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    Copyright © 2015 unruly

    Travails of travail

    Making an art is hard work. That is what I know. Maybe hard in a happy way or maybe hard in a tearing-you-limb-from-limb way, but no matter how you slice it, hard. And of course when you have hard work to do you need a good place to do it and of course because I am a curious woman, I want to know all about your workspace, whatever you’re willing to show me or tell me or show-and-tell me.

    Toronto-based photographer and arts worker Barbara Gilbert has been indulgent enough of my inquisitive nature to kindly send along some yummy photos of her old workspace and I think you should have a gander and dig ‘em like I’m diggin’ ‘em.

    Name: Barbara Gilbert

    What I do:
    Trained as a fine art photographer, but moving more and more into curatorial projects. Professionally, I’m an arts administrator and educator.

    What I can tell you about my workspace:
    This was my studio space when I still lived with my ex-husband. I had to fight tooth and nail for that dedicated space. Technically, we shared it (he wrote) but aside from a small desk and laptop (which I also used) that room was mine.


    Random thought of profundity or absurdity or hilarity:
    It doesn’t matter where you make space for your artwork. If you can afford to rent a studio space, great, but I found it cheaper to rent a larger apartment with an extra room. Right now I feel very much between things, on hiatus almost. I had such an urge to create during the last years of my marriage but now that my life has changed so much, I’m finding great creative satisfaction in the curatorial work I’m doing. I know I will come back to photography, maybe next week, maybe next year, maybe in a decade. But for now I am open to change and redirection and all that the world has to offer.

    (So yo yo yo, lovely unruly reader person! I think you should take a leaf from Barbara’s book and send me some purty pics of your own workspace. You can do that by e-mailing a few small images (not bigger than 450 pixels at their largest dimension, 72 dpi, please) to the addy listed under “Contact” in the sidebar. And who knows? Maybe they’ll end up here for all the world to thrill to. Please don’t e-mail huge images. They’ll crash the unruly inbox and make the unruly proprietor extra cranky with crankysauce.)

    studio 2
    wasp graveyard
    studio 4
    framed critters
    critters floor
    closet 2
    close up 4

    oh my god the dead bees. there are dead bees all over my balcony and the landing outside my apartment studio. looking at barbara’s studio, i’m very inspired. i’m going to pick those bees of the ground and do something with them. why would bees die en masse?

    ghadah added these words on Sep 30 09 at 2:31 pm

    Just FTR, those are wasps in Barbara’s images.

    As to why bees would die en masse … I wish I knew. We need rache, who is a beekeper, to come and shed some light for us.

    I look forward to seeing what you make of/with your balconyful of dead bees, Ghadah. Please post pics when you’re done! Maybe we should get some kind of international dead-stinging-insect-art project going. I’m serious. Maybe we should.

    Katy added these words on Sep 30 09 at 2:48 pm

    i have dead stinging insects lying around… i pick them up from the parking lot at work and save them.

    which now makes me sound like a lunatic, and potential menace to society. yay art.

    i… don’t know why bees would die en masse. pesticide? kicking out drones for winter? worker attrition? bee cult mass suicide?

    it’s a question for the ages. THE AGES.

    rache added these words on Sep 30 09 at 2:57 pm

    and there’s at least one (leaf-footed?) bug and at least one bumble-type bee in that collage.

    rache added these words on Sep 30 09 at 2:59 pm

    Hah! Can I just say I love you for knowing that?

    Katy added these words on Sep 30 09 at 3:04 pm

    Altho’ I’d love you more if you could explain mass bee death.

    Katy added these words on Sep 30 09 at 3:05 pm

    I’m all for an international dead insect collab! Sign me up.

    Barbara added these words on Sep 30 09 at 3:57 pm

    barbara i love your studio. well, i love most studios really. but i like yours for specific reasons. i love the mix of chaos and order, death and life or life and death if we want to be respective to chaos and order. i bet it smells great too. love the raven..or is it a crow, don’t know might be a black bird expert visiting this page…very inspiring.
    i spoke to a bee expert as per the mass suicide of bees outside my home/studio. he said that there must be a bee’s nest somewhere and that the deceased had flown into a zapper or porch light or something like that.

    ghadah alkandari added these words on Oct 01 09 at 10:13 am

    Well in my case it was wasps. I lived on the top floor of a highrise and suspect that there was a nest on the roof. They would fly in through the open balcony door and get lost in the apartment. If they tried to escape through a glass window pane, I think the hot sun fried their little brains and they croaked, right there in my dining room. Where I collected them and put them in my cabinet of monstrosities. Heh heh heh.

    Barbara added these words on Oct 02 09 at 7:07 am

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