-Diploma of Arts, in Visual Art- Camosun College 1992
-BFA -Theatre design, U-Vic 1999
I grew up in a family of artists, and began studying visual art through mentorship at very early age. Between 1991 and 1999 I was involved with The Chapman Group (1989-99), which was, an autodidactic collective dedicated to the study of art, philosophy, theology and physics.
I studied theatre design at the University of Victoria, because it combined my interests in space and the movement of the human figure through space, it bought together my passion for a hands-on approach with an interest in building and engineering sets, and it melded my artistic interests in painting and sculpture.
For the past 15 years, I have worked not only as a scenic painter, prop builder, but also as a sought-after collaborator and team member. In the past seven, I have also begun to work in dance, creating sound and sets from found materials, and through my practical skills as a builder, and my eye as a set designer and visual artist, I gradually implicated myself as a collaborator, contributing to the choreography as it was being created. The set design elements became intrinsically tied to the creation of the choreography.
I am presently motivated to take my technical expertise coupled with my experience with process and collaboration towards the new challenge of designing larger sets for theatre and dance.
As a visual artist, my main interest over the years has been space. In painting I am interested in unimaginable spaces. As part of the Chapman Group I was engaged in finding ways to re-introduce pictorial space into painting—without reverting back to the Euclidian space that had been prevalent since the Renaissance. I also wanted to make solid paintings that could be built. This led me towards sculpture. Often combining painting and sculpture, I explored the contradictions of actual and virtual space by making architectural sculptures with definite actual spaces and then painting images on them that either corresponded or denied the actual space thus creating a liminal virtual image/object. (i.e.- if the sculpture had an element protruding I would paint something on that section with a deep perspective, so the actual (physical) space comes out, and the virtual (illusion) space goes in…at the same time.) These concepts were informed by quantum physics, where non-locality and the continuum play into it.
Creating visual situations where things make sense in one context and become absurd in another is an interesting point of departure for me as a potential concept for theatre design. The knowledge that it is all an illusion, that the brick wall is not actually a brick wall, that we paint wood to look like wood. It’s completely absurd, but also kind of wonderful. I think there is room to acknowledge this in theatre design. To play with the tension between the real and the artificial. Why not? Maybe acknowledging the illusion will make it more true and real.
In essence I think of stage design, as sculpture, as painting, as art. Over the years, the theatre has informed my other art practices, and my art practices had informed my theatrical endeavors
I have had the pleasure to work with designers who make good and beautiful drawings and maquettes, -who give the right information to the right people. This makes the whole experience better for everyone involved, and ultimately a more successful product. I strive to be one of those designers.
The Producers. Set Designer
Segal Centre for the Performing Arts
–Mary’s Wedding: Set Designer
Pacific Opera Victoria, Victoria BC.