Artist Statement: This piece represents the majority of art in the Yukon, and an innovative way to continue working with and through rejection. Using my last rejection letter from the Advanced Artist Award, and mixed paper acquired at the Visitor’s Centre, this project was created onsite, and speaks for the 70% of Yukon artists whose work does not get funded. Caught in a cycle of paperwork, some projects reapply, and some never end up materializing. Every artist, every human experiences the disappointment of rejection. But we must move forward. This piece meditates on this, simultaneously highlighting all the work that goes on behind the scenes to be order to live and create, and acknowledging all those which do not develop further. By creating this work that is valued at the exact original amount I applied for, this piece becomes conceptual and transforms, exploring the intersection of grants and the creative process, and embodying art’s ability to respond and represent.
This work is priced at $5000, the amount of the grant I was rejected for, and will be submitted yearly to the Yukon Permanent Art Collection Acquisition Call, as the price is part of the concept and life of the work. This peice was originally created in July 2015, as part of the En Pleine Air Festival in Whitehorse, Yukon, put on my Yukon Artists at Work.
So, you may or may not know of my musical career as Big Mama Lele. I have been up late, gluey fingers and tiny bits of paper everywhere, making custom CD artwork. The album is called GDFC, because that is chord progression for all of the songs. Each of these unique collages is called something different, beginning with the letters GDFC, to celebrate all you can do and say with only 4 chords.
Check it out
(Top Left) Gentle Days For Cats, Giant Delicious F**king Club Sandwich
(Top, Centre) Growling Dominant Ferocious Cougar, Galactic Demonic Fire Car!
I have made a limited number of collages for GDFC, and they will be available for sale at my CD Release, and afterwards, remaining ones (if any) may be ordered online though bigmamalele.com.
Handmade beautiful Big Mama Lele CDs, turned into letters because yes, they are better. Each has a unique stamp, and all the lyrics are one long letter written by a friend.Only $11 at Dean’s Strings in Whitehorse.
This year for Riverside Arts Festival in Dawson City I’ve made a musical installation and performance where you play games of chance to determine elements of a song that I write up about you on the spot. Spin the bike wheel, and where it lands tells me which instrument, (ukulele, yamaha keyboard or harmonica) to play. Throw a dart onto decorated envelopes to reveal something about yourself, like the last book you read, or your lover’s secret name for you. Roll the dice to tell me one last thing about yourself… and BAM I write a song about you, right away.
It was a great success, and the beauty of small-town life is that I knew many of the people I wrote songs about, which made it easier. And, I got to practice my new keyboard and dust off the ‘ol harmonica.
I didn’t anticipate how popular the booth would be with kids, so ‘adult’ questions, like how do you like your coffee, needed to be changed on the spot. Will plan that into piece next time.
Finally, combining carnival work, music, spontaneity and art all into one.
I’ve been trying to learn to listen to my body more, and this latest musical installation is all about that. I’ve converted carboys, foam and rhinestones into large breasts. On each nipple is a tiny speaker, playing a song written from the perspective of my breasts and all the things they like. The song is called, “I Like”.
The installation is on display at Gallery 22, as part of the group show Melting Ice, an Erotic Thawing of the Winter Blues that opened on Valentine’s Day.
The fabulous local brewery, Yukon Brewing has donated beer to fill the breasts with, as beer is the soothing maternal milk of adulthood. The breasts are suspended high in the air, and the music played softly, so that you really have to listen.
Motorboat, ready to go!
Listening to the breasts
Everyone should listen to the body!
This piece is one of my few installations that is for sale, and is still available.