D. Veresk SIREN: SUBMERGED IN FRAGILE BEAUTY
GUINEVERE JOY REFLECTIONS OF LIGHT AND WATER
FASHION ARCHITECT BUILDS HIS NAME ON CANADIAN RUNWAYS
LONE “RUREXER” EXPOSES THE AMERICAN RUST BELT
THE POWER OF CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT
NUMERO SEI $6.99 AU GU S T 2 0 1 7
WE FEATURE YOU, SO YOU CAN INSPIRE THE WORLD
BECOME PART OF THE TEAM
OUR FIRST GOAL PAY THE COVER ARTISTS! Our first step will be to pay the cover artist! YEAH! OUR SECOND GOAL PAY THE COVER ARTISTS and the 3 Featured Artists!! Wherever you are, Whatever you do, Do it #INSPADES
YAKOVLEVA IRA - @YAKOVLEVAIRA COVER ARTIST OF OUR NUMERO DUE
WE FEATURE YOU, SO YOU CAN INSPIRE THE WORLD
BECOME PART OF THE TEAM OUR FIRST GOAL PAY THE COVER ARTISTS!
We strongly believe that artists should be paid, so we would like to give an honorarium of $500 CAD to the Cover Artists that will be featured, to give them a strong message that we believe in you and we love your work...and by “we” I mean all of us...YOU included!
OUR SECOND GOAL PAY THE COVER ARTISTS and the 3 Featured Artists!! We would like to give an even larger honorarium of $700 CAD to the cover artist, PLUS give 3 Main Featured Artists $500 CAD each!
Giving a leg up to the Little Guys...and the Big Ones! All around the world, there is incredible artistic talent and creative passion that goes unseen or unnoticed. In this digital era, months of work can apex with a few “likes” on Instagram before being lost forever in the vast seas of social media. Many of the up-and-coming artists in our magazine never thought they would make the page of any magazine and are over the moon to be provided a platform of credibility fro which they can showcase their work. From talented hobbyists to seasoned professionals, whether they have thousands of followers or none at all, INSPADES Magazine has only a single criterion talent. With in-depth artist and editorial features, incredible visuals and focus on turning everyday artists into superstars and showcasing their work on a global scale, INSPADES Magazine garners an especial esteem and appreciation within art communities all over the world! And now, we want to take it a step further!
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IRINA ROIK - @ROIK_IRINA
NUMERO SEI 010
ALBANY MCCABE “Sleeping With The Lights On”
JACLYN TRUSS Letter from the Editor
OLIVIER PRINGAL From burnout to the emergence of new discovery, this chalk artist has reclaimed his creative purpose
LINDA CARONE Debut album features a versatile repertoire of classic gems
ESEME ELANGO Changing the world, one hip-hop song at a time
JACKSON FAULKNER A lone ‘rurexer’ driving through the American Midwest, in search of abandoned gems
ANDREA POLLINI Using photography to decipher the human experience
DANIEL MONCUR-SIME Modern Hollywood glamour portraits
ILONA D. VERESK Photography lit up her world during a time of financial struggle
KELLIE NORTH A World of Possibility
A GLIMPSE AT HOW ART THERAPIES CAN BRING RESOLUTION TO EMOTIONAL STRUGGLE
AUBERON WOLF The Art of Healing
VERONICA WINTERS Blending European classicism with bold, contemporary ideas to achieve compelling oil portraiture
SERGIO DAVID SPADAVECCHIA Publisher/Creative Director - firstname.lastname@example.org creativespades.com - @creativespades
IRINA ROIK Elements of architecture meet creative flare in this photographer’s versatile repertoire
JACLYN TRUSS Editor in Chief - email@example.com ANISSA STAMBOULI Head Writer - firstname.lastname@example.org - @astamdesigns ALVARO BERTONI - Writer CÉLIA BERLEMONT - Writer GUINEVERE JOY - Writer ALBANY MCCABE - Opening Poet DARIO SPADAVECCHIA - Media Research CHRISTINA DEVEAU - PR & Social Media - @christinadeveau
TRISTAN LICUD Filipino designer hits Canadian runways with a sprint
CAROL GONG - CHIEF CONTENT AGGREGATOR KRISTINA REESE - COMMUNITY MANAGER @PR0JECT_UNO @THEDARKPR0JECT @THEMYSTERYPR0JECT @THEGRAPHICSPR0JECT @PR0JECT_SOUL @PR0JECT_BNW @SOMBRESOCIETY
GUINEVERE JOY Exploring the dance of light and water on Manitoulin Island
@SOMBRESCAPES @SOMBREBEINGS @SOMBREXPLORE @S0MBREBW @HUMAN.EDGE @M3XTURES @ THEFASHIONPR0JECT
COVER: Joachim Bergauer: InSpades Magazine is designed & distributed by
© All images, text, logo and content of InSpades Magazine or Creative Spades properties is under the Copyright Laws of Canada. Any reproduction strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.
Photo by Guinevere Joy @guinevere.joy | www.guineverejoy.com | Music: www.bensound.com
Well I’ve been hearing whispers of late
Trapped somewhere between the has been and the will-be fate I’ve been tossing light beams on those shadows in the dark And though they claim their innocence, they’re sure to leave their mark.
I don’t pretend to be so very fast Never one for aimless racing
But when it comes to my past,
I steal first place for secret chasing.
@ albany.new.york - @ the.aimless.muse
Letter From the Editor BY JACLYN TRUSS
A Year INSPADES I
almost can’t believe it has been an entire year since we launched INSPADES Magazine. We had an idea on the backburner, stumbled upon a unique partnership, put out a shout out for submissions and two weeks later birthed a whole new kind of magazine that immediately took on a life of its own. We have discovered amazing artists and creative thinkers, delved deeper into their lives and put them on our pages for the world to see. We have showcased novices and professional artists alike. All kinds of art, from all kinds of people, from all walks of life. We have been inspired by their stories, moved by their challenges, uplifted by their successes. They have shared with us their art, processes, inner workings and secrets. They have gifted us with their talents, tips, vision and wisdom. It has been quite a year. In light of this, there are so many things that could be said, but at its core, only three things that truly matter:
Firstly, thank you, all of you, every single one of you! Thank you for the faith and support, for sharing yourselves with us, for working hard with us and for celebrating creativity with us! Thank you to our astounding team, our amazing partners, our incredible artists, our supportive family and friends, and to each day that we are able to exist wrapped tightly in the arms of our passion! Secondly, we are truly blessed by this opportunity and all it has created for everyone involved. It is this collective experience that makes it so deliciously joyous. We love our cultivated ecosystem of creativity that pushes us beyond our limits and links us all in a way that is both purposeful and thrilling! And lastly, for everything you’ve seen, for everything we’ve done, make no mistake... You ain’t seen nothing yet. Thank you to all and here is to another year of enjoyment!
Queen of Spades
PHOTO BY KELLIE NORTH
â€˜Dramascapesâ€™ American from the
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
Jackson Faulkner â€œI present a forgotten past that illustrates the hopes, passions, successes and failures of the American Dream.â€?
the upper Midwest of the United States, cradled by the Great Lakes, is America’s Rust Belt. One of the many ‘has-been’ regions of the country, the Rust Belt is an industrial cemetery that mocks the American Dream with its abandoned factories, automobiles, train tracks and structures of a bygone era. Traveling thousands of miles along the roadside of history, photographer Jackson Faulkner can be found in desolate places with his Galaxy S7 Edge and Nikon D7100 in hand, summoning the memory of a human presence from objects, long void of living company. Bringing dramatically emotive edits to each landscape, Faulkner achieves his signature ‘Dramascape’ style. In an exclusive interview with INSPADES, Faulkner discusses the value of our collective past, the successes and failures of the American Dream, and the ways in which an object can tell the story of society as accurately as people recording history.
What first led you to pursue the theme of American industrial decline with your photography? To begin with, my passion for history and respect for the ingenuity of our forefathers was genetically coded in me. My grandfather was an inventor during the American depression of the 1930s and my father was an electrical pioneer. Growing up, one of my childhood friends lived adjacent to a heavy equipment industrial yard just outside of Detroit, Michigan. It was located next to an old 1930â€™s railroad viaduct that had abandoned rooms and passageways. Half my youth was spent wandering these passageways and stairways that led to sealed off exits, wondering about the people who had used them in the past; the other half of my time was spent climbing in, on and under abandoned bulldozers, loaders, cranes and anything else that had leaking fluids and jagged bits of metalâ€” many left their mark on my clothes and flesh.
In my teens, recurring themes in my photography were historical transportation and architecture, but they were shot with the clinical precision of an archivist, with no concept of applying a portraiture element to them. I absorbed the sights and smells of that time in my memory. It wasnâ€™t until two years ago that I started looking at the objects of my youth with new eyes. Through the editing process, I started to inject my feelings into my images and evoking the emotions I was experiencing at the moment of capture.
Your work confronts neglected structures in rural areas as representations of the Rust Beltâ€™s deindustrialization and economic decline. How would you say your work responds to the American Dream? I believe that the memories and spirits of the American Dream linger in these places long after the physical bodies leave. Inanimate objects contain and exude a presence as well. I present a forgotten past that illustrates the hopes, passions, successes and failures of that dream. My images give the viewer a chance to feel the pain, shame and suffering of a 1937 pickup freezing for another winter in a frozen field; the empty silence of a prairie grain elevator waiting in vain for a harvest that will never come. My visual voice has a story to tell: Itâ€™s a story of a country that was made great by resourcefulness and ingenuityâ€”a country that became a victim of its own success, and in its short-sightedness, cast aside the processes and with it, the people.
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
Andrea Pollini Computing Emotion
Math is a wonderful world where you can describe a very complex phenomenon using only one little formula. In the same way, I love the evocative power of a photo.
hile most artists claim a sensitive nature, the work of Italian photographer Andrea Pollini is particularly emotionally charged. Collaborating with models that empathize with his inner experience, Pollini delivers evocative photography that will leave the viewer emotionally raw. “Before shooting, I talk to the model about the feelings and emotions I have in mind,” Pollini describes his intimate process, “They have a lot of patience with me.”
In his images, Fragile and Light and Shadows, Pollini wields the tool of light strategically to “investigate the body and its protective structure”. As rays of light encase the subject’s figure, creating a “second skeleton of energy”, the apathetic posture emphasizes the need to “lean on something external” in order to achieve ulterior perspective. While Pollini impresses with his photography, his daytime occupation is in mathematics. Although logic and creativity are generally opposing influences, Pollini has found a way to navigate and make sense of his emotions using both approaches. “Math is a wonderful world where you can describe a very complex phenomenon using only one little formula,” he explains, “In the same way, I love the evocative power of a photo.” Using the artistic ‘formula’ of an image to articulate human complexity, Pollini explores specific concepts that unite the psyches of both the viewer
and photographer, creating a visual representation of the human experience. In his series, Aleph, the subject’s physicality ranges from absolute despair, turmoil and loneliness, to gentle longing and serenity. “Aleph captures the moment in time when all the emotions collapse— where there exists everything and nothing,” says Pollini, whose series of versatile expressions incite the variations of apathy and sensitivity that humans are prone to experience—at times, simultaneously. Aligning mathematics in his artistic process once more, the name of Pollini’s series alludes to the mathematical term, ‘aleph’. Aleph numbers are sequential numbers that represent the abstract concept of infinite sets, allowing infinite sets to be understood, categorized and organized. Much like the Chaos Theory, which claims that patterns and recognizable consistencies can be found even in the random and chaotic, the use of the term ‘aleph’ as
a title for Pollini’s series, suggests that amidst the chaos and complexity of the human experience, emotion is the constant that binds our species. For better or for worse, the communal experience of emotion is inescapable, regardless of the sporadic experiences that life attracts. Extending from the narrative of Aleph, Pollini’s Mirror series features emotional collapse from an external perspective. “The mirror is a transmitter of emotions from a different point of view. It does not modify the emotions, only reveals them.” Although Pollini embraced portrait photography in 2012, it wasn’t until 2015 that he “understood the expressive power of conceptual photography,” and began to use the art form for emotionally restorative purposes. “I have many things I can’t talk about, but I can create images that express my thoughts to people who can listen through pixels,” he shares, “The things that have happened in my life remind me of the fragility
of the human being and how our emotions—be they positive or negative—are a big treasure.” As a self-taught photographer, Pollini has acquired enough technique and equipment to translate his vision through the lens. Shooting in studio or outside, Pollini works with modifiers, such as his softbox and collapsible octabox, to conquer lighting. Using Lightroom and Photoshop for his post-production, Pollini’s edits have a clean finish and natural glow. In the gently edited, luminescent piece Rebirth, the subject holds an apple against her spine, the root from which the complexity of life extends. “We must always strive to nurture and grow, even in the darkest moments,” Pollini concludes, “Growth and rebirth can only exist when it starts within ourselves.” Through visual symbolism, Pollini shares his inner workings with the viewer, inviting them, in turn, to reciprocate the emotional intensity of his photography.
I have many things I can’t talk about, but I can create images that express my thoughts to people who can listen through pixels.
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, works by photographer Irina Roik range from ballerinas in flight, to avant-garde portraits. As a former architect, Roik brings structured finesse and controlled mayhem to her experimental repertoire. Since the age of fourteen, Roik engaged in film photography on a recreational level; however, when her husband and â€œchief assistant and accomplice in creativityâ€? gifted her a digital camera in 2006, Roik began to practice photography more regularly, as well as participating in photo contests and expeditions. In her more experimental works, models pose symmetrically, with thread, glitter, paint and grit caked on their skin. Using light to clarify the detailed texture, Roik explores the human form beneath the shield of varying ingredients.
“The materials help me to strengthen the image,” she explains, “Not just conveying the model’s beauty, but also my own feelings and experiences.” While some of her collections are certainly avant-garde, Roik also works with professional dancers to capture movement and physical alignment with delicate precision. "As a child, I was engaged in rhythmic gymnastics,” says Roik of her fascination with choreography and the human body. With elegantly elongated limbs and delicate poise, Roik positions ballerinas in inventive positions: balancing on sheets of fabric, coated in materials that accentuate their muscular structure, or tangled in sheets that hug their delicate curves. With alignment and symmetry, the images maintain balance despite the fluid motion of each subject.
Equipment: Camera: Nikon D700 Lenses: AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G and AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Editing Software: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
Influences: Alphonse Mucha Gustav Klimt Gregory Crewdson Jan Saudek
“Architecture greatly inf luences my work. I studied composition, the history of art, colour, painting, drawing and computer graphics. All of this serves as the foundation for photography,” Roik shares. Her work with dancers first began in 2016 after collaborating with a ballerina from the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre, Ellina Pokhodnykh. “The first shoot with Ellina was not a commercial shoot and I was very pleased that Ellina was carried away with my ideas,” Roik recalls. Through Pokhodnykh, Roik gained access to numerous acquaintances in the ballet, including dancer Radmila Aitova. Incorporating dancers into her photography, Roik’s circle of opportunity expanded, both in her personal and work life. Outside of photography, Roik also enjoys felting, particularly in relation to clothing design. When not planning her next shoot, she can often be found exploring the depths of Odessa’s urban culture.
“Architecture greatly influences my work. I studied composition, the history of art, colour, painting, drawing and computer graphics. All of this serves as the foundation for photography.”
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
A World of Possibility
“My work has often been described as highly emotive, feminine, sad, dark, strong, lonely and vulnerable—all the emotions that women have often gone through to become the people they are.” @kellienorthcreative
eet creative visionary Kellie North, an artist whose aesthetic style marries photography and painting with eloquent ease, enrapturing the viewer with hypnotic folds of fabric, rustic charm and the feminine figure. From the Golden Coast of Australia, North will draw your attention and arrest your admiration. “I love the human form,” says North, whose photography explores female subjects contorted into physically expressive movements, caught in the current of passionate experience: “My work has often been described as highly emotive, feminine, sad, dark, strong, lonely and vulnerable—all the emotions that women have often gone through to become the people they are.” In her self-portrait, Possibilities, North hunches, curled in a cluster of golden paper cranes, swathed in matching coloured fabric, her hair concealing her face. The tendency to sit back and weigh life’s options can be exhilarating, awash in a storm of wings that promise miraculous flight.
“In my life in general, I find I go through so many different possibilities—what I think I should—or could—be doing,” explains North; however, when the f lock of opportunities converges into a storm, one can easily squat in stunned uncertainty, seeking refuge from the overwhelming options that fight for selection. “A deep hope for my photography is that I am able to help people—in someway—connect with themselves, allowing them to walk away with a feeling of knowing they are not alone on their journey,” North shares. Inspired by nature and outdoor activity, the spontaneous shoot for Possibilities occurred when North noticed a textured rock formation while on a walk with her family. An idea quickly developed into a narrative and North immediately arranged a shoot on the spot. While some of her works, including Possibilities, spring serendipitously, North often implements strategic planning to coordinate her shoots. After conceptualizing an image, she sketches her vision to solidify the elements before driving to the location. “Once I arrive, I set up my tripod, put on my costume, grab the remote in my hand and set about my pose, usually jumping into the air or twisting myself into some distorted posture,” North describes.
Kept busy with her two children, North is the primary model for her photography. “Selfportraiture suits my lifestyle at the moment,” she says. The majority of North’s shoots take place while exploring the outdoors and camping with her family, or at home in her studio while her baby sleeps. As the subject, North rarely exposes her face in her photography: “The idea began as a challenge to myself, trying to portray an emotion with my body, movement and costume,” she explains, although she later warmed to the signature theme; “I realized that it allows the viewer to connect with themselves, rather than trying to connect with the subject.” North graduated from The Photography Institute in Australia with a focus on professional photography in 2014, although she has been shooting with film since 2000. “I learned and honed my skills with film photography,” says North, “There was never a lot of room for error, especially if you didn’t have the extra film. You really had to work with your camera and know the settings intimately to learn the science behind taking the photo.” Due to her background in film, North has carried her meticulous methods into the
digital realm. After graduation, North began to develop her voice in the art form. Playing with traditional techniques and digital postproduction, she has since experimented with different materials to achieve a fusion of styles. “I like my images to take on a painterly look and feel, so trying out different textures either physically or in post-production can achieve some amazing results,” says North, whose recent works explore long exposures with symmetrical movement, recalling the aesthetic style of frescos or aged murals. Like any active artist, North continually expands her creative reach, attending courses and reading to keep her skills sharp and innovative. “I’ve always wanted to play around with underwater photography, so recently I purchased an underwater camera housing,” she says excitedly. With the recurring theme of water and natural elements in many of her works, the addition of underwater equipment will add a mesmerizing effect to North’s style, which already achieves fantastical heights. Having championed shoots on land, we eagerly await her capture of stories beneath the surface.
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
This is not just the story of pencil turning into chalk, of a white sheet turned blackâ€”on which light embraces its full dimension. This is the story of a newfound confidence
“Mine is the story of a professional burnout,” says pastel artist Olivier Pringal, “someone under too much constant pressure. It is also the story of rebirth,” he continues, “Of working on oneself and rediscovering vanished values and a buried passion.” In a world driven by consumerism and market demands, Olivier Pringal was an overworked cog in the tightly wound industrial wheel. Strained by financial goals and unattainable expectations, it wasn’t until Pringal’s recurring health problems began to escalate that he realized his life need to change and was forced to reevaluate his personal and professional priorities.
“My body said ‘stop’,” he recounts. It was at this pivotal point in his life, that Pringal made the diff icult decision to surround himself with a professional team, including a life coach. During this transition, Pringal came across old drawings he had created in his younger years. He decided to pick up a pencil and resume the artistic pursuits he had abandoned as a teen in the 1990’s. After much support from friends and family, Pringal began to cultivate his forgotten hobby and, as his newfound confidence grew into fervor, he began churning it into a serious pursuit. Since last year, Pringal has dedicated himself to drawing profusely, revisiting the well-worn paths of his creativity to define a new artistic voice. Working mainly with dry
and bold pastels on black paper, Pringal “plays with light to make it appear essential” in his riveting works of contrasting shades. “The idea and desire to work with pastel chalk came gradually,” he explains, “When I was drawing in pencil, using my hands to smooth the shadows, it created a chalky material that I liked to work with.” Incorporating chalk into his tool set, Pringal achieves the desired texture with more efficiency. From music legends like the Rolling Stones to cinematic icons like Clint Eastwood, Pringal has drawn them all with expert clarity and phenomenal photorealism. With themes revolving around celebrity, the female form and a passion for wine, Pringal delivers chalk, pencil and pastel work that strikes the viewer with its hyper realistic semblance to photography.
As a self-taught artist, Pringal has delivered remarkable results at an applaudable speed. Completing a drawing within the impressive span of only three to six hours, Pringal leaves room for error with his brisk pace, allowing the resulting â€œimperfectionsâ€? to act as the hallmark of his emotions embedded into each piece. From his home near Annecy, France, Pringal enjoys a new life and is already taking orders for custom pieces and arranging upcoming exhibitions. With a revived sense of being and purpose, Pringalâ€™s evolution has led him to a much more peaceful and fulfilling life.
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
In the Limelight 62
D. Veresk @ilonaveresk ilonaveresk.com
“Women have always captivated me. I am in love with their fragile beauty, porcelain skin and ageless faces.”
ising from the Moscow art scene, photographer Ilona D. Veresk skillfully presents a world of romantically luminescent works that is catching eyes around the world. Specializing in fashion, beauty and advertising, it is within the frame of her elegant and alluring images that Veresk has established her creative capabilities within the sphere of photography, tenfold. “At first, becoming a photographer was not my dream,” Veresk admits. Fantasizing about careers in voice work or costume design as a child, Veresk’s early dreams were swayed by the permeating culture of Disney. Yet even as she studied fine arts in her teenage years and pursued interior design in university, Veresk maintained a fascination with romantic visual styles.
In tandem with her studies, Veresk began to explore graphic design and photo manipu lation. Designing covers for albums and singles, she earned revenue and a widening reputation within the local circle of musicians. It was during this time that Veresk developed her skill for digital art, a knack that would later spill over into her photography’s editing style. A year after graduating from university, Veresk left the little town of her upbringing, Izhevsk, and headed to the Russian capital to try her hand at success, but first, she would be met with struggle. “Life in Moscow forced me to rack my brain for ways to pay for housing and food. I set myself up in a photography studio and took my camera along to earn something,” recounts Veresk. They say that ‘necessity is the mother of invention,’ and, during this time, the proverb rang true in Veresk’s life, as her scant circumstances drove her to develop as a photographer.
“The make of a camera doesn’t matter to me. Every modern brand can do its work very well—what differs is your control and taste. Most of my recent portfolio was shot with a Canon EOS 600D; it’s an entrylevel, cheap model, but just add a good lens like Canon’s L series and you can have a nice ‘working horse’ product for a lower price. The best camera brand I have tested is Hasselblad. It allows for amazing, extremely detailed images, but it’s very heavy to carry and expensive to buy.”
While Veresk had previously owned a camera, her use of it was merely casual, however, near the end of 2013, Veresk’s financial state forced her hand at artistic experimentation within the art form. “When I started to dip into photography, I thought it was a temporary fix,” Veresk admits, “but the more I dipped in, the more I understood that if you treat something seriously, and use your imagination, it can become really compelling.” And so, the idealistic imaginings of Veresk’s childhood resurfaced with renewed vigour. “My dream found me,” she adds with pleasant irony. Today, the alluring subjects of Veresk ’s personal projects and haute fashion editorials boast of her predestined talent for photography.
With minimal edits and heightened lighting technique, Veresk extracts the organic beauty of her subjects with a luminescent presentation. “I don’t use Photoshop on my subjects’ body or skin—they are perfect just as they are,” Veresk attests, alluding to her tendency for selecting models with naturally “ethereal and elusive” qualities. In her underwater series, The Siren, delicate fabric and tendrils of hair ripple gently and seductively around the subject. Suspended in graceful movement, the subject invites innocent admiration and placid contemplation. Unlike the mythological siren, whose luring beauty
and melody dazzled men toward a vicious demise, Veresk ’s sirens emanate a purity of intent. When asked about the challenges involved with shooting such elaborate scenes beneath the surface, Veresk recalls, “Underwater portraiture wasn’t too hard, but communication between the model and team was a big problem.” With her mind reeling with the logistics and organizational tasks relating to the shoot, Veresk “couldn’t sleep normally” leading up to the event. “It was my first underwater shoot, which was very exciting. I rented two different cameras and brought all the possible lenses I could use,” she explains, “I had a lot on my mind and was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to shoot in the conditions.”
Despite her initial stress, Veresk captured The Siren beautif u l ly. Pa r ticu la rly noteworthy in the series, as with her work in general, is Vereskâ€™s controlled use of light. As one of the broncolor Gen NEXT beneficiaries of 2017, an organization that â€œequips the next generation of young professional photographers
with cutting edge lighting gear for photography and videography”, Veresk has been given access to top-tier products, along with the creative freedom to experiment with her personal photography. “Light in photography means so much more than cameras or other tools,” Veresk explains of her meticulous use of lighting equipment, “Gen NEXT is a big honour and an awesome creative kick for me.” With numerous exhibitions since 2015, awards and press coverage, Veresk supports her entire income through her photography
services. “I’m really addicted to this lifestyle and enjoy every minute working on personal images and client content,” she says, “I have worked as a freelancer for my entire adult life. It’s my way of fighting the system and corporate slavery,” she quips. Leaping from her nest in Izhevsk, into a financially meagre living in Moscow, Veresk has since sprouted wings through her photographic explorations and continues to soar toward endless opportunity.
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
The Power of Creative Engagement â€œHaving an art therapist there in the room as a witness to your work is one of the key differences between sketching your own thoughts on paper versus having a healing experience.â€?
reative expression takes the form of inf inite outlets, with innumerable intentions and purpose placed on the act. Applied at times for professional purposes, or at other times for the mere pleasure of creating, artistic engagement can also be used for personal resolution or illumination, either on an individual basis or with the involvement of a therapist. Yet while many argue that expression through art is therapeutic in itself, others find the involvement of a therapist helpful in navigating the inarticulate depths of their emotion.
“Some phrase the arts as the ‘language of the soul’ and so, in that retrospect, it gives voice and expression to something inside us that we cannot always connect to on a daily occurrence,” says seasoned Expressive Art Therapist (EXAT) and author, Leesa Landry. “What I love about art-based therapies is that they allow us to get beyond the ego, to go deeper within the psyche,” she shares. For those who think “artistic inclinations” are necessary for benefitting from a session, Landry observes that in fact, such individuals
Self-Discovery Through Creative Experimentation
“tend to have a harder time in the beginning because they are focused on the destination.” Less fixated on the finished product than on the effort spent getting there, art therapies can guide a person through the journey of artistic conception as the individual interprets their own work, analyzing their internal response while creating. “Having an art therapist there in the room as a witness to your work is one of the key differences between sketching your own thoughts on paper versus having a healing experience,” explains art therapist and private practitioner Debbie Anderson, “The art therapist is a receptive, unbiased and nonjudgmental presence that has experience helping you hold the energies of what is depicted and creating a safe space for you.”
Just as there are many mediums for creative expression, the array of art therapies is quite versatile. Through visual art, writing, improvised storytelling, music, dance and much more, art therapies extract implicit experiences and convert them into palpable presentations that are more accessible for personal observation and investigation. “It’s very cathartic, as well as an eye opener, to have something tangible to express that ‘something’ inside us that there are no words for,” explains Landry, asserting that the “tangible piece” can become “a catalyst to go even deeper into the situation or emotion, in order to gain new insights and release emotional pain.” For Anderson, whose clients often struggle with persistent depression, manic depression or anxiety, separating oneself from pain by channelling creative expression can lead to a healthy and positive resolution. “The visual dialogue you have with yourself can feel very healing. The images depicting your reaction or memories can hold the emotion and allow you to be an observer rather than the victim,” she explains, in reference to trauma-related effects. Visual artist Joseph Lewis, sought EXAT as a “creative, therapeutic outlet” to explore his body image and weight issues, along with his depression.
Hav ing worked through ta l k-based therapies in the past—and since—Lewis found that through EXAT, “using art in the healing process allowed for a strong relational connection with the therapist”; however, while EXAT lead to “a huge shift” in mood and energy for Lewis, he wasn’t always aware of what, in particular, had shifted.
“No-one but the artist truly knows what the images may mean,” Anderson remarks of the visual arts created in therapy sessions: “They each have stories that go with them, some known, some not expressed. An art therapist does not interpret art for a client. What can help in the healing process is to very objectively ask questions about the piece, without judgement or bias.” In his sessions, Lewis experimented with writing, painting, spoken-word and movement. “Looking back, the body-based work was most helpful as a lot of the depression was stemming from an unhealthy body image,” Lewis reflects, “I was able to get in touch with my body and learned to be more comfortable with my weight, which also assisted in abating some of the depression.”
While he is no longer a client of EXAT, Lewis continues to source therapeutic benefits from creative outlets.
A Look Down the Line While many, like Lewis, have grown as a result of art therapy methods, the psychology and science communities have also given a thumbs-up by recognizing the healthy influence of creativity. In “Everyday Creative Activity as a Path to Flourishing”, a study published by The Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers found that pursuing “creative goals” during a day resulted in a person’s “positive psychological
functioning” for that day. Essentially, creativity stimulates well-being during the days that it is practiced. Another report, The Arts and Human Development: Learning Across the Lifespan, published in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, observed that, “Children attending a preschool that used an arts integration model made greater
developmental strides in multiple domains, including initiative and social relations.” The report also referenced a 2009 study by Helga and Tony Noice, which discovered that older adults engaging in a controlled amount of theatrical activity for over a month’s time “significantly improved” in four cognitive areas, including “immediate word recall, problemsolving, verbal fluency and delayed recall.” Although research is still a far cry from definitively declaring a link between the arts and development, such interesting findings suggest the power of creativity to nourish the human mind and have a positive effect on cognition and social interactions.
A ‘Note’worthy Approach In addition to EXAT, music therapy forms its own pillar beneath the roof of art therapy methods, providing sonic communication for those who may find language or words inaccessible.
Work ing with children with special cognitive and developmental needs, music therapist and founder of Note by Note Music Therapy (NNMT), Katherine Graff, focuses on cultivating abilities in socializing, communication and cognition. “Improving or even developing basic communication skills will affect the client’s life the most positively, so this is usually the number one goal,” she explains. Working with the “universal language” of music, Graff requests that clients select a song or instrument, while also incorporating singing into her methods, “to practice vowel sounds and improve articulation.” She also uses rhythm to imitate syllables and melody for intonation—both of which provide the basic “practice tools for speech”. By exploring music and instruments in a safe space, clients gain a confidence that extends beyond their “preconceived limits of personal skill”, according to NNMT subcontractor and music therapist, Gordon Clark. “The fundamental goal is to harness the power of what happens in the musical experience to effect change in other areas of a person’s life,” he elaborates, “Increasing their ability to use words in communication, or becoming more aware of others in their social surroundings.” While Graff mostly works with children, Clark works with teens, adults and seniors in care. With a history of playing music professionally, Clark now uses his bass and guitar to support clients with musical backdrops as they test various instruments for optimal expression.
“I encourage clients to sing, to achieve expression with the most personal of instruments—the voice,” he adds. Having wrestled with recurrent depression throughout his life, Clark’s relationship with music has been an asset to his career; “I have been using music as a therapeutic outlet in my own life for years.” In an example of how music therapy can aid in addressing internalized tension, Graff describes a young man she worked with who was “very emotionally labile.” Graff would facilitate songwriting with him, listen as he sang his experience, and ensure that he felt supported in the session. “It is a very cathartic experience. After the song is ‘out’, he is able to move on,” she reflects. Through NNMT, Graff also offers a musical theatre program which enables group interaction and collaboration towards a common goal, an activity that also allows individuals to take each other’s perspectives and opinions into account. “These are all skills that are sometimes quite difficult for participants in ‘real life’,” Graff says. “Being in a therapeutic group experience emphasizes the understanding that we are all one. What you do or say, or how you feel in a group affects the others,” adds Anderson, who also mediates group art therapy sessions. Further emphasizing Graff and Clark’s practice, a study in 2014 found a strong correlation between the effects of music therapy and improved “social interaction, verbal communication, initiating behaviour and social-emotional reciprocity” with children on the autism spectrum.
Whether through writing, visual arts, music, drama or other forms of art therapy, Anderson asserts that simply “being ‘heard’” can have a calming effect. In building a relationship through facilitated creation, individuals participating in art therapy receive companionship and guidance from their therapists during sessions, enabling the externalization of internal struggles and, ultimately, personal resolution.
The Experts: Leesa Landry, Expressive Art Therapist & Author Life—On Purpose!: https://www.facebook.com/mylifeonpurpose/ The Create Institute: http://www.thecreateinstitute.org/board-of-directors.html Author of: “The Gift of Divorce: How the Ending of Your Relationship Can Be the Beginning of Finding your True Path in Life” Debbie Anderson, Art Therapist Debbie Anderson Art Therapy: http://www.debbieandersonarttherapy.com/ Katherine Graff, Music Therapist Note by Note Music Therapy: http://www.notebynotemusictherapy.com/ Gordon Clark, Music Therapist Music Inspirit: www.musicinspirit.com Note by Note Music Therapy: http://www.notebynotemusictherapy.com/ MTC Studios: http://www.mtcstudio.ca/ Expressive Art Therapy (EXAT) Described by Landry as an “intermodal approach to the arts”, EXAT includes all art forms in its method, from drama to voice, to visual arts and more. “It allows my client and myself not to be limited to just one tool, and gives the client freedom and unconstructed opportunity to play through their issues.”
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
ising Toronto jazz vocalist, Linda Carone, has made a name for herself in the urban music scene, recreating the sound of bygone eras by transporting them into the present with a contemporary twist. In a style that is f lirtatious, intimate and approachable, Carone channels the inf luence of musical icons from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. She recently debuted an album, Black Moonlight, that delivers a lyrical repertoire of beauty and mischievous charm that will leave you swooning over your cocktail in the back of a dimly lit lounge.
Your first album, Black Moonlight, compiles vintage jazz and blues classics into a single collection. Tell us about the journey that led you to this debut. During my most formative years, I was exposed to old movie musicals and classic rock. But it was Billie Holiday movies that set in motion an interest in the vocal jazz genre. I slowly collected jazz and blues songs that I loved and would mostly sing when no one was around. At this time, I also had an interest in eastern philosophies and practiced kundalini yoga and Buddhist chanting; I used Indian scales and ragas to warm up my voice instead of going the conventional way. I began to find my voice through vibrations, energy and songs that I connected with. Taking a few jazz workshops and learning the basics, I went on to a few open stages and later started to book my own gigs. Making an album was not really part of my plan initially; I had just considered singing and performing to be means of practice. As a â€˜late bloomerâ€™, I felt that I had a lot of catching up to do in order to call myself a vocalist. Due to my love for vintage songs and my desire to bring them back to life, I already had a fairly substantial repertoire of songs I was happy with; it wasnâ€™t too difficult to choose tracks for this album. After much learning, practice and listening, the time finally came to make Black Moonlight.
How has life changed for you since launching your first solo album? Now, with the release of Black Moonlight, I’ve ventured into a new mode of expression, creating music videos for each song on my album. It’s been so much fun because the vintage filmvisuals encompass the many things that I love into one enterprise: conceptual thinking, creative direction, composing and designing. I want people to hear the music, so I have to market myself and put myself out there, even though I prefer to be private and hide in the background. For example, with the album cover that I designed, I went a little ‘diva’ on the photography, although I consider myself far from a diva. The music business is vastly changing and I need think outside of the box. There is so much to do, it’s a bit overwhelming at times, but I’m thrilled with the outcome of the album and all the rave reviews I’ve received.
What is it about Black Moonlight that listeners find so alluring? The album’s songs have stood the test of time. Many of these songwriters and performers pioneered much of the music that is heard today. Many of them have been overlooked, but Black Moonlight is an opportunity to bring them to light. To me, these songs sound just as good now as they did then—classic and timeless.
CONNECT WITH LINDA CARONE Stay updated on upcoming shows by joining her email list: email@example.com TO PURCHASE HARD CD COPIES: https://www.lindacarone.com/fundme/pre-order-an-advancedphysical-signed-copy-of-the-cd-black-moonlight TO PURCHASE DIGITAL ALBUMS: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lindacarone https://www.amazon.com/Black-Moonlight-Linda-Carone/dp/ B01MSAVATW
â€œMy inspiration comes from my life experience, upbringing and my love and appreciation for what life has given me. The powerful and inspiring messages come from my desire to inspire, educate and uplift.â€?
BY GUINEVERE JOY
Hip-Hop With a Positive Spin
has the power to heal, inspire and uplift, as well as the potential to change one’s mood in a matter of moments. Toronto-based hip-hop artist, Eseme “Es” Elango, harnesses this power to share his message of hope and change, with incredibly moving hip-hop tracks. Upon listening, it’s almost impossible to not be swept into the current of his heartfelt positivity. “I believe my music is proof that hip-hop can be entertaining, uplifting and intelligent all at the same time,” Es reflects.
Es first encountered hip-hop music in the 1980’s while living in Trinidad and Tobago: “I discovered hip-hop music for the first time by accident,” he shares, “One day, while watching television, a music video aired in the form of a commercial, with three guys wearing bucket hats and white sneakers, speaking over an energetic drum beat. I was captivated by it and wanted to see it again. I had no idea what I had just seen but I was in love. Years later, I learned that it had been a group called Run–D.M.C., and that the musical style was hip-hop.” Driven by the beat, Es began to write his own hip-hop rhymes in 1991. When Es began writing, he did so not with the intention of creating music to be shared publicly, but simply for his love of writing. “I may not be making millions from my records, but it’s a chance to make the listener feel better about themselves after listening, and that’s what matters to me the most,” he discloses to INSPADES. After a meandering journey through the following decades that included collaborations w ith other artists, he co-created the group Homegrown in 2009. These days, however, Es works solo, with his first album
Aspire To Inspire released in 2014. A long the way, Es’ career has been punctuated with various forms of recognition, including receiving the Best Urban Artist award at the 2015 Toronto Independent Music Awards, and a nomination for Best East Coast Rap Album at the 2016 Canadian Urban Television Hip Hop Awards. “Too many people are afraid to be themselves for fear of failure,” he claims, “They never allow themselves to express who they truly are, in an attempt to stay safely within the boundaries of current trends.” Bravely creating music that is as unique as he is, Es feels that “positivity in music is underrepresented,” and he therefore embraces it. Es’ goal is to encourage people to let their light shine and embrace the unique qualities that only they possess. His agenda is to facilitate change in the world through helping people realize their true potential and their capacity for transformation. “The hip-hop that I grew up with, and was inspired by, did these things. The roots and foundation of the culture and the music I fell in love with were intended to be a means to uplift, educate and empower oppressed people,” he concludes.
BY GUINEVERE JOY
PORTRAITS OF PERFECTION “I'm very particular with angles using single light sources and will often precisely direct models movement and posing to get the most impact”
Aperture: f8 to f16 (if shooting a creative portrait, f1.4 - f4) Shutter Speed: 1/250 ISO: 25 - 100 White Balance: 5000 Focus: Manual (mostly) Image Format: RAW Camera body: Nikon Lenses: Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 art Tripod: Manfrotto Filters: Hoya UV filters on all lenses, polarizing filter as needed Flash: Nikon, Bowens
he old-world Hollywood inspired portraits by photographer Daniel Moncur-Sime evoke an instant impression of style, glamour and finesse. “I have an ever-increasing body of work inspired by techniques from the 1930s to the 1960s that seem to enhance the natural femininity and beauty of women,” says MoncurSime, “I know that my models particularly love this Hollywoodinspired style because it gives them a supportive boost to their natural femininity, a chance to be more glamorous than in our everyday modern world.”
Artists, who are highly skilled in their form, have the ability to make their work appear effortless, as is seen in Moncur-Sime’s languid, sensual portraits. With a background in fine art, Moncur-Sime recounts, “Years of looking at paintings of the great masters have embedded a sense of what feels right when using light, particularly single light sources. I’m very particular with angles, using single light sources and will often precisely direct the model’s movement and position to get the most impact, always watching how shadows fall across the models face. I continually strive to emulate how the great masters used light in their portraiture. Rembrandt, da Vinci, Michelangelo and Van Meer are great examples of masters to study classic portraiture.” While he was unequivocally impressed upon by these great artistic authorities, it was actually Moncur-Sime’s first impressions of the world of imagery that led him to become a successful fashion and editorial photographer, and it all began in his childhood with the novice captures of his beloved grandfather.
“Although he was an amateur nature photographer, his work always amazed me and gave me insight into the power of photography,” reveals Moncur-Sime, “My grandfather was my first inspiration for photography.” Now, Moncur-Sime works with some of the most respected names in the fashion world such as Lindka Cierach and Jenny Peckham.
The London-based photographer often shoots from his own studio, a large ballroom in his country residence, which serves as an idyllic setting for outdoor portraits as well. While Moncur-Sime has done quite well for himself, success can bring also with it the physical consequences of working too hard. After a few years of living the intense “London lifestyle”, Moncur-Sime had to take a sabbatical from photography in order to recover from both liver and kidney failure. “After nine months of recovery, I returned to photography, away from the fashion industry, doing mainly commercial work for around four years. The positive side was that it allowed for my development in other technical photography skills,” discloses Moncur-Sime.
Looking toward the future, Moncur-Sime is hoping to inspire and help other photographers develop their skills in photography with workshops and, eventually, a dedicated academy for photography. He also has plans to develop online teaching aids, such as a series of webinar courses and videos for other creatives to have an over-theshoulder view of his photography processes. Passionate about people and the arts, Moncur-Sime also envisions himself travelling to the Orient, Eastern Europe and Russia and photographing the people he encounters. “Somewhere along the way, I would like to realize my dreams to see more of the world,” shares Moncur-Sime, “To meet more incredibly creative people and photograph the wondrous characters and beauty of people.”
“I continually strive to emulate how the great masters used light in their portraiture.”
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
LICUD “The best part about designing both women and menswear is seeing my drawings come to life—the ability to finally see, touch and smell the long process of creative work that came from a great vision.”
Fashion is a fierce and competitive industry. In a world of swirling fabric and fickle fame, each stitch is a strategic step toward a designer’s success—each collection, a chance to make or break one’s career. Entering the gladiatorial arena of fashion with a confident gait, fusing function with couture to achieve stunning elegance, is radical pattern maker and designer, Tristan Licud. In his 2015 Spring-Summer Ready to Wear collection for women, Licud used “asymmetrical shapes and daring cuts” to flatter Afro-inspired patterns and colours, adorning Toronto runways with zesty hues.
“The collection was the story of a modern woman, daring to wear high-fashion on the streets in the middle of a blazing summer season,” Licud remarks. Similar to his 2015 Spring-Summer line, Licud’s most recent collection also evolved around a narrative. The Great Trade, his first menswear line, showcases sophisticated grit and grounded colouration, bringing additional variety to Licud’s usually vibrant style. According to Licud, The Great Trade is “a story of high profile gangsters” that dress fashionably in “heavy-duty” garb, ready for a mission in the city. Contrasting tasteful cuts with harsh buckles, leather, and metal studs, The Great Trade is fit for edgy gentlemen with a determined lifestyle.
“The best part about designing both women and menswear is seeing my drawings come to life—the ability to finally see, touch and smell the long process of creative work that came from a great vision,” Licud divulges. Inspired by John Galliano’s quirky and colourful work with Dior, as well as the avantgarde gowns by the sublime mastermind, Alexander McQueen, Licud adopts elements of their style in his energetic, edgy designs. “Their works were always bold and disturbing—haute drama on the runway,” Licud admires. In the process of developing his unique style, Licud borrowed heavily from architecture. Since childhood, he adored the artistic value of architecture and fashion. While the design of houses and buildings primarily lured his interest, the “inner-workings” of gowns and dresses ultimately won Licud’s lasting devotion. Watching television shows like Miss Universe as a child, he remembers how “shiny, shimmery and silky” the sophisticated gowns were, “like silhouettes made from the sky.”
As he grew, Licud continued to pay homage to both architecture and fashion, designing prom dresses for classmates in high school and studying architecture in university. Before immigrating to Canada, Licud took fashion courses at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines, which groomed him for his studies in fashion at George Brown College in Toronto. In 2013, Licud graduated from the program and hit the runway sprinting with his striking style. Currently working as a Design Engineer for a mechanical engineering company, as well as the Artistic Director for his brand, TFL COUTURE, Licud is planning to bring his computer-aided 3D designs to the world of fashion. “I am still an architect after all, who simply weaves proportion, function, aesthetic and confidence throughout each silhouette,” he states. With technical precision and creative flare, Licud continues to astound fashion lovers with each new innovative collection. For images of Licuds past and present collections look at: www.tflcouture.com - @tflcouture Editorial photos in this article was taken in NYC during the NYFW season last January 2017. Thanks to the production team: Organizer: Couture Culture & Arts - CCA Photographer: Troi Santos Creative Director: Sands L CP Stylist: Claris Minas Manglicmot Modeling Agency:Modèles LCP ( Models: Pierre, Elgar, and Denny) Makeup Artist: Miriam Magno Hair Stylist: Maili Carpino
BY CELIA BERLEMONT
Art of Healing
rom canvases to people, Auberon Wolf entered the world of ink three and a half years ago. Learning body art the hard way, Wolf skipped the formal apprenticeship path, and like many artists, learned by of way of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. With a generous amount of support, Wolf now inks for a living and is currently working at the Golden Spirit Tattoo Shop in East Vancouver. â€œMy sensibilities as an artist are intimately informed by my understanding of art forms as shaped by the world we live in, our different cultures, our identities and our experiences. I understand the body, not as a blank canvas, but a landscape already marked and molded by the world; thus tattoos make a visible and physical statement,â€? shares Wolf. While well-versed in the standard form of tattoo skin decoration, Wolf is also specialized in another more unique area: the coverage of overt and hidden scars.
Wolf ’s experience with tattooing on atypical skin tissue allows the artist to have the same comfort and skill as any artist would with “regular” skin, however, Wolf recognizes that a scar’s origin requires specific physical considerations. “Scars and wounds can come from so many places. If the scarring comes from a skin condition that I don’t have enough education about, we need to discuss what it means to go through a medical professional to find out whether or not it is appropriate or safe to be tattooing,” explains Wolf. Similar to the regular tattoo process, drawings and designs remain the core creation of covering scars, but with definite differences. With a textured skin, the perception of the tattoo varies from one angle to another, therefore, a coverage that features organics and nature figures will result in more detailed coverage, because of the natural imperfections such images contain. Wolf explains, “Nature works well simply because we don’t notice scars the same way as if it were, say, disrupting a word.” Although challenging and more painful, scars tissue coverage is “not unbearable by any means”, and where creation meets uniqueness, Wolf offers clients the freedom to set the consultation in the way that they want, in respect for all individualities. At the heart of this shared adventure and joint performance, communication and understanding are key. Intimate in its capacity as a shared experience, Wolf
considers each individual and their body art to have a unique impact on both of their bodies. “The emotional labour that goes into each tattoo requires gentleness, patience and spacing. Everyone wants something different. Some people want to breathe through it, some people want to pause. Some people want to talk to you and have more of a narrative-based healing in that moment and some just want to cry and not talk about it,” discloses Wolf. The assessment of the needs of each individual is a skillset Wolf has learned to master throughout the years with a true caring empathy, inviting clients to a safe zone where they are free to simply feel. “In my work, I want to create and offer a safer space for marginalized bodies, people of colour, women, queer, trans and genderqueer folks, trauma survivors and folks living with different levels of mental and physical disability. Although I cannot create a perfect space for everyone, I am working to create a supportive and process-oriented environment based on an open dialogue between myself and my clients,” says Wolf, who even offers alternative means of payment, such as skill-sharing for services to anyone who is economically disadvantaged. With the intention to tattoo across British Columbia, and potentially all of Canada, Wolf is hopeful for a foreseeable future for which no home base is forecasted. “I’m really excited to travel the country that I live in and learn more about the places I haven’t been,” says Wolf.
Guineve A Tale of Light & Water
ere Joy BY JACLYN TRUSS
â€œThere was a dreamlike beauty with the vividness of the colours and perfect clarity of the light, like standing in the middle of a mirror in the centre of a kaleidoscope.â€?
estled in the quiet of Lake Huron lies Manitoulin Island, a place known as the heart and soul of the Canadian Great Lakes, its stunning sweet water glistening in the day’s sun, pristinely mirroring a clouded blue sky and creating an image that perfectly embodies the adage: “as above, so below”. Along the water’s edge, you are apt to find photographer Guinevere Joy, who has put her heart and soul into capturing the unadulterated beauty of Manitoulin Island as part of her Light & Water series. This series, which Joy has been creating for the better part of decade, explores the interactions between light and water during long exposures. As the main setting for this body of work is Manitoulin Island, as well as the surrounding Lake Huron and inland lakes, many of the images feature water in its different forms: liquid, snow, mist and ice. As an avid traveller, Joy is disposed to living abroad, and has expanded her series to reflect her personal journeys around the world. With her clean, elegant style and ability to incorporate different aspects of design into her compositions, Joy has accomplished a spectacular collection of pieces that calm the mind, warm the heart and touch the soul.
“I think in life, we are always drawn to what we are meant to do. I have always gravitated towards photography, and looking back on how my artistic journey unfolded, photography was just always something that I did,” Joy reflects. In an exclusive interview with INSPADES, Joy divulged her inspiration, process and creative journey: “Something that has always inspired me when creating art is the golden ratio, used by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as the Fibonacci sequence. This is a mathematical sequence made famous by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci in the early middle-ages (documented in ancient Sanskrit texts as well), that is basically the blueprint for all things natural.
This sequence is found in every living thing on earth from sunflowers to snowflakes, to the pattern of leaves on a tree to the divine matrix of the human body. “Aspect ratio is something I consider from the very start, often pre-visualizing which aspect ratio I will use in the final image while shooting. I’m fond of a 2:1 ratio, as is seen in my work, and also a 1:1 ratio. “After working in design for many years, I decided that I wanted to pursue photography professionally, as this was my true passion. My thirst for understanding technical aspects of photography was quenched by attending art school, learning everything from strobe lighting, to optics, to camera mechanics and so much more. I loved making prints using alternate processes such as Calotype and Cyanotype--I love the artistic process of printmaking. “Although I’ve been taking photos since I was a child, photography became a passion while I was living in Tanzania. It was the first time I’d ever left Canada and I instantly fell in love with Tanzania. I lived in the highlands in a village called Iringa. The pace of life, and the warmth and amiability of the people opened my eyes and my heart; this country will always have a very special place for me. “One of the things I would often do in Iringa is walk to the large, open-air market and buy fruit; rich, succulent mangos and pineapples. I would also visit the Maasai market, f illed with the colourful beaded jewelry that the Maasai are known for, and visit the stall of a dear friend, Singai.
I would buy beautiful beaded jewelry--gorgeous creations made by his wife. The kindness and generosity of this man still resonates in my heart. Although we didn’t speak much of each other’s language, we would often sit and talk with the assistance of gestures and smiles. Often he would offer me tea, and we would sit in the shade of his stall, a welcome reprieve from the oppressive afternoon sun. “To this day, fifteen years later, the portrait I took of Singai is still one of my favourites; the mark of a strong image is the test of time. Although I focus now on fine art landscapes, I love portraiture, capturing the essence and energy of a person. “When I returned home from Tanzania, I had a photo exhibition at a local café with my images. I continued to shoot, take courses, and had an apprenticeship with a seasoned photographer, but my photography really started to gel once I graduated from Humber College.
â€œI have long believed that we are drawn to, as well as guided to what we are meant to experience in our lives; each one of us has a compass in our heart, the secret is learning to listen.â€?
“My photography internship with Magnum photographer Larry Towell (one of Canada’s most famous and celebrated photojournalists), was one of the highlights of my time in college. I spent a week at his farmhouse, assisting him in a few different projects, which is intimately depicted in his book, The World From My Front Porch. Larry gave me invaluable feedback on my work, as well as a good sense of direction on how to be successful as a photographer and an artist. I’m so happy I chose a path in the arts, because in the end, it’s more important to do what you love than anything else.
“When I lived in Bolivia, I had the important task of completing a second part to my Light & Water series in the Salar de Uyuni. I went on two separate occasions when the conditions of the salt f lats were ideal, and was completely enchanted by the incredible experience of standing in a completely silent, immense plane surrounded by the brilliant colours of the sky ref lected upon the water. There was a dreamlike beauty with the vividness of the colours and perfect clarity of the light, like standing in the middle of a mirror in the centre of a kaleidoscope. “When I write, as well as create and edit images, I can get lost in creativity, literally losing track of time. When I’m shooting,
I often take a series of long exposures, and standing there with my tripod, waiting for the shutter to close, I often slip into a reverie, a different state of mind. “Where I live in Manitoulin, there is a very unique quality of light, as the island is surrounded by the light ref lected upon the water. The light has a very special quality, it’s like sitting in the middle of a big bowl with the light mirrored inwards. This, combined with being located in the northern hemisphere means that long summer nights are always illuminated by a glow. When I’m out shooting at night, it never really gets truly dark near the water.
However, the light isnâ€™t from any artificial light source, like what one might experience in close proximity to an urban setting. Itâ€™s starlight, and moonlight, being ref lected from the surrounding water, and illuminating the night. â€œTime of day, temperature, angle of the sun, as well as the depth of water, all impact the movement of the water and how the light interacts with it. I prefer to shoot at dawn because the water is much more still at dawn in comparison to dusk and the smooth glass-like quality of water is much more typical of this time of day. I also like to find forms and shapes in the rocky, fossilized shoreline of Manitoulin to use to anchor and give my images a sense of depth and scale.
“The light has a very special quality, it’s like sitting in the middle of a big bowl with the light mirrored inwards. This, combined with being located in the northern hemisphere means that long summer nights are always illuminated by a glow.”
“I love the unpredictability of long exposures with water. It’s almost like seeing a much clearer version of a landscape after seeing the way the water flows over a length of time and the way the light interacts with it. Of course there are scores of variables that change this and this is what I love about my creative process. The locations I shoot are peaceful and quite conducive to daydreaming, and the more I dedicate myself to my dream, the more it becomes a reality.”
I prefer to use prime lenses for sharp, crisp images. I have a few other lenses, a macro and a long lens that are also prime lenses, but for my landscapes I use my 20mm and 50mm. Nikon D750, 20mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 105mm f2.8, 180mm f2.8 Vello ShutterBoss II Polarizing Filter: B+W KSM Pol-Circular, ND Filter: Kenko ND8 Tripod: Sirui M-2204, Lowepro backpack with a slot for my laptop. Great for traveling, because I can take all my gear on planes with this as my carry-on.
BY ANISSA STAMBOULI
The Beautiful Struggle “We often give up, find excuses or settle for less, because we don’t fully understand who we are.”
In times of struggle or moments of greatest bliss, artists from every era have captured the human spirit through the experiential scope of their unique understanding. From the Soviet Union’s economic upheaval to American opportunism and prosperity, feminist oil painter, Veronica Winters, combines traditional European aesthetics with the assertive ideologies of Western culture in her thoughtprovoking collections. Born in a communist country during a time of great unrest, Winters was raised in a land ravaged by economic distress and desperation. While in high school, she experienced the jarring aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, which left Russia in a “surreal mode of survival, with millions of people struggling to push through it.”
During this period of her young adult life, the opportunity to explore her creativity had yet to manifest for Winters. Amidst the financial chaos left in the wake of the Soviet Union, practicing art was a luxury Winters couldn’t afford. Instead, she acted pragmatically and pursued a degree in business, indefinitely dismissing her artistic inclinations. While attending a business college in Moscow, a handsome scholarship intercepted the course of Winters’ life, enabling her to study in the United States for a semester. “I had hit the jackpot,” she admits. Despite the unknown that lay ahead, Winters packed her bags and chanced success in America. “I encountered a totally different, prosperous lifestyle with abundant opportunities and resources,” she recalls. It was then, within the opportunistic culture of the United States, that Winters encountered a truer version of herself. Tantalized by that taste of freedom, Winters settled in the United States after graduating and started a family. Amid the liberating energy of American society, surging with potential and promise, Winters began to explore her longignored creative propensity. “I took a few art classes when my son was born and that marked the very beginning of my development as an artist,” she remembers. Today the aesthetic inf luence of Winters’ painting can be traced to her experiences in the drastically different cultures of the
Soviet Union and the United States. “As a Russian-American artist, I combine the European aesthetic for classical art with the Western push for ideas,” she shares. Boldly addressing socio-political issues and social change with gentle strokes of oil paint, Winters harnesses the power of beauty to soften the bristling effect of justif ied social confrontation. In each work, she spins edgy incentives around the pivot of women’s experience. Themes of confidence, clarity and a sense of agency resonate in her oil paintings, particularly in her series Iconic Women, which includes the resurgence of leading figures like Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette and references the exemplary Rosa Parks. “The cult of domesticity haunts women. Many women are perceived as shoe cleaners even when we have jobs. I honour the female spirit through my images,” says Winters, whose personal struggles and circumstances deepened her solidarity with the challenges women face within society. Winters believes that in order for women to accomplish their potential, having a solid grasp on one’s identity is essential. “In my art, I elevate the female strength with gentle curves and romantic hues,” expresses Winters, “I want to show women how beautiful and inspiring they can be, and that it is beyond silly selfies and flashy pictures. I believe my paintings can help women break through the self-limiting beliefs that cause emotional distress. We often give up, find excuses or settle for less, because we don’t fully understand who we are.”
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