If you don't already know her I'd like to introduce you to Aimée Henny Brown! Aimée is a new arty pal I've met through THRIVE Mastermind. We're in the same group and got to know each other a little better at Designer Happy Hour the other day. I knew she'd be a great fit for a Hello Wonderful interview so please enjoy getting to know her below!
Aimée is going to be the next speaker at THRIVE TALKS. I look forward to learning more about her journey as an artist and also more about her experiences doing Artist Residencies! In her words it will be "a great buffet of Artist Residency information!" The talk is on June 29th in Vancouver and all the details and ticket registration are here.
Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?
I'm an interdisciplinary artist and instructor, I make and perform contemporary art through my fascination with stories, events and objects from the past. I'm a big research hound, a skeptical survivalist, an archives nut and I really love sharing about and looking at art with others. Right now, all this happens out of my home studio in Vancouver, and at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
What do you believe in?
I REALLY believe in trusting your gut, showing up and hard work. Some of the most amazing projects and experiences that have been part of my studio practice resulted from being true to my gut instincts and being very tenacious about the realization of weird ideas. Showing up at studio is sometimes the hardest (artists are asked to be and do SO MANY THINGS), but ultimately it's the only way I've found to be the best version of myself and to connect meaningfully through my art work. I tell my students all the time: 'you don't get what you don't apply for!' That mantra is all about showing up. Oh Hard Work! My mother used to say if there's a hard way to do something, I would find it... Embracing hard work as a studio tactic has opened doors, given me courage and confidence, built trust with colleagues, and also been a legitimizing force when some of my projects seem far-fetched (ie: open-ocean survival training?!?).
When do you feel your most wonderful?
There is a great space that has been happening lately in my collage works where I am cutting and making decisions, recalling images buried deeply in piles, and FINDING the fit for works, rather than forcing the fit, which can feel like trying desperately to put a square peg into a round hole. That tacit gathering of elements into one cohesive piece is by far the best, most wonderful feeling. That and riding bikes on a hot day!
What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?
When I moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to do my MFA, I was really lost at first. I was constantly asking myself if I had made a big mistake in moving so far away from family and friends to pursue a Master's degree at a fairly young age. If I hadn't taken that plunge and wandered through what felt, at times, like a catastrophic error in judgement, I can genuinely say I wouldn't be making the work I do now, and wouldn't have expanded my mind about what it can mean to be a practicing artist and instructor. Almost 10 years later, I have absolutely no regrets.
What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?
For sure with my Grandmas - they were both amazing humans, and ladies who I consider to be original survivalists. They inspire a lot of the work I make today. I remember my maternal Grandma telling me about gardening at midnight on her farm, picking raspberries and cucumbers by moonlight - it was the first time as a child where my mind opened to the possibilities of defining one's own rules and sense of order in the world. Midnight gardening allowed me to imagine my Grandma howling at the moon, made me believe in magic and the power of perfect preserves.