It has been a month and a bit since I've completed my Master of Fine Arts and left Saskatoon. Life has been a whirlwind ever since, driving from Saskatoon to Kelowna, BC to visit my brother. There, I enjoyed far too much wine and bought some gorgeous hand-dyed yarn by Riverstone Yarns at Kelowna Yarn & Needlecrafts (a must-stop for those into fibre art). As I knew that I had a long journey ahead, I decided to focus on relaxing rather than run around the city nonstop. This, however, did not mean I was not dragged around by my parents (or should I say my mother), who wanted to shop at every store available. When I wasn't inside air-conditioned buildings, I was suffering from the heat, as Kelowna is quite the desert-like city, especially for a Newfie used to a breezy 17°c summer.
From Kelowna, we drove all the way to Quebec City to visit my grandmaman and grandpapa, as well as ma tante, mon oncle, and ma cousine. While in Quebec, we attended a family reunion/party that my grandmaman's family holds about every year (or so I think). You see, every time I've been to Quebec for the last few years, with the exception of 2017, the Roberge side of my family has held these family barbecues. Since it was my mom's first time at one of these events, when she was introduced to everyone, instead of family members asking if she was my father's wife, everyone one asked if she was my mother. As you can see, I'm the popular one of the family (haha). All jokes aside, we had quite the fun party. We danced in an extremely warm garage and ate delicious smoked meat sandwiches (I was pretty buzzed from drinking and ate three).
After stuffing our faces with our favourite ice cream from Chocolat Favouris and poutine from Chez Ashton, it was time to return to Newfoundland. After quite possibly the rockiest ferry ride across the channel, arriving back to The Rock to see its gorgeous landscape and the crips smell of the ocean was quite emotional for me. After being in the Prairies for two years, I had really come to appreciate the beauty of my homeland. While I really needed a breath after all that travel, I didn't have time to rest: I had to start applying for exhibitions, residencies, and jobs. ALSO, Saltbox Contemporary Arts Festival, co-organized by the wonderful and talented D'Arcy Wilson and Grenfell Campus Art Gallery's new curator extraordinaire Matthew Hills. Saltbox brought an amazing group of people, including performance artists Nadège Grebmeier Forget, Adrian Stimson, Jerry Ropson, and Hazel Meyer, curator Mireille Eagan, and write-in-residence Amy Fung. I had the amazing opportunity to participate in Hazel's performance Muscle Panic, where she essentially had a group of queer artists run around for 20 minutes and then workout in front of a bunch of people. I also was able to perform as The Queer Mummer during Biscuit Box, an open performance night. There, I performed The Queer Mummer as Venus, a lipsync to Bananarama's 'Venus' where I shaved my beard.
Once all Saltbox was finished, I still felt that something was missing: I hadn't taken the time to actually go to the shore and spend time by the water. While I got to go to the shoreline while visiting Colette Urban's house across the bay, I never really had the time to stop and reflect (and crochet). So, I packed up my vehicle and grabbed Ashley Hemmings, a fellow fibre artist and friend, and we drove to my favourite place: Bottle Cove. There, we walked/hiked around for a bit, breathed the fresh mix of the ocean spray and tuckamore pines, and sat and crocheted. It was a great way to finally settle back into Newfoundland.
Where will I go next? Will I find a job? Will I travel somewhere for an artist residency? Will any galleries show The Queer Mummer? Only time will tell.
Until next time!