Thanks to the artistic team Dusty Peas, you can build your own sculpture. The collaborative pair (James Kirkpatrick—also known as rapper Thesis Sahib—and Jamie Q, currently working on her MFA at Western) are launching their hand-silkscreened, limited-edition ’luxe zine, A Journey Through Time & Shapes, at the Roberts Street Social Centre (5684 Roberts) on Wednesday, July 29 at 7pm. As part of their residency, they’re also creating DIY print/sculptures in the form of buoyantly colourful spaceships (about 30.5cm high) that the duo can help you assemble. “The types and styles of images we work with sort of occur naturally,” says Jamie Q. “They aren’t pre-planned, but just develop as both of us add layers to the collage or painting or drawing we are working on. We cut into, paint over, glue together and add to each other’s marks as we pass the pieces back and forth until we feel like they’re finished.”
Who are Dusty Peas, and where did the name come from?
Both of us have collaborated with other artists prior to working together, but it's funny, for the Dusty Peas work we really feel like there is almost a third person making the art. We can look at a finished piece and think, "neither one of us would have made this." It's sometimes hard for people who know our individual work to pinpoint who did what in the collaborative work we do. This idea of a third person had something to do with how we chose our collab name. We wanted it to be two words like it could be someone's name, a gender-neutral name, but also words that could be an object or just anything. After thinking about that for awhile, we realized we had been saying "dusty peas" to each other for months as a way to say goodbye in our emails. James would say peas like peace, and then I told him about how some friends of mine would say dust, I don't even know why. So we started writing dusty peas to each other. While we were thinking up a name for this collab person, it dawned on us that Dusty could be a name so it just stuck.
You've written about "absurdity and abstraction through intuitive freestyle processes?" Can you elaborate?
In terms of our how this relates to our own practices, the important part for us is not the collaboration in itself, but that we are making art that we both enjoy and see real possibilities in. When we work solo, there are often pre-conceived ideas of what we want to do, but when we work together it is impossible to know what the end piece will look like at all. So it opens up this kind of freedom in creating something where we are working with surprises and unexpected marks throughout the whole process. This type of intuitive responding to the other person's marks is freestyle in that we are making it up as we go, off the top of our heads, and not necessarily as a linear story but as impressions that images, colours and shapes can suggest. There can end up being a bigger picture that makes sense out of all those smaller parts, kind of strange scenarios or shape.