April 06, 2021
Gathre Creatives ft. Kanasa Kinjo
As we’ve reflected on art and how it’s made we’ve spent plenty of time thinking about the incredible artists and creatives that we work with. We love to see how our different #Gathrecreatives are defining art in their own everyday lives.
How do you create art? Give us your elevator pitch for what you offer to the world. What mediums do you like to use, what is your style, just give us the low-down as if we haven't already been obsessed with you for a while now.
My art is often about new perspectives and is inspired by the thoughts, concepts and experiences that help me see myself and the world in a different way. I create my art through a lot of different mediums--like paper, paint, clay, wood, stone, glass, ice, water, videos, photos, and installations. I love expressing the thoughts and ideas that open up my mind and I always hope that through my art, viewers will be able to gain new perspectives of their own.
Now is the season of my life for me to embrace motherhood. Sometimes I feel like my time and mediums are limited, due to the often chaotic nature of life as a mother, but it has definitely opened up my perspective in a new way. Art has now become a way for me to not only create, but to also document those special moments and seasons in my life as a person, artist and a mother.
For example, after first becoming a mother, I started making artworks with paper. I was amazed by what women's bodies could do. Our bodies stretch, expand, swell, tear, feel broken, then shrink and scar as we, mothers, create new life inside of us. It’s not always pleasant, but the moment we feel this living being moving and trying to tell us, “I’m here! I’m alive!”, the joy and excitement far surpasses the worst morning sickness we might have experienced. As I was trying to capture this experience of motherhood, I found that drawings, paintings, or photographs couldn’t quite express all the feelings and changes that I went through. But I still wanted to share it in some form, so I chose paper. Paper can tear, stretch, expand, swell, break, shrink and scar--just like our bodies can. But when papers are torn, it leaves gorgeous edges. When they are stretched, they know to shrink back--just like our bodies. It was the perfect medium to mimic the beauty of our humanness and helped bring to life my Motherhood pieces.
"The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing." Marcus Arelius. This was one of our favorite quotes. We find beauty in the hard times. Share your thoughts on this, and give our followers an insight into a time when you were wrestling with life.
Limitations and hardships often force us to try our hardest to overcome and once we do, things happen for us. My husband and I struggled with infertility for years, so when we found out that I was pregnant on the day that we were meeting with a doctor to schedule a surgery, we were overwhelmed with joy. We wrestled for four years to have our first child and that experience made me appreciate the life of my child so much more and has always been a reminder not to take things for granted. Motherhood is hard, but I can find more joy and happiness in doing the hard things because I know it isn’t easy to have a child. I always try to remember how grateful I am for the miracle that I might have otherwise taken for granted.
I recently realized that while no mother is perfect, every mother is seeking for excellence. At first, I saw other mothers, including my own mother, and thought, “I want to be a mother like her! She’s doing it perfectly!” But what I didn’t see was all that they had wrestled with. All I was seeing was the results of them doing their best, which meant they probably didn’t feel like they were doing as amazing as I thought they were. I think this applies to us in many ways, whether it is as a mother, as an artist, or as anything that we are trying to become.
What are your earliest memories in making life art? How do you remind yourself to find beauty in the everyday during this phase of your life?
As far back as I can remember, I was always creating. Cutting papers, taping them, and drawing. My parents told me that all they heard all day everyday was me cutting paper and tape. My dad had a tape holder that made this unique sound-- “geee-kacha”--every time I pulled, then cut the tape.
Everyday I remind myself that I’m creating art with my life. Anything that I do can be art! Even though no one is watching me most of the time, sometimes I think I’m making performance art as I go through each day. Other times, I think of folding laundry as a ritual. And I see my children as a living creation. My favorite thing is seeing them create. They are still little, but when my 3-year-old son grabs me by the hand and says, “Let's make art!”, I feel like I’m doing a good job. Seeing him be creative is the most beautiful thing of all.
Speaking of art, do you have any favorite artists? If you're not an art person, what inspires you to create? Tell us more.
I have many favorite artists, but I’d like to share just two of my favorite artists here-- Janine Antoni and Ann Hamilton.
Janine Antoni is the first contemporary artist that spoke to my heart. In her works, “Gnaw” and “Lick and Lather,” she shows the objects that she's worked on, but never shows the performance, explaining that, “Imagining the process is so much more powerful than watching me do it.”
This has taught me that imagination is the greatest part of art and if you take away the imagination part from the viewer by showing everything, it's less fun. So when I create, I want to leave room for people to wonder and imagine what they see.
Installation artist Ann Hamilton is always so thoughtful. She inspired me to want to create an art space where people can feel and enjoy the space by interacting with each other, and I hope I can create that someday.
We see our products as forms of art themselves. How do you see Gathre products as art in your home? Whether it's a tapestry, poster, cushion, or mat. Tell us how they bring art and elevation to your life.
The texture and the feel of Gathre products help elevate my life. I love that the products age with my family as we progress through different stages of life. Gathre products have so many functions and utilize rich textures that are warm and welcoming. I love that you get to choose where you put that texture in your home and how you want to use it. Anytime people are inspired and can use creativity to use these products in a way that gives meaning to them, it becomes art.
We've been thinking a lot about having a few elevated pieces rather than a bunch of stuff, when it comes to home, clothing, everything. Any advice on how to appreciate quality over quantity?
When I see how something can be used throughout different phases of my life, I choose quality over quantity. The possibility of having something unique or something that I can age together with and passing down to my children is always enticing. Learning about the process and focusing on the craftsmanship, detail and texture always makes you appreciate quality over quantity.
Lastly, give us your take on the quote "To make living itself an art, that is the goal."Whenever I think about art and life, I often think about another quote by a painter, Kit White, who said, “Art is not separate from life: it is the very description of the lives we lead.” So when I think about the quote, “To make living itself art, that is the goal,” I think of how our mission is to find our own path. Sometimes we get caught up in the noise of outside influences that loudly tell us how we should want to live, but once we discover our own path for living life, living can become art. This is a sweet reminder to find beauty in living life and loving the growth, the fleeting moments, the aging--all of it! If we can love what we have, we can enjoy the moments as a special creation instead of feeling like it is a limitation.