Brett Bonk-Interview

This interview is being taken at ATB financial.

Brett Bonk is a worker at Eight Ounce Coffee (It’s the 6th blog post). A quote from them is “Brett is a very important member of the team, she makes our customers happy“.

Brett is an artist, not just working at Eight Ounce. She did an art installation for Sled Island called Sealing the Homunculus.

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She was inspired to be an artist when a great artist showed up in town. His name is Jason Dehaan. He made a dinosaur bone dissolving machine. He paired together the sort of humidifier that you would find in someones house here in Calgary with different dinosaur bones. You can see the humidifiers (in the picture) are shooting out puffs of water vapour that are very slowly carrying away small pieces of the fossils into the air. Jason was using a lot of prehistoric sea creatures, so the gallery smelled like the ocean the whole time! She said it was really cool!

Brett started being an artist in 2011, when she was 17 years old and had just graduated from high school which is when she started going to art school at the Alberta College of Art + Design here in Calgary. Brett says being an artist is really fun because you get to hang out and talk to smart, funny people who are very thoughtful and supportive.

When Brett is working on a project, she gets to use her hands a lot and none of her projects are exactly the same so she learns A LOT! The coolest thing about being an artist is that you can make anything-nothing is off-limits (well, except for weapons, of course), so you can learn so much about really weird, specific, stuff that you would not normally think about at your everyday job. For example, while she was doing a project for Sled Island, she learned so much about simple plumbing, anime, and closed-system terrariums.

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Her favourite piece of art she has made is Sealing the Homunculus. She had a lot of fun with her collaborators, and because the fountain was way more complicated than anything she’s ever worked on, and it was also way more rewarding. Seeing the salt melt and deposit was magical, and she is so excited to see it grow and change until the show comes down in October.

She’s seen a lot of good stuff in the last few weeks/months. She says, “The Esker Foundation in Inglewood has an amazing collection of work by Anna Torma, Vanessa Brown, and Jolie Bird. She says it’s the sort of work you want to run your fingers through, with an amazing collection of embroidered fibre works (some which took over 10 years to create), plexiglass earrings so big you would think they were made for a giantess, and a piece being installed on the wall that is made out of thousands of concentric circles of golden thread, which you can watch the artist install it if you arrive at the right time.”

She is also a big fan of TRUCK contemporary art in Calgary. Brett says, “There is a big room full of  synchronized video projections and a fantastic little sculpture that moves on its own by Andrée-Anne Roussel. In their Parkade space (a smaller, darker room that they use to show video work) there is a beautiful, quiet exhibition by Marika Vandekraat. I got to meet and hang out with Marika while she was here from Sled island ( she lives in Vancouver), and I got my hands washed by Vandekraat in a performance in which she washes people’s hands with 2 pieces of soap cast in the shape of feet. It is the year of the fountain here in Calgary!”

I went to Brett’s art show and it looked like Brett’s artwork was two bowls attached by a pipe and there were A PAIR OF PANTS! One bowl collected water while the other kept the salt. The pants were hanging in the salt bowl and they were designed to make the pants look like they were made of salt. It was really cool, although I don’t know if it is completely covered yet. I will give you an update when I know for sure.

Bye! I shall see you on my next blog post.

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