I avoid certain things - eggplant, wearing high heels, eating broken glass. But those are nothing in comparison to the biggest one of all - the self portrait. In my art practice I draw, paint and build things but never, ever is the subject me. Or not that I like to admit anyway. It's a thing that scares me and so in January (seems so long ago now) I challenged myself to do 100 small pieces that are all me, myself and I. In this way I hoped to get over that fear using shear repetition, humour and cheating every way I could think of.
Then this year hit us all like a tidal wave and it was difficult to know how art making fit into this new landscape and especially this. Was I being completely narcissistic? The whole world is shifting and I'm drawing pictures of myself. But I persevered and lots of times it was awful. But that was okay, maybe even vital. Sometimes we have to do things badly in order to learn, right? With intense change, and the likelihood that we may never go back to the way it was, I think everyone is doing a little, or a lot of looking at who they are and how they will change going forward. I am then, as evidenced in these many pieces, very much a work in progress.
Fern Long is a Victoria based contemporary artist. She is a member of BOXCARSIX artist collective and a graduate from the Vancouver Island School of Art. Architecture, urban landscape and personal history intersect in Fern’s art practice. Through painting, drawing and sculpture she builds work that explores the spaces we inhabit and how we move through them both physically and emotionally.