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

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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

Goddesses in Vogue.

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Chloris, Goddess of Flowers

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Eirene, Goddess of Peace & Spring

Vogue Italia gave The Goddess Array another nod this morning publishing two of my new pieces for the project. You can take a look HERE. Please come by and see the full collection of twenty this Thursday at Milk Glass Co. (1247 Dundas Street W, Toronto). Doors at 6PM. xo

Pink Dawn Video Launch Invite & Teaser

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This past May I was introduced to Carmela Antonio in a coffee shop on Ossington by an angel. Carmela’s vibrant energy and enthusiasm had me hooked right off the bat, but then she loaded up a new song she had recorded, strapped her headphones on me, and inspiration struck. I had been looking for a new artist full of potential to try out my hand at directing with, and Carmela’s muse hit me hard. “Pink Dawn” is the track. It is an ethereal rendition of the fragility of unrequited love. It is streaming now exclusively on carmelaantonio.com. Be sure to have a listen. The video will have it’s inaugural screening with a live performance by Carmela on Sept. 15th at Milk Glass Co. The video debut performance will naturally take place amongst the opening of The Goddess Array Pt. 2 art show. Doors are at 6pm. Show is at 10pm. Party until LATE. We have much to celebrate. Please consider this your formal invitation. RSVP to jennifer@jennifertoole.com. xo

Vanessa.

Vanessa-1The enviable beauty encasing the brilliant mind in a visual tribute to singer Sade and photographer Mario Testino’s “Towel Series.”

Photo: Jennifer Toole // Make-Up: Christina Spina

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