Spotlight | Breanne Bandur
Breanne and I originally met through our mutual friend, Jasmine Alexander. So many times I was told, 'you'll love her!' When the Creative Meet Ups started I didn't realize what an impact this woman would have on me. Her inspiration, depth and creativity has fuelled not just me, but many others. If I was to describe her, I would say: "She's the one with the charcoal in her hands and the twinkle in her eyes..."
1) How would you describe yourself?
I am a person. A woman. An artist. I am a maker, a doer, a thinker, a feeler.
2) Currently, what is your medium of choice?
My medium of choice is charcoal. I’m in the process of experimenting with mixed media; Oil and acrylic paint, pastels, coloured charcoals, coloured pencils, graphite. Still, charcoal does seem to consistently find its way into my work. When the resources are available, printmaking is another medium I work in.
3) When we first met, I was struck by your ability to be down to earth and yet still maintain a high respect for your art and work. How do you keep your creative work important while also staying lighthearted?
It is far too easy to feel the weight of your work, and become apprehensive about your practice; Creativity is not a clearly defined road. Bruce Mau’s “An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth” has become a go-to resource and constant reminder to “be willing to grow,” “forget about good,” “love [my] experiments (as [I] would an ugly child)” and that “process is more important than outcome.”
4) At the end of the day, what drives you?
It is the process of creating the work that drives me. The studio is church; It is here I am able to spend time with myself, and both see and converse with myself in different ways; On paper, reflected on a canvas, through scattered thoughts in a sketchbook. To quote Bruce Mau again, “If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.”
5) What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on how to fit my art practice into my life outside of the institution. I recently finished my studies, and am learning routine and discipline that are somehow a little more straight-forward to manage while in art school, and surrounded by the support of other artists and peers. I am learning to find the value in my work in the midst of a society that reinforces the idea that what artists do has little value; I am learning to let that belief in what I do drive my practice. My goal right now is to continue making and working on my current body of work with the same intensity as I would within the institution. I am working on solidifying my practice under new circumstances.
6) Do you have any morning/night routines that centre you?
Establishing routine is part of my working towards this goal. A struggle I’ve noticed is flipping the switch “off” of work mode, and “on” to art mode. An approach I've taken to is gently remind myself when it's studio time. I do this by setting aside sufficient time for myself, going to my little studio space, and easing myself into my personal creative space either by playing an instrument, reading something related or unrelated to my practice, or journalling. Eventually, I end up at a piece of paper, canvas, or in my sketchbook.
7) If you were to pass on any advice/knowledge/wisdom to other creative seeking spirits, what would you want to say?
Make. Always keep making.
8) You have lived in various parts of Canada, as an artist which places have inspired you the most?
I’ve been fortunate enough to live, study, and make work over much of Eastern Canada. Everywhere has had something a little bit different to offer and has contributed to my work in different ways. I attended an artist residency at The Banff Centre in November 2015, and it was the first time in my years of making that I felt and saw shifts in my work corresponding directly to my environment around me. I truly fell in love with the mountains, and can say they had a direct impact on the work I was making at the time. The rest of Canada that I’ve spent time in have been places I’ve resided in, and so they’ve influenced my work for different reasons. Those influences tend to be more related to people than a place. I am very fortunate to have strong support systems of family, friends, and mentors in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. “The Creatives” is among those.
9) You were and still are a member of 'The Creatives' group that meets here in Halifax, what kept you coming back every month?
“The Creatives” is not only a kind of support system to me, but a group of some of my very close friends. “The Creatives” is made up of a group of unique and inspiring women. They are people with whom I can relate, but still, everyone comes from different places and offering varying life experiences, insight, and perspective. The women who participate in “The Creatives” are so much of what makes the group what it is. It is a safe place to come together with people of similar interests, aspirations, struggles, and discuss these things. Without fail, every month, I leave the group feeling hopeful and inspired. The connection and sense of community I feel with these women is a large part of what keeps me coming back.
10) You have had your work in various shows, what have you learned from those experiences?
Shows are great experiences - they serve as wonderful opportunities to share your work with the public, and create discourse surrounding it. They are also helpful in receiving different feedback to take back to the studio. Shows are exciting, and leave me proud, humbled, and motivated. It feels as though they mark different chapters in my art practice, and so encourage and propel me forward to continue to make new work.