As my final image I wanted to touch upon the fact that that last year has been really amazing, both in terms of the content provided and the classmates I worked with. Here I have one image of the students in my music class (my favourite this term – non-surprisingly) about to learn about teaching Guitar in a classroom (a defining point for me), with another image of four of my classmates getting involved in a random dress up project for our visual arts class (hilarious). Just from this image you can tell that they are a lot of fun, and this energy carried over to all my classmates. Everyone of them was a gem; I cannot remember ever being this happy in my classes, so for that reason they are THE CLASS OF THE CENTURY!!!
This is a combination of a t-shirt graphic and a house concert Hono and I performed at. The t-shirt is a lego representation of The Walking Dead show, and behind that I placed the image of Hono and I playing because the song we played together was inspired by The Walking Dead. I was grateful for the performance and the t-shirt, and was intreguid by the fact that both photos represent homages to The Walking Dead show, for which I am also grateful for. For this image I just wanted to see how it looked as a black and white image; I feel it gives it a form of gritty realism, which is what I feel the walking dead is about. This image is dead of colour.
Today, Alice was born. I’m her Uncle Gareth. Feels awesome!! #grateful365
Here we have two seemingly unrelated things: a baby, and an academic achievement certificate. But I wanted to look at the definition of achievement some more:
achieve·ment noun \ə-ˈchēv-mənt\
: something that has been done or achieved through effort : a result of hard work
: the act of achieving something : the state or condition of having achieved or accomplished something
So on the one hand I have a piece of paper, that says well done for being clever, for reasons that are not overtly clear to me; and on the other, I have a beautiful niece, Alice, that my sister worked extremely hard to bear through childbirth (facing severe bodily trauma in the process). I know that in years to come, my relationship to my niece will bloom, become beautiful, and be rich and deep in values that will be difficult to express; while on the other hand I feel my certificate will be helpful, but largely forgotten within a few years. So where is the real achievement?
Cartoon sweet Japanese candy. Honoka’s valentines gift to the family. #grateful365
Strawberries are Devine. #grateful365
Here I juxtaposed a real strawberry with a drawn strawberry from a bag of Japanese candy. I thought it would be interesting to have an image of a real strawberry next to an artists interpretation of a strawberry. I love how the colours pop in this image, and I enjoy how the cartoon strawberry has colour that goes out of the lines; that seems to me to be some kind of traditionalist taboo, but for me it really works. It seems to make the strawberry more cute. As for the fresh strawberry, well that was just delicious. I used the comic sans font, that usually every one hates, but I felt it was really appropriate for this image.
Grateful for open-mic nights. These places have always been a great refuge for me. #grateful365
Playing Guitar has done nothing for me but given me everything. I love my Guitar. #grateful365
This image presents an essence of my love for singing and playing guitar. I combined an image of a guitar on its own, with a shot of me performing at a bar in the background; the result is that the guitar frames me. I blurred the edges of the guitar with the smudge tool on photoshop and added some text I thought was fitting, which I manipulated using the warp feature on Photoshop.
Today I performed some music and the Victoria Park Personal Care Home in Regina.
It was easy to find, and the room I had to play in was quite large. Next time I may take my amplifier, because I felt like I was a bit quiet for some of them. I was intimidated by the large amount of elderly folk that had come to see me, but I think after a while I got into the swing of things. They were a very grateful audience in the end.
I made a few mistakes, but on the whole I think I did fairly well. Standing up and playing the Beatles’ Blackbird was tricky, as was Clapton’s Tears In Heaven, and I found that there was no real reaction to these songs really, considering the effort it took to play them, but there was a buzz over Jonny Cash’s Ring of Fire, and Country Road. In light of this, I’ve decided to focus on hits from the 40s, 50s and 60s. I really want to cater my songs to their tastes and give them a break from the monotony of care home living.
I think I will stick to a 45 minute set and then spend the last 15 minutes just mingling with the residents. I did that today, and felt blessed to be able to spend time with those who have really weathered the storms of life and are just on the home stretch, really. I appreciate their honesty and experience, their senses of humour and grace. It is refreshing to speak to those who have a different lens on life.
All in all, a successful first venture, and some valuable lessons learned.
I think toilets are awesome, and totally unappreciated. #grateful365
When I take time to notice that we have fresh water to drink from, and a place to sit when we need to visit the toilet, I am reminded that many countries do not have these priviledges we take fro granted. When I lived in China for nine months I came to understand that most places I visited would just have a bathroom with a hole in the floor for people to squat over and initiate bowel movements accordingly. This was something I just never got used to, so thank-you conveniently close, clean, and comfortably supportive amenities. I appreciate you.
Honoka cooked us this delicious meal tonight. Apparently the name of it means ‘Yummy’, which it was. #grateful365
This is a picture of the curry box/packet our exchange student Honoka used to make us a meal this evening, and beneath that is some of the new English words she has discovered since she moved here. I was very impressed by her penmanship in how she writes her English and Japanese words. I used the same method for naming this piece as the last one relating to Honoka in that I used a variation of the dingbats font to disguise the title of Eating Meaning. I called it this because in a way she has to consume and digest new information, and she shared a meal from her country with us at the same time, so we all share this experience of digesting meaning both figuratively and literally.
Here I have spliced our families’ juicing machine alongside our self penned ‘Juicing Bible’. I felt a cold coming on and tried a variation on the Carrot Allium and it just knocked it in its tracks so for that I was grateful.
This week I chose two photos, again, seemingly unrelated, but combined to make some new meanings.
The two photos had the following subtexts:
Today is a beautiful day. Just feel really grateful to be alive. #grateful365
Honoka is a Japanese exchange student who has been living with us for five days. She is awesome, and we are happy that she made it home ok from school today in the freezing cold Canadian winds. #grateful365
What I did was cut out a portion of the background and placed part of a landscape scene from University in its place. I think it creates a kind of other-worldy feeling, which is what she must be going through. Also, the symbols that I have placed on the pillar do spell the title of the peace ‘New Scene’, but I chose the dingbats font, which is basically symbol gibberish, to give an essence of what she must be feeling coming to Canada from Japan. The viewer will look at the symbols and think “well, what does that mean?”, which Honoka must also be thinking to herself dozens of times a day just over the language undertanding that we take for granted.
She has a black and white background because she stands out as being different from, but still a part of, the bigger picture.