Wow! here is the first ever real content here on Home Fires Burn, enjoy an interview with another artist that I know, Brette Gabel.
HFB: Can you recall a time when you were left at home while someone close to you was off doing something awesome?
BG: I can recall a whole plethora of times when I have felt like I'm at home when all the fun is happening somewhere else. I think for the most part it's due to geographical or financial difficulties. A lot of my closest friends live away from me, or are in touring bands so I find it difficult to sit at home while my friends are touring around Europe or the Southern United States while I hang out in Toronto. I also find that I am almost always broke so long distance travel is getting to be a complete pipe dream for me.
I recently had to back out of a residency in Dawson City, Yukon this winter because of my poor financial planning. Canceling on the trip broke my heart completely. Some of my favorite friends live in Dawson and the residency program at KIAC just seems totally awesome and I was really excited to make art up there for the winter but it just wasn't possible. I don't know the person who took my place but I really missed out on a great opportunity. For what its worth I am pretty lucky and I do end up going to a lot of awesome things.
HFB: When we first spoke about your having to pull out of the Dawson City residency a few months ago you seemed confident, almost cavalier that you would be able to secure a new invitation in the future. Were you putting a brave face on a shitty financial situation or have you come to see it as a missed opportunity that came at an important time for your artistic development, a setback?
BG: Of course I know I turned down a really great opportunity at an important time in my life and in hind sight it probably wasn't the best idea, but it was way more realistic to cancel. In a few years
with some more experience and better planning I think that I could still get accepted to the same residency or at least I hope.... fingers crossed right? And I think initially I was over compensating for my disappointment in myself... I do that a lot, it's no big deal but it does come off as arrogance for sure. I would also like to look at the glass as being half full, I stayed in Toronto and I ended up meeting some great artists who I share space with in the white house studio and I'm pretty content with my current situation. Had I gone to Dawson things could be different now or exactly the same, I will never know so its best not to dwell on the past.
HFB: Have you ever counter, or pre-emptively excluded someone who already had or who certainly was going to leave you out, from some of the awesome times that you yourself have had or were going to have? A little revenge exclusion if you will.
BG: No. I would never leave any one out on purpose. I think I try really hard to be inclusive. But I'm sure someone out there might consider that a lie. But I really do try.
HFB: Do you like receiving correspondences from your friends when they are touring? How do you feel when contact is sparse, even though you know that they are busy?
BG: I do love when I get phone calls and presents from exotic locations like Kentucky or Regina beach, I do not like when the calls come in at 4 am. Touring musicians lose track of time a lot. I also think its a myth that touring musicians are busy all the time, it seems to me there is a lot of down time in the day, and that time could be spent thinking about me, calling me, and buying me things. I mostly like gas station presents. Darcy (Library Voices) once bought me a little rodent skin/ fur at a gas station (or at least I think at a gas station) and Dallas once brought home a garbage can from Germany covered in Pornography. Things like that make it okay to just hold down the fort while everyone else is out playing.
HFB: Wow, I wish my 'friends' had such elaborate tastes in gifting.
I agree with you that it is generally a myth that artists and musicians are too busy on the road to keep in touch. I know for a fact that I have time to call or write most times when I am on the road or away - I just don't feel like it. It's too painful to even think of attempting to talk, the crushing effort of attention, the punishing agony of having to summarize the events of your day all at once, its really not worth it. That's the insult of incommunicado friends who are away, you know they don't care at all and are lying to you, making you feel like some sort of housewife from some tacky golden age sitcom berating her husband, you couldn't have even called?
Are there any specific geographical difficulties you are referring to?
BG: I meant that this country is just so fucking huge. It's like I know all these things are happening in cities across the country, mostly because of the Internet, and I want to do it all (well not everything) but it's like my friend Darcy and i joke over the phone, "hey wanna come over and watch a movie?"
and then the answer is "yeah i do, I'll be right there", but we live
3000 km apart.
I mostly blame the Internet.
HFB: The internet is the universal tease, I hate it too.
Brette Gabel, is a textile artist living in Toronto but she left her heart in Saskatchewan. Currently she is being abandoned on a daily basis. Check out her work at: www.brettegabel.blogspot.com