Oct. 27, 2015
Angel Hamilton “ANGEL’S NIGHT from Polyamory to Searching for My Mohawk Father; diverse grants and programs that could fund your documentary idea.”
WHAT IS ART? It’s a radio show that collects answers to this question. Life and art around here; broadcasting through Trent Radio 92.7FM… Hosted by Angel Hamilton. Listen every WEDNESDAY at 5:30pm on Trent Radio 92.7FM. Last week: That Chalk Girl
Have you ever seen the beautiful sidewalk chalk drawings recently cropping up all throughout Peterborough, usually at Peterborough Square? Have you ever wondered who creates them?
She goes by That Chalk Girl (Facebook page)
She uses chalk to draw art on the streets of downtown Peterborough as a form of busking.
Please donate generously if you happen see her working as you walk on by.
Angel: So That Chalk Girl, what is art? Starting with “Art is…”
That Chalk Girl: Can I break the rules already?
What isn’t art?
So I broke the rules twice. By not formatting it the way you wanted it and by answering the question with a question…
Angel: What kinds of reactions do you get when you do the chalk art in downtown Peterborough? And how are they different from one another?
That Chalk Girl: It’s really vast. Like, all the way from people just moved to tears to other people who are really…cruel (might be the right word.)
So, it’s full spectrum, straight from WowWow to get out of here.
It’s really interesting in that way…
Angel: How long have you been doing chalk drawings?
That Chalk Girl: About twenty years.
Angel: What is it like to do chalk art in different cities and what is Peterborough’s best quality?
That Chalk Girl: Its very different city to city. And, honestly, Peterborough has been almost the most receptive consistently. Calgary, Ottawa, smaller towns and I would say, yeah, Peterborough consistently is very welcoming…
Angel: What kinds of chalk drawings do you draw and what kind of chalk drawings speak to you emotionally?
That Chalk Girl: I tend to stick to more of abstract.
So I can walk away at anytime and it could be called done.
I tend to prefer abstract art or surreal art…anything with a bit of a spin — where “representational” just doesn’t move me as much…
Angel: It kinda reminds me of the Tibetan sand-painting ceremony that I witnessed where a really beautiful mandala that was created and all of that energy, time, prayer and intention that was put in to it, evaporated…. So it kind of reminds me of that. How do you feel; what do you think about that?
That Chalk Girl: I like the temporary element of it but I do notice…
…people feel a real sense of loss when say, with the chalk art, the rain comes… and gives me a clean canvas!
And that excites me but there are people who have expressed that it’s a loss to…see it come and go. I do enjoy the temporary element. To work on a canvas that size? What do I do when its done?
…where I literally get a fresh canvas, not every time it rains, but when it’s a big rain… boom!
Angel: Can you elaborate about the busking and about the experience of making art for everyone to see?
That Chalk Girl: I don’t think that a lot of people understand that I am busking…
Because I don’t make music. And if I tried, they might pay me to go away. So there is this disconnect between performing art and the performance art.
That might be one thing I would say to people: it is busking. The donations go to cover the chalk and lunch and all these other necessary elements. Also, I like lattes, so if you are passing a coffee hole…
WHAT IS ART? It’s a radio show that collects answers to this question. Life and art around here… Hosted by Angel Hamilton. Listen every WEDNESDAY at 5:30pm on Trent Radio 92.7FM. Last week: Funky Buddha Collection.
Suzanne Vaillancourt runs Funky Buddha Collection with clothes made from fair-trade bamboo, organic cotton, silk and hemp. She says that the “sacred yantra images” on the prints are “tools for awakening consciousness.” The images are designed by Dan Schmidt (Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds) using sacred geometry and complex mathematical equations. Funky Buddha collection is designed locally in Peterborough, Ontario.
Suzanne: …an expression of the human soul.
It’s a way of tapping in to human potential through our divine selves. It can be expressed in martial arts. It can be expressed in paintings or it can just be expressed in the way you carry your life…
Angel: Tell me about the art in the collection.
Suzanne: I first started with sacred geometry. I connected with Dan Schmidt, who did the film Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds which is a movie about awakening consciousness. I fell in love with his images and wanted my clothing to express something deeper than the fabrics, so I used fractals from his movie and from his mathematical equations and I put them on my clothing.
Angel: What’s the process of making clothes and having a collection? Tell me about your journey.
First of all, just want everyone to know that I don’t sew. I don’t even really know how to sew a button. But I do know quality.
Suzanne: It took me a long time to find a really good tailor to design my patterns. I have ideas. My tailor can put those ideas on paper and transform them into the dresses, pants, and the clothing that I make. I didn’t want my clothes to be just plain jane mass-produced solid-colour things. I wanted pieces of art to appear on the clothing so that is where Dan Schmidt comes in. Everything just fell in to place…
Angel: I am really curious about the blacklight effect on your clothes?
Suzanne: I traveled for twenty years in Asia and got into the psytrance scene. I was in Goa and there would be all these blacklight art and clothing. Everyone would be wearing it and I didn’t really understand it. I found that it was just so beautiful on the dance floor — to see something glowing… I was inspired by that.
Angel: What is the history of Funky Buddha?
Suzanne: Some of you may remember me; I was on Water Street. We had a little shop there. It was just a piece of what we did. My partner and I, at the time… we started to design club wear and we were very successful in the late 90s and early 2000s.
When the twin towers went down, the whole scene — the party scene went down with it. Our business died down and we began to only import quick fun fashion, not too much — not a lot of depth to the clothing.
Angel: Right now, with the High Street location are you having an opening and some parties and fun stuff at the new location?
Suzanne: I opened the new location with Bill Reddick who does porcelain. The address is 926 High Street. I haven’t decided on the official opening day but I’m sure to let you guys know. It will probably be in a few weeks.
Angel: What is your art form?
Suzanne: My art form is yoga.
The clothing is meditation in motion.
It’s made from the softest fabrics I could find and the images are just…beautiful. You could be wearing these clothes and feel like you are not wearing anything at all — so you are connected to nature — connected to your surroundings…
Angel: I agree with you wholeheartedly. When I am trying on your clothes, I feel this warmth, calmness, sensual energy and it feels like it’s a muse for being creative, for dancing, for doing yoga, for painting and practicing the yoga arts. Thank you for coming out. I’m so grateful to connect with you today. Suzanne and the Funky Buddha collection will be at the blacklight party coming up on October 30th.. Buy your tickets early! They are selling fast.
Suzanne: And come and visit 926 High Street in Peterborough or online at www.funkybuddhacollection.com or just call me, the contact info is on the site.
It’s a radio show that collects answers to this question. Life and art around here… Hosted by Angel Hamilton. Listen every WEDNESDAY at 5:30pm on Trent Radio 92.7FM.
This week: Lara Kramer. She is a First Nation dancer and choreographer based in Montréal, Québéc where she is the artistic director and choreographer at Lara Kramer Danse.
The one-night-only world premiere of her new dance piece will take place here in Peterborough this coming Saturday 8pm at Market Hall on October 17th.
What is art? That’s one of those loaded questions…
Lara: I guess for me, on a very simple level, it’s a means…my means, of self expression.
Angel: What is your art form?
Lara: Choreography is what I can dissect a little bit… For me, my art form first and foremost comes from the physical body.
I think in terms of that physical body being constructed and laid out in what I am referring to as choreography and it involves many many layers. Most recently sound and music has become a very important element in the physiography of my choreography as almost the same value as the body. Even sometimes more.
Because it is all part of the that same…landscape. I work a lot with set design and props, and this is all part of that same vocabulary, negotiating in a very different way than the mechanics of the body or the soundscape but they are all interconnected and interdependent.
Angel: Tell us about your newest work.
Lara: Tame has become…about this forced intimacy among these three characters within this confined space…
Angel: I am so curious about the backstory of Tame.
Lara: …the initial seed of it was that I wanted to work with this idea of really pushing the boundary of oneself — that kind of state, I guess you know, I guess everyone can relate to it — when you are on the edge. That feeling where you are at the edge of yourself. When you are about to combust or that sensation of containment…
I wanted to look at that state and engagement of the body basically within the environment of the home. I wanted to push into that realm of mental illness and being a little bit out of oneself, you know, but always coming back to that physicality of what is it to feel contained within the body and what is it to feel contained within the environment.
Angel: I was reading a little bit on your website earlier about how some of your work has been inspired by, I believe your Mom, and her experiences. I found it very evocative, and very emotional just reading about it, felt shivers…just witnessing, with dance — this kind of storytelling can be really emotional. How does music affect your work?
Lara: I was most recently in Vienna taking a sound workshop, it kinda woke me up to how not to use music as a masking or as a way to just cloak a work… I kinda took a step back from my work and tried to re-experience the actual soundscape of my work — minus music.
I had so many internal sounds generated by the three bodies and the set. I have a TV set, I have a fan, I have these internal sounds that, in a way, could get washed out if I am adding a lot of music on top of that. I think music evokes a specific mood and a tone…so I wanted to remove that and re-enter my work. I have often used music to highlight a certain mood or emphasize a certain moment and I wanted to come back to see if this is actually necessary…
Angel: So I would love for you tell me about the workshop.
Lara: I will just mention something about the work that I am doing — the approach for accessing the body — I feel it’s open to untrained dancers and performers…
I want to give an opportunity for the participants to access their physicality. Its not about creating this dance form… It’s not about a formulated dance form; it’s really about this engagement of the body — what I refer to as the state of body…
WHAT IS ART? It’s a radio show that collects answers to this question. Life and art around here; broadcasting through Trent Radio 92.7FM… Hosted by Angel Hamilton.
Listen every WEDNESDAY at 5:30pm on Trent Radio 92.7FM. Last week: ThetaFlo.
ThetaFlo is designed as an offering to the community of lovers of music, of movement and of meditation to raise the vibration of our planet and to create a healthier and more compassionate world. It is a joint creation by music composer, producer Ray Vincent (aka Ekoplex) and yoga teacher/life-coach Susan Halle.
Angel: Ray and Su, WHAT IS ART?
Ray: …creating what you are feeling and so other people can see that externally.
Su: I think art is everywhere we look, hear, and see. We aren’t always aware of it, sometimes it feels like it doesn’t feel like art, sometimes we create things that doesn’t feel like art, but I think in the end, it is mostly art.
ThetaFlo recently performed at SAMPLE: Salon des Refusés and their track First Wave: a musical journey (originally conceived as a mediation CD) was used by filmmaker Lester Alfonso as a soundtrack to Lost in Found in Jackson Creek recently seen projected on buildings around town for Artsweek Peterborough but without the sound. A screening with the sound will be announced soon.
Angel: Why do you call it ThetaFlo?
Su: Theta is the brain waves that we work with. The process that we do with the music is actually using binaural sounds so, the music is recorded in such a way, that it moves from channel to channel, left hear to right ear, and it induces this theta brain wave activity.
“[This wave is] used for creativity, inner vision, intuition…that sort of thing. And the Flo part is that we do, we like to have a flow — we flow!
Originally, the music was designed to work with in a more of a movement meditation but we have evolved so many times.
We let people do what they want to do, if they want to do yoga, they do yoga; if they want to do dancing, or they just want to sit in meditation…the flow is where it comes from.
Angel: What is your process? How do you create this music and how do you collaborate?
Ray: I do a lot of electronic music and so I start off on the computer, with a lot of recorded music that we have done and I take that and I kinda put it all together.
I re-create this atmospheric background and live-jam over top of it. Su mixes a lot of the music and kinda creates the story that is being told live. I jam along with my instruments and it kinda just goes with the moment.
Su: Yeah, it’s an organic process for sure. It is an evolving process… We have experimented a lot of different ways of working and yeah, initially, it starts with Ray’s talent as a composer and we build it from there…build soundscapes.
I think, occasionally, we write songs.
More often, it is kind of a flow from one thought, one idea to another. We bring a lot of percussive elements that bring us into a more meditative state. We like to end it on a really light note where people can feel they are ready to go home and do some creative processing or dance, depending on where they are and what they are doing.
Connect with Ray and Su at
When I remember the experience of interviewing ThetaFlo for What is Art? radio show at Trent Radio 92.7FM , I feel this tremendous inspiration energy vibration that gives me this deep thrill of hearing the sound vibrations that connect with deeper psychic energies that are interconnected within universal realms.
Theta Flo has been an experience that I personally have had during OM Solstice Gathering and during Eclipse Festival and in various festivals, sound healing happenings within the city of Peterborough, ON and I always went in to that experience with a closed mind and stressed out to the max, shallow breathing, racing heart, and distracted being in to the experience of being able to do yoga, meditation, and feel the musical sound vibrations that created an open mind, open heart that was expansive, self directed contemplative, facilitating my dancing, being in my body, it was moving meditation,
I am able to be in the present moment awareness in gratitude, channeling the creativity energy that is inherent in all sentient beings so there is this deep honoring of the persons like Su and Ray that collaborate with each other in such humble ways and also having a large impact with the business of Its A Musical Thing and now being online,
Feeling the inspiration to practice the arts, electronic music mixing, therapeutic healing of theta brain waves that encourage the creative, spiritual experiences through the music, through Theta Flo and it gives me a resurgence of desiring to be once more peaceful, in my body, mind and sound and with the confidence to breathe, to learn how to let go. To flow.