A Gift From Us to You With Theresa Slater
Theresa, thank you so very much for these gorgeous pieces of art. Could you please introduce yourself to our SLC community?
It's my pleasure to share my digital painting series Nouveau Liquin with you! I am neuroqueer artist and writer living and loving in tkaranto as a white settler. In life and work, I have always chosen philosophy and art; I am a painter, writer, and non-profit arts manager. I am dedicated to perceptual experimentation, exploration, and play. This series celebrates my love of the digital creative process from finding nude models on dating sites to liquidizing, crystallizing, and edging these portraits in my signature psychedelic style. To preview my current oil and digital paintings, check out theresaslater.com or for a play by play peak of how I stay creative, find me on Instagram.
Could you tell us a little bit about your approach and work?
My current special interests are psychedelic and experimental aesthetics, new materialism, digital theory, christian decolonization and expressive arts therapy. My ADHD makes my creative approach methodological but also chaotic. I am committed to the studio one day a week and it's proven very effective over the years. My current oil on panel series features hyperbolic geometries of fractals. As a visual artist, I work with digital illustration software and various wet painting media, including large format alcohol inks. As a writer, I am currently working on a literature review for my next art series and I also love to ghost write grants. My recent chapter publication, Toward a Practice of Digital-Handicraft was co-authored with Mary Callahan (MC) Baumstark. We explored a hybridized field of making by considering the sense of touch and haptics, and its implications in interdisciplinary art-making and resisting (Critical Digital Making in Arts Education, 2020). My MA thesis Sensual Alterity of Digital Objects (OCAD U 2016) explored the ontology of digital objects.
What about these particular pieces? How do you want people to feel when they observe them?
The Nouveau Liquin collection is easily understood through the teaching of Jane Ely from Coming into Balance: A Guide for Activating Your True Potential (2014). Ely teaches us an exercise that uncovers our true selves by demonstrating that our image is in constant change. First, you'll need a low-light room and a mirror (bathrooms work great for this exercise). Turn off the light and open the door a crack, or light a candle. In the low light, gaze into your eyes reflected in a mirror. Hold your gaze while things become fluid, then watch the shape-shifting faces arise. Hold your gaze steady and let your mask reveal itself to you. I wanted these portraits to reflect the power of this transformation. I want people to reflect on ways we can be unbound.
Our intention this month is around gratitude and building it into your day to day. Could you please give us some insight into your gratitude practise?
Every night before bed, I touch myself and do some box breathing. It is my great privilege to be a mindbody who can enjoy sensual self-massage in the safety of their home. I make space to feel my emotions and I do a body scan. I recall a blessing from the day (free coffee, text from a friend, sale) and give thanks. It's very complicated who you say thank you to; you could say it to yourself or to love-consciousness, the universe, gods, simulation, and of course, Jesus. Sometimes I feel trodden, I don't have the power to dig deeper for grace, and I am not grateful, that's ok. I come back to my breath. When you start giving thanks through daily practice, you start to notice blessings throughout your day. You begin to make a list of abundance in your life. It's very special if you can share your blessings with someone like a friend or mutual aid!
We’re always curious about what people are listening to. Any music recommendations for November?
I am inspired by musician and sound artist Elliott Fienberg who produces new sounds every week and shares his practice as a creative coach. I love his mix of ambient, experimental, and groovy beats, all paying tribute to the legends of fusion jazz and the luminaries of the avant-garde. I recommend listening to Elliott’s Soundscape for Focus: Titan which is perfectly designed for flow states and concentration. Also, check out his newest uplifting, sing-along single Looking Up on Spotify.