The summer camp, a site redolent of youth, nostalgia, and bucolic Canadian adventures, provides the setting for my project; the fictional Camp H-H. My artistic practice is focused on a landscape which acts as both stage and sanctuary, but also embodies dreamlike, romanticized ideas of Canada from a culturally hybrid perspective. Drawn from my fascination with the wonderful artificiality of museum dioramas, and influenced by fairytale, high fashion, circus and sci-fi, the vistas and narratives I am interested in creating are simultaneously real and imagined, historical but contemporary.
The innocuous cottontails who dominate my work congregate and explore fearlessly, seeming both at home and yet lost; outlandish, yet camouflaged, and idealized yet ordinary. In a nod to Chinese folklore, these rabbits are no longer mere prey, but have been transformed into potent agents of change assuming primal roles: guardian, observer, seeker, warrior and dreamer. As they roam a romanticized landscape, lost in a state of deep longing for what it means to be Canadian, they ponder their role within it.
Encaustic wax is a paradoxical medium that is fragile yet enduring, with known qualities of preservation. The traditions of pre-modernist oil painting – particularly 17th and 19th century realist aesthetics – are integral to my practice, as is the desire to connect to the historical influences of both Asian and Western art. My vision arises from a desire to immortalize and lionize the humble inhabitants of Camp H-H, as I seek to celebrate and add new narratives to the mythology of Canada.
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