Liam’s House: Winnipeg weird

Oddball artist is committed to keeping the city strange

Kaitlyn Emslie Farrell

Liam Tate is a man of many talents. 

A fan of film, comics, art and music, Tate practices a vast array of artistic mediums, including acting, painting and sketch artistry. 

“I am also an avid collector of everything, so a hoarder” he says. 

The eccentric 21 year-old is also a member of the experimental, electronic band We Evil, which he categorizes under the genre of “funky-punk tech.”

He also enjoys taking broken items and attaching them to create action figures and musical instruments. 

“I like taking small, cheap, broken things that nobody wants and turning them into a work of art that I and hopefully others can enjoy to their full potential,” Tate says. “I also buy things that are already trendy and add my own personal touch.”

A city worker by day and a freestyle artist by night, you can often find Tate in the bushes by the river nailing homemade string dolls to trees.

“After reading about a practice of Japanese witchcraft where they nail straw dolls to trees, I’ve decided to make my own take on it using string and nails I bought from Dollarama” he says.

Tate plans to “do more tree doll stuff” now that the flood waters are down, but he also wants to branch out into film, radio and continue to work with his band.

However, Tate is putting these tasks aside for the moment so he can focus on his Saturday Dungeons & Dragons games. 

“I’ve been working heavily on my Dungeons and Dragons storyline, because that’s what brings in the ladies,” Tate says.

Here are some of Tate’s favourite things.

1) Himself

“I don’t know, I’m pretty fantastic.”

2) “ID”

“A creature that originally came to me in my dreams. Originally a high school art project, but now a reoccurring character in my works.”

3) Bathroom collection

“Most pieces I’ve apprehended from my mom and then continued to add my own findings.”

4) “The Bogatron”

“It doesn’t sound good but it’s my baby.”

5) String Dolls

“They’re my answer to keeping our Winnipeg weird.”

6) Dungeons & Dragons board

“A blatant attempt to try and get a group of friends together twice a month.”

7) Hand painted jackets

“I decided to make a gang-like symbol for myself to add a bit of pizzazz to otherwise plain canvas jackets.”

8) “Embodiment of Anger”

“I took some broken action figures I had and took a necklace from when I was young and decided to make something new out of it.”

Published in Volume 68, Number 5 of The Uniter (October 2, 2013)

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