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The Cross-Pollination of Art and Inspiration

During fall and winter of 2021 I had the opportunity to participate in several projects. Some of which, at first glance, are not at all related and some of which are tangibly connected. It made me stop and realize how closely linked inspiration is to art and yet how different and far apart sources of inspiration can be in life. There’s an odd and beautiful cross-pollination of seemingly disjointed things that somehow weave themselves together in artistic expression.

This is a collection of some of those things.

The EBA Open Studio 360 Panorama Photo

Photo by and courtesy of Joyce Westrop

I don’t always think of my studio as being that interesting to look at (Messy, yes, but it’s no Pinterest dream). With that being said, one cool thing about being a part of a collective like Enriched Bread Artists is that we get to share our perspectives and creative brains with our neighbours, especially at our Open Studio event which is like the biggest “group project” we share in each year. I love how my fellow EBA member Joyce Westrop captured my working space here. 

Adore You (A Bloom Duet)

Dancers: Bethany Snider & Maren Elliott 

Choreo: Laura Bacic with ending Choreography by Bethany Snider & Maren Elliott 

Song: Adore You by Miley Cyrus 

An Intermediate Midterm Project for Dance with Bloom. 

Filmed at Enriched Bread Artist Studios (Ottawa)

The DevFacto Blog Header Illustration

Wherein I was commissioned to create art to illustrate an article entitled ‘The History of Innovation at DevFacto’ written by Taylor Reese. When reading the piece, I was thinking about “ideation and the conversations, exchanges and meandering paths that happen between us in the process of collaboration.” The image of exchange and connection I illustrated was taken from the aforementioned dance duet I created with my Bloom Buddy Bethany Snider.

Live on the blog:

Movement Explorations at the EBA Open Studio 

  1. EBA Open Studio W🖤ack-Through

Whacking (also known as “Waacking” or by its original name “Punking”) is a form of street dance that originated in the gay clubs of LA in the 1970s, and is  known for its expressiveness, storytelling, and distinctive, rhythmic arm movements. 

When EBA had its open studio I loved seeing all of the artwork of our members displayed on the walls throughout our building. And taking photos of the exhibit didn’t give the same sense of  character that you get from walking through this unique, historical, somewhat grimey house of creativity. I decided to make a walk-through video in the hope of capturing the space a different way. 

But wouldn’t it be interesting, I thought, if we picked some music and did a “whack-through” instead of a walk-through?

I reached out to some members of the Ottawa whacking community and luckily Erik Alvaro and Tayo Odueke were up to the task! So with only a single evening to create and film, we put together this delicious open studio collective dance walk through, and had a lot of fun along the way.

Full video here: EBA Gallery Waack Thru (feat. Erik Alvaro, Tayo Odueke & Maren Elliott)

  1. Hands Over Joyce Westrop’s Matrix of Spatial Expansion, Contraction, and Rotation (2021) 

Featuring: Erik Alvaro Tayo Odueke Maren Elliott 

Video Installation by Joyce Westrop 

Music: Nicholas Yee – Stranger Things Medley

This was a spontaneous group improvisation we made at the end of the evening we had gathered to film the whack-through. Pure fun and play. It was easy to be inspired by Joyce Westrop’s whirling, hypnotic, dizzying video installation! 
Full Video Here: Matrices of Expansion, Contraction, Rotation, and Engagement (w. Joyce Westrop)

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