I'm gonna draw my way out
Ohhhh the Scandalfrond...This wallpaper has so much hidden in it. On the visual level it's inspired by Arts & Crafts design and poisonous wallpapers of the late 19th century. And then in the mental brain part I have like ten stories about it I could tell- some are personal, some are technical, some are conceptual. Hard to keep it all straight and decide what to say first! On the personal side, creating this paper was a road back to recovery after losing myself in an epic burnout from the textile manufacturing industry in early 2016. It was a work environment where I gradually found myself working more and more overtime, trying harder and harder to "save the day", and didn't see the toll it was taking on me. At any rate, that blew apart as these kind of situations always do and I wound up at my kitchen table drawing in pyjamas ( cute ones) because I couldn't wear real clothes as the waistbands and pokey parts made me break out in hives due to a stress induced autoimmune illness my body cooked up from this situation. On top of that I was a bit of a wreck after all the yelling and such that went on at work. I remember telling my mom on the phone that I got myself into this situation and I'm gonna draw my way out. It's kind of audacious and also turned out to be true. I still like that line. "I'm gonna draw my way out." I do think the path forward is always found through creation, in any form. (PICTURED: ORIGINAL DRAWINGS C. 2016 INK ON PAPER) So yes, my current business was born at that kitchen table- right after I whipped up these drawings for a gallery show (Art + Bioethique at Espace Projet), I started to work on the Toile de Ville drawings which were a continuation of a Montreal toile I'd done in art school back in 2010. Using my last paper scraps, to boot! I opened my store a year later but if you'd told me that then, I wouldn't have believed it.It's a bit wild looking back. Here's a video of the original finished work- each panel took about 12 hours to draw... I'm not sure I've drawn that much before or since, as far as consecutive hours clocked. It was madness! The Art + Bioethique show was a collaboration with bioethics researchers at the Universite de Montreal- I spoke at the conference, and this work was also written about and published in the peer-reviewed journal Bioethique online. You can read the article here: Na-no-body- de l'oubli du corps sensible en nanomedicine Na-no-body from Stephanie EM Coleman on Vimeo. Anyway I'm so grateful I got to take that time, had the privilege to sit at a table and draw for months.To obsess, to tweak endlessly, to really get to know what it felt like to return to the paper day in and day out and let it unfold. Check out how the Scandalfrond unfolds (reverse hang repeat). In the end, I choose screen printing and hand drawing not so randomly- the process itself of working with your hands with dignity, of getting away from phone & computer screens and dropping into flow- I believe these things help us to stay connected to ourselves and help you to get a grip when you no longer have a grip. To get it together, as they say. To work through the pains and the heartbreaks. and yah, to obsess and tweak endlessly. So thank you for lovin' on the Scandalfrond, her roots run deep!
Serpents of Stardust - a performed writing
This piece was performed as part of the Canadian (In)Vision exhibition at Magazzino Muse in Ancona Italy last month. It is a sister piece to my Serpents of Stardust wallpaper, and is dedicated to women who help each other in our darkest moments, turning them into light. Curated by Alessandro Mangiarotti.
Serpents of Stardust and the Second (Snake)skin
Everyone has a deep and intimate relationship with textiles, whether we’re aware of it or not. We choose which textiles to wear every day, we sleep wrapped in them at night, resting our bodies on sofas and drying our hands on towels. They're a kind of second skin. We discard them when we outgrow them, or their fibres disintegrate from use. Or maybe we just get bored of the look of them and need something fresh. So are the cycles of our lives, where we outgrow situations and people- and no matter how hard we try, we can’t return. Painful as it can be, we’re forced into the next skin. Snakes practise this process on a regular basis, discarding their history on the forest floor, sliding to the next phase. Because of this, serpents were seen as a symbol of rebirth, renewal & healing in various cultures and religions. The Minoan snake goddesses of Crete were regarded this way, and as guardians of the home. I’m particularly interested in these goddesses because my middle name, Mezara, derives from the Messara valley in Crete. Well actually my brother suggested my parents name me this word Mesara that he just made up, and when the internet was invented I googled it and the Messara valley came up. That's the truth of it. Mezari comes from Mesara; I always preferred it to my given name, Stephanie. Anyway. One day I'll visit that place. For now, I will share some work inspired by the serpent that I had the opportunity to show at a new arts centre in Ancona Italy. Much thanks to the curator Alessandro Mangiarotti for your incredible support and the team at Magazzino Muse for your hospitality and a very well attended vernissage!
When life hands you that lemon... a reflection on the origin of Mezari Atelier
You see, on this day five years ago, I opened the doors of Mezari Atelier & Boutique for the first time. It's been a beautiful adventure so far, yet I'd be remiss to skip over the rough bits. The months leading up to the opening I felt a bit like Rumpelstiltskin. I was staring at a barn full of hay and hoping to spin it into gold by morning. Call it hay, call it a pile of lemons...some transformation was in order. Both inside myself, and in my external world.
Like a dumpster fire phoenix
Well. A tarot reader from Georgia recently called me a dumpster fire phoenix. Aren't we all? And so then this poem arose... and became the topic of my next collection: Flying's the Prize. Because it's the journey not the destination, etc. etc. and so on and so forth.
ME AND THE SLOTH
A lamentation on the tyranny of time Part I Me and the Sloth Me and the sloth Cut from the same cloth They say a rolling stone gathers no moss Well, I’m slower than rock Give my green hair a toss If the bible says to be slothful is sin Then why’d the lord give me a permanent grin? If the tortoise and hare taught me anything It’s gotta be lentement for the win So I take my time Move one toe down the line Steady as she goes Adagio Part II Welcome to Slothloríen Father time better learn his place I draw clear lines around my space Slow your roll, man Get in step with my pace I’ll be spinning the earth in reverse on its axis Convincing the hour hand to start spinning backwards Silence a scream Now I live free Release your numbered grip on me I listen only to the metronome The truest compass, guiding me home Its pendulum will be my guide With the sun, the moon and the rising tide I feel your heart beat along with mine It’s in the air, we’ll read the signs From my secret branch Watch you weave through the trees Love come to me when the time is right
Give me the good chemicals.
Give me the good chemicals. The dopamine. The serotonin. The melatonin. Let's have some relief. An idea is like a rock in your shoe. You must get it out or it'll drive you nuts.Maybe it's a creative pebble.That project in the back of your mindMaybe it's a relational rock.The person you've been meaning to reach out to. Maybe it's a visual stone. That bag of stuff in the trunk of the car that's supposed to go to the thrift store and just has not made it there.