Regina, Treaty 4: Edith Skeard

Photo by Aidan Morgan, Intro by Gina Pulai

Photo by Aidan Morgan, Intro by Gina Pulai

Painter, Printmaker, Graphic Designer, Sculptor, Installation Artist, Musician, Model, Fashion Enthusiast and Typography Aficionado. Edie Skeard’s natural aptitude for a variety of art mediums enables her to capture the fragility of her viewer, whilst simultaneously allowing them to empathize with her.

Edie seamlessly and delicately balances between her virility and femininity to provoke the boundaries of viewers by allowing inherently difficult questions to be asked. All while creating an intimate space for what feels like only the two of you. Generous in her practices, she wholeheartedly displays her own vulnerability as a means of self-improvement and communal advancement.

KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?

The big project North House Child Care, a Foster home that myself and Ryan Cooper and our amazing board are building. This foster home is really super close to my heart and it’s been so amazing to go through the process of creating policy and planning events and dreaming up what we can offer that challenges the current system and provides meaningful care.  

I also have a couple upcoming exhibitions upcoming this year; “Reduct” at The Hague Gallery with Michelle Brownridge and “pourquoi si triste?” at Godfrey Dean in Yorkton. This year has been really been focused on grad school applications and making new work so I’m excited to have the opportunity to exhibit and make.

I’ve also been working on an Instagram called Prairie Typography with my friend Kelly Litzenberger. I had been living in Yorkton for the last year and I’ve always been so fascinated by the old signs and houses and small towns. This instagram documents those places and hopefully also offers up some creative inspiration at the same time! It’s a real Saskatchewan vibe: blue skies, nostalgia, death, and perseverance

KC: What is your day job? What do you like about it? What's challenging?

I’m sort of all over the place… I am definitely a workaholic. I work for Seed, Spex by Ryan, curate and install at the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery, and as a freelancer doing anything from writing grants to designing business cards to teaching art classes.

I love being able to wear so many different hats. I feel like I get really restless if I’m not changing my scene often enough. I wouldn’t make a very good candidate for a desk job, I’m afraid! I like the challenge and creativity of having so many different stimuli and use such different kinds of knowledge; at Spex I get all this physics,  teaching I get to organize and share, and at Seed I get to get intimate with cloth. It makes me very happy to be able to work this way.

The challenging part is definitely finding some semblance of financial stability. When you’re always working everywhere you can sometimes make great money and sometimes very little. There’s a lot of risk involved. But I find it really rewarding (although I could really improve on my bookkeeping skills….).

I also find balance really difficult, I don’t always know how to just put my phone down or turn off my brain. It is a goal for me though if anyone has some hot tips!

KC: What is important to you?

Being generous to others. For me, generosity is being open to listening, giving time, offering help or guidance, sharing space, understanding divergent perspectives, utilizing my strengths to help others, or being in the world with a kind of childish joy. I don’t know if I’m always good at it though, I can be horridly cynical and very detached. But I try to give myself room to feel that way too.

I really just love seeing people in the world and thinking, “I can never know them, never know what makes them tick, never grasp their full experience” and isn’t that just wonderful magic? Like a puddle full of glorious blooms all bobbing together trying to figure it out.

KC: What do you like the most, and least, about Regina?

I think the thing I like most is the access to opportunity for creative people. So many people who live here have so much depth and are wildly interesting. The smaller size means you really have room to breath and the environment is less competitive and more open to experimentation.

I think the thing I like the least is the tendency for us to define others and how they are for us and what they can do without actually getting to know people. I think this is also self imposed too. We can really constrain ourselves and others to what we think we are for others. I think this is part of being in a smaller community though and there is a lot of great things in a city of this size that offset that a little.

KC: What is your impression of Saskatoon?

I’ve always thought Saskatoon was gorgeous! There’s something about the feeling of a big, boisterous river -as opposed to a smelly dugout haha- that really changes the vibe of a place. The community seems really cool and there is a freshness and a big city desire there. Last time I was there I went to a store just dedicated to juice. I mean, that’s so obnoxious and so great, I love it! Going to Saskatoon can feel a lot like going to a whole other place in the world entirely.

KC: Please finish this sentence: If the best of all possible worlds was reality....

I’d wake up, have a coffee, and get on with it. I very much subscribe to the philosophy that every moment you’re changing reality, whether you like your coffee black or all hopped up with sugar, all these seemingly meaningless decisions add form, like shaping a clay pot. The best of all possible worlds is one that is continuously changing shape and unfolding anew, thankfully that’s what we’re stuck with or what would be the point!

KC: How has your identity helped you / hindered you?

I think even at the end of my twenties I’m still figuring out what my identity looks like. Right now I feel like I’m trying to put an ocean into a Dixie cup.

I’ve always struggled with the things that make up my identity and the narratives that the world has to offer in regards to them. I find the greatest hindrance is this overwhelming feeling of shame and I feel totally engulfed with imposter syndrome. It’s quite difficult to get out of that space and trod on.

I think a lot of selfhood and I don’t find how we currently understand and talk about it to be very convincing or whole. I meet myself every morning like a stranger. There is an incredible liberty and strength in approaching myself like this. I feel I’m kind and malleable. That’s got me through a lot of wonky shit and helped me see the world in a unique way. I feel that all these conversations with myself and the experiences that define them are absolutely invaluable.

KC: From the Proust Questionnaire: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A little house with lots of nooks and crannies with marvelous windows and a big messy jumble of wisteria. All my books and strange collections are there. The coffee is hot and fresh, deep brown and always on. Winter is the perfect length of time and not a minute longer. I have a little wooden rowboat and I wake up in the morning when the fog is still heavily on the lake and I row until my arms burn. It’s as close to silence as you can get (I’m thinking here of the wonderful poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay on Silence) and the water is cold and clear. I spend a lot of time in this place in my head but it would be lovely if it were a solid wonderful thing.

Links:

www.northhousecare.com

www.edithskeard.com