A project which I started 9 months ago is coming to fruition later today. During the most recent federal election campaign the volume of junk mail arriving in my mailbox was staggering. It occurred to me that I should try and do something useful with all of this excess instead of just filling my recycling bin. I started forming various pieces of junk mail into quirky polygons which I coated in gesso and backed with foam core to create art bases. The first of these bases ended up bearing “The Cats” a group of unusual felines with attitude created from acrylic, pen and ink and charcoal.
I enjoyed creating that piece so much that when the Guild Hall asked me to create the art to hang in their space to accompany their newest production, the 39 Steps, the path was clear. The Junk Mail Menagerie is made up of 14 pieces all featuring quirky, emotional, and often down-right strange animals. Each piece is priced at $100 and you can contact me if you are interested in adopting any of the Menagerie members for you very own.
The show opens tonight at the Guild Hall in conjunction with opening night of the 39 Steps. It’s a double-whammy for me in terms of celebrating the culmination of an artistic endeavour. I was in charge of props and set painting for the 39 Steps, and it was a technically over-the-top production. In particular I’m very proud of the 12′ x 7′ painted backdrops I designed and created (with the help of some excellent volunteers) and my shadow puppets which I used to create a chase scene involving police dogs and a plane (a single engine Tiger Moth that needs to be specific which crash in a ball of flames part way through the scene) that pursue the hero across the desolate Scottish Moors. You can read some more about the show in What’s Up Yukon’s article Surrender to Silliness and the Yukon News’ 4 Actors + 60 Characters = 39 Steps.
Both the Junk Mail Menagerie and the 39 Steps run until February 25.