Studio Days


Studio Days door2


There’s no feeling that compares to entering 5445 de Gaspé, in Montreal’s garment district.  In winter there is the immediate relief from the bitter wind that invariably rages on the street, playing havoc with my oversize portfolio-wanna-be-kite.  On any given day, however, despite the season, there is always a sense of well-being that overcomes me as I press 5 in the elevator, intensifying the instant I see the turquoise door of Atelier Circulaire.





My private space within the communal studio is my haven.  Surrounded by my work on the walls and work in progress I feel whole.  The outside world disappears for a few precious hours as I get to the task of creating art. I usually have a few projects going at the same time.



Internal Evidence, papier mâché, wire, shredded journal, hand printed Japanese paper, 2011






I’ve been working on papier mâché dresses and shoes that I collage with printed Japanese paper.  Last week I hand printed a fish on a large piece of ivory Kozuke paper.  That morning I went to small fishery on Park Avenue for my day’s catch.  I asked the fishmonger, stylishly clad in rubber boots and a wool tuque, if he happened to have any fish that was slightly too old to sell.  After he replied, “Non, non, on a pas ça,” with a touch of pride in his portuguese accent, I told him I’d settle for a fresh hand-sized fish with big scales.  He showed me a few specimens, resting in peace side by side on crushed ice and after running my fingers over a few, I opted for a Doré rose.  At the studio, I inked the poor, albeit oblivious fish, and printed repeated patterns on my Kozuke.  I worked fast, to spare my studio mates of the fishy order that lingered as my piece advanced.  The next step will be to use this paper to decorate one of my dresses.



Acrylic paint and shredded journal on two-by-fours, 2011


Yesterday in my private space, I painted on wood panels.  I worked in the same vein as the totems on the wall, made from recycled two-by-fours, combining acrylic paint and collage.  One of the elements I’m using for collage is my journal, passed through a paper shredder.  It is a cathartic feeling to shred my past and transform it into decorative elements that contain cryptic messages that can be rearranged and highlighted by taking them out of context.  Yesterday in my pile of shredded feelings I found the words, Budgie in a green jar.



Detail of fish print on Kozuke


My studio is a place where I can bask in creative energy.  This is where I can shred my journal, print fish, mold papier mâché shoes over my feet, engrave erasers, dip a dress into a bucket of plaster.  This is where I color my world.  This is where I get to the serious business of playing.


Talleen Hacikyan






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