To Be a Woman

Cricket is an 18-year-old beauty Queen from a small town outside of Ottawa.  Her first experience with pageantry was the heartfelt, charity-oriented, supportive experience of a hometown pageant which she won.  This brought her to compete in the Top Model of Canada pageant which she then won.  After winning, the first thing said to her from the judges was “You better lose a bunch of weight if you want to get an agent.”  Cricket quickly became disenchanted with the modelling industry.  On her way to Egypt to compete in the Top Model of the World pageant she stopped by my studio to shave her head and do a photoshoot/interview for Herself.com via Caitlin Stasey.  Cricket’s plan was to wear a wig to all her fittings leading up to the pageant so not to be disqualified and although nervous, managed to get through the lead up without incident.  Cricket revealed her shaved head at the Top Model of the World and needless-to-say, she didn’t win.  Her interview and photos were published on Herself.com to hopefully inspire women to love themselves as they are. I shot this video throughout the head shaving process which became a rebellious ritual of sorts. Cricket wrote the accompanying poem to give voice to her actions. I found it to be raw and of a high quality. I hope you enjoy it too. xo

Cricket.Herself

Cricket-4Cricket-2Cricket-3Cricket-1

This is Cricket, the 18-year-old beauty queen who stopped off at my studio to shave her head en route to represent Canada in the Top Model of the World pageant in Egypt. The photos were shot on 120mm film and are published with Cricket’s full interview on Herself.com. Take a peek! xo

What does the word ‘woman’ mean to you?

The word woman to me means strong. Regardless of the sex assigned to you at birth, your ethnicity, your race, your religion, your sexuality, you are fighting a systemic pull. Of course, the factors stated above can make this pull stronger, and the battle harder. There’s the trickle-down effect of ingrained systemic misogyny, leftover from the fights fought by women before us, and the alive and thriving oppression that we have not yet tackled. We’re all fighting. And it’s important to help each other in our battles. It is especially crucial for woman born with privileges (e.g. white, cis) to assist our sisters in their more heavily-rooted battles.

 

Venice Beach Snapshots

Being lucky enough to call Venice Beach my home for for the past couple of months opened my eyes to another side of the idyllic landscape one encounters as a tourist. When the marine wall rolls in and covers the beach in its thick fog the place looks post-apocalyptic. There is a solid group of local characters who hit the strip every day carrying Christ’s cross (with the help of a wheel – cheating, no?), practicing energy healing, fishing, skating, flexing, training pigeons, collecting cans, sharing religion, selling reggae cds, selling flowers, and much, much more. It is first come, first serve and there is no fee to set up a booth on the Venice boardwalk and sell your wares as long as you are selling original artworks. This limitation creates an economy of creativity amongst the many homeless who live on the beach. It is not a bad life. Eclectic to be sure. Here is a little collection of snapshots I took on 35mm film during my stay. xo

The Goddess Array V.2

img_0544

I am chilling at the gallery right now feeling so grateful for all of you! The Goddess Array V.2 SOLD OUT. This is a blessed life. The show will be up today and tomorrow 12-5. There are a few Nike tees (S, M, L, XL) and magazines left. The magazine includes all 20 goddesses along with behind-the-scenes photos, my musings, the histories of the goddesses and insights into the models. This is the forward:

“It is with a great, big, full, open heart I present you with The Goddess Array: Volume 2. I have paid witness to real life goddesses for the project so far in California, Spain & Ontario. It is my goal to accumulate a body of goddess imagery that pays respect to the immense power of women and the vast variety of manifestations of said power. I have begun with the Greek goddesses, of which there are twenty thus far displayed within these pages, aiming to have thirty in total, before moving onto the Phoenician, Egyptian, Celtic, African, Hindu goddesses, and more. It may very well be a project that spans my lifetime. I am obsessed. My passion in the creation and display of these grand goddesses comes from a bottomless well deep within me utterly dedicated to populating the world with diverse, iconic images of female archetypes. It all stems from a desperate search for female role models in the quickly changing climate of what it means to be a woman today. Our work is as constant and neverending as our potential. We are having to learn the lesson over and over again that we must make of this life what we want. We have to find more creative ways to take care of ourselves, acquire positions of power, get paid equally, respect our bodies, and keep the magic within. I always look to nature for inspiration and, indeed, the majority of the goddess shoots take us right into the glory of Mother Nature. It is an effort at rediscovering our roots and from there, growing. The biggest blessing has been in the enthusiasm of my subjects to play the part of the goddess they feel most aligned with. We have traversed many fences and rougher terrains to get the perfect shot. Thank you for your interest and please do revel in these pages for they are full of wonder.” – J. Toole

Come by and say hi! xo

Milk Glass Co. 1247 Dundas St. W

%d bloggers like this: