About two years ago, multi-disciplinary media artist duo Julie Gendron and Emma Hendrix were visiting Iceland when they got an email about a job opportunity.
Based in Vancouver, they had already been contemplating a move out of the city.
“I was born and raised here, but I didn’t want to be here again,” Gendron says.
Hendrix got the job as the executive director of Video Pool Media Arts Centre, and they moved into an updated character home in Wolseley with their son Ari.
Though Gendron may have been hesitant, she now says, “in general we’re happier here, much more relaxed here.”
Growing up in Calgary, Hendrix had moved to the coast with his band in the early ’90s.
“We were called The Grain – it was kinda country-pop. We loved Blue Rodeo, Grapes of Wrath, Northern Pikes, that kind of thing.”
“I can hardly believe I’m with someone like that,” Gendron says.
“It’s a good thing we didn’t meet then,” Hendrix retorts with a chortle.
On his own, Hendrix started getting experimental in the band’s practice space with his bass. It wasn’t long before he found himself in the Sonic Research Studio at Simon Fraser University.
Gendron found work in Vancouver as a graphic designer after graduating from the University of Manitoba. At a group show with the Intermission Artists Society, Hendrix fell in love with the way she sculpted images.
They soon began collaborating in work, then in life.
The pair recently won funding for a new project centred around the contentious Site C hydroelectric dam in the Peace River Valley.
About this direction in their practice, Gendron says, “It’s extremely abstract but usually has to do with something that is disappearing, changing dramatically.”
JG: “This was our first decoration when we came in. A shingle from ... when they redid the whole place. It was funny, because we had just come from Vancouver, BC.”
EH: “We thought that that was sweet (that) they had left it there – the previous owners – for us as a welcoming gift.”
JG: “That’s Ari’s artwork, but that’s from several years ago. That feather is important to me because it is from Bella Coola, which is a very beautiful part of BC full of bears.”
Stacks of Funk
JG: “We’ve been buying a lot of records for you lately. Stacks of funk.”
EH: “There’s a Herbie Hancock that I bought recently.”
JG: “I gave it to (Emma) for his birthday. Dean Hunt. He DJs, and he plays in a group with Bracken (Hanuse Corlett) called See Monster. He’s from a line of traditional carvers. This is Raven Moonwalking.
AH: “I’m always looking for snacks.”
EH: “I grew up with (the table and chairs). Waiting to have a place where we could fit it, it was in storage for quite a while. I told my parents ‘Do not get rid of that. Somehow, someday, I want it in my house.’”
JG: “This is an art piece by Ari.”
AH: “By Ari and you. You helped.”
EH: “He collected those over a long time.”
AH: “I had over 100 of them. (It took) about two years. I used all the candy wrappers that I could find.”
Published in Volume 73, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 22, 2018)