinations and the psychology of colour. Art for me is a result of experiences and effects on everything that happens. Website: artkrohapaint.wixsite.com/my-site Instagram: @art_kroha Daniel Lingiah @lingiah.Ashoka @d.lingiah_gallery
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Billie Mae I am a 22-year-old artist from NYC. In my work, I like to , add surrealist undertones and abstract thoughts and ideas, and usually a layer of humour or irony. In my spare time, I like to be out in nature or inside watching movies with my 3 cats! Website: foundwork.art/artists/billielawson Instagram: @phrenectomy_ Sanjib Mondal Sanjib Mondal lives and works in Kolkata, India. www.allaboutambedkaronline.com/post/liberatoryvisuality-introducing-sanjib-mondal-s-art Irina Novikova I am a graphic artist, illustrator. Drawing began to interest me from an early age. The first subjects for me were Fantastic birds and animals. By my first education, I am an art critic (State Academy of Slavic Cultures); by my second, I am a graphic designer (MGTA). The main techniques that I use are watercolour, ink, gouache and acrylic. I love experimenting and mixing different materials. I draw a lot on environmental topics. The first big series that I drew is the "Red Book," dedicated to rare and endangered species of animals and birds. I do illustrations, invent various creatures and stories for them, and draw nature and portraits. I like to do the whole line drawings, forming the composition first in my head. I am inspired by baroque music and black and white films. Recently, I have been leaning more and more towards symbolism. Instagram: @irinanov4155 Sara Radomirović Nationally and internationally awarded 32-year old artist, Bachelor of Applied Arts from Belgrade, Serbia, with the ability to create original ideas in the design processes, talents for research and realization of new design achievements, and a tendency for solving specific creative tasks. Facebook @radomirovitsh Barbara Schneider Barbara Schneider is a designer, illustrator, and multipledisciplinary visual artist. She has a great passion for toys, children's literature, fashion, textiles, printing, and photography. Some themes of her independent artworks & photographs are our planet & re-design, childhood, and the discussion of humanity, our modern life, and our "world cultures." Contemporary Issues Photographic Artist Activism Portfolio: artrepreneur.com/p/BarbaraSchneider Instagram: @artdbybarbara