She had a fitful sleep. She was dreaming of a studio where she painted and was very happy. She was painting large canvases in bright colours and her work hung in the coffee shop next door. Her husband was also working on a film there. It was called Gooderham and Worts. She moved to the couch and fell back asleep. A neighbour appeared in the dream and told her that her family used to own part of Gooderham and Worts. Her husband who was heading out to work awakened her. She asked where he was going and he told her the name of the location that kept appearing in her dream. She knew then this dream was important so she wrote the details down. When she dropped the children off at school, the neighbour who appeared in the dream was in the schoolyard. She mentioned what she said and it was confirmed. Her family had indeed owned a part of Gooderhams. She hurried home to look up the name and find out as much as she could. The old distillery had been taken over by the city and an arts organization had subleased a building on site and had a call for retail studio spaces. The due date was three days away. She knew this was what she had to do. She pulled together a business plan, images of her work, CV and a letter of intent and sent it off.
Her husband walked out that day.
She opened her studio gallery and named it with a moniker comprised of her initials which also meant “seer”. It became a place where people found a sense of belonging. Some would enter the gallery and tell their stories. Some would cry and some would feel uplifted. Each painting that sold had a story attached to it and the new owners attached meaning from their own experiences.
Her work was narrative based, documenting the stories of women and their experiences. She, however, was far too private to tell her own.
She had a dream that foreshadowed a trek to a mountain where she would face her dragons. She took a trip to an Artist Residency where she created a series of drawings, delving into the fissures of her life. Her stay was mired by the rantings of her host who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and she was forced to leave. She ended up in a hostel located in a lush garden at the foot of a mountain. Her last drawing was inspired by its beauty and peace. Her life changed drastically the year following as she was forced to let go of many of the heavy burdens that kept her tethered. She wanted to feel free again to return to her true home.
“Soon this space will be too small and I’ll go outside to the huge hillside where the wild winds blow and the cold stars shine. I’ll put my foot on the living road and be carried from here to the heart of the world. ” Lhasa