How do you deconstruct a sneeze?

April 2017

Newfoundland Quarterly chatted with April White recently to get inside the head of one of St. John’s visual artists.

Your house in three words?
Plants, cats, art.

Earliest memories of art?
Sitting at the table in the kitchen with kids’ acrylic paint and construction paper, and my hands.

What do you wish people knew about you by looking at your art?
That I’m grounded, and in the here and now.

The hardest part of your art career?
The hardest part, I think, is that it’s not a typical job. You can’t just look at past artists and know what they did to “become” an artist professionally. You have to find your own way through the field and everyone does so differently. That is also what makes being an artist so special, that your life plan isn’t clear-cut.

Your favourite project to work on?
I’m pretty excited about the project I’m working on now about sneezing. I’m deconstructing the sneeze and examining what happens to my own face and body while I’m sneezing. I’m trying to stretch out a small moment, one that only takes a second, and examine that. I’m looking at subverting traditional representations of women. Basically, looking at the expected etiquette and appearance, and unpacking that.

What location feeds your creativity?
I find seeing other people make their work does that, so in an art gallery or seeing a great concert. Going to an artist talk, and listening to them talk about what goes into their practice, and seeing all the work they’ve done.

At NQ, we’ve been thrilled that April White has created art for two of our stories: Canada on the Rails and Arts, Politics and a Government Building

NORTHERN DETACHMENT

BY Clancy Margaret

The wind was still, but the cold was biting all the same. Stepping outside made her sinuses burn and her eyes water. She brushed the snow off the seat of her snowmobile—a mid-nineties Ski-Doo, always giving her trouble. She surveyed the town as she waited for the engine to warm up. It’s squat vinyl sided homes glowed amidst the dim winter daytime. Snowmobile tracks crisscrossed on the road but not a person was in sight. She checked her handheld GPS. The coordinates lined up with somewhere northwest, about a forty-five minute ride under the blanket of dark. There were no stars today. It was always cloudy.