Sponsorship: Cococo Chocolatiers
Address: 847 17 Ave SW
Artist: Michelle Hoogveld
Animator: Brandon Hearty
Q: Tell us a bit about your art practice.
MH: As an artist, I tend to work both intuitively and within structure. Combining figurative elements with geometric shapes and abstraction creates a playful dynamic within my work. I love experimenting with different colour combinations aiming to evoke feelings of happiness and expression.
BH: I finished an MFA at the U of C last year. They made me declare an emphasis, but my practice is SUPER multi-disciplinary. I started my career drawing and painting, and eventually branched into printmaking, sculpture, performance, and animation. After learning about some of the possibilities of augmented reality, I began exploring its potential in relation to my work and built my entire master's thesis around it.
Q: What has been a favorite project of yours?
MH: This past summer I was commissioned by the CMLC to paint The Corridor of Connection along the 4th Street SE Underpass in the East Village. Featuring large lips, diamond shaped patterns with hearts, peace hands, back flips, and a variety of natural elements, it was an incredible experience to work on such a large-scale allowing people to come interact within the space.
BH: I built a 1/7th scale model of the Enoch Sales House (just north of Victoria Park Stampede) for a stop motion project. The thing was an intense labor of love, so that ranks pretty high on my list.
Q: What was your inspiration for this painting/animation?
MH: The design includes large lips and birds as a symbol of Freedom. We wanted to illustrate how we each have a unique voice that can be used to Connect, Collaborate and create Community.
BH: My animation was really informed and inspired by the original painting (Michelle is amazing)! Considering the image that Michelle came up with in the context of the theme started giving me some great ideas - by the time Michelle and Lynne and I finished our first meeting, I had a pretty good idea of what things were going to look like. It's so exciting to breathe life and movement into somebody else's work!
Q: How did the AR (Augmented Reality) aspect of this exhibition influence you when creating the mural/animation?
MH: Playing on the theme electric winter, we were inspired to use the bright elements within the painting and make them come alive with neon hearts, waves of colour and playful snowflakes that fall from the sky.
BH: The exciting thing about AR is being able to imagine what it would be like if a painting came to life - and then just MAKE IT HAPPEN! There's a lot of character in any image, the AR component should draw on that...
Q: What is something you want the viewer to take away after experiencing your window?
MH: Pure Happiness!
BH: I just hope it's as fun for them as it was for me to make it :D
Q: When touring the exhibition what is the ideal beverage to bring along?
MH: Spice is Right tea - DavidsTea is right next door ;)
BH: I'm a big Shirley Temple fan. Look, I know it's not warm, or seasonal - but it's the perfect beverage.
Q: What did you find surprising/unexpected about participating in the exhibition?
MH: How awesome AR is!!!!! It was my first time collaborating with an AR artist, so I had no idea what to expect as the end result. I couldn't be happier with what Brandon created! It felt like a true team effort between Cococo, Brandon and myself.
BH: I got the best partners. Michelle and I jumped into the project pretty late in the game, and REALLY had to scramble to get things done. But her energy was contagious - and Lynne couldn't have been a better host (she was as excited as WE were)!
Q: What do you enjoy about being an artist/animator in Calgary?
MH: I love the community here in Calgary. As a whole, Calgarians are welcoming and open and I couldn't ask for more of a supportive environment to create in.
BH: Community. Between great places like Quickdraw and Emmedia, and all the amazing artists that live here, you can’t throw a rock without hitting somebody that has real talent. I've met a lot of great people in this city, and there is truly no shortage of creativity!
Buds Collective would like to thank Cococo Chocolatiers for participating in Northern Reflections 2018.
Photographer: Katy Whitt
Article: Victoria Hedin