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Extra Ordinary

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Extra Ordinary is also about figuring out how to become visible while struggling with apocalyptic levels of anxiety because staying invisible feels so much safer. What surrounds you on these walls is her daily anchoring exercise, one manifestation of learning how to fight addiction and achieve balance, i.e to become ordinary. This is a quest for ordinary, to have as much ordinary as possible, to become extra ordinary. This is about practicing gratitude and juggling more of everything with less energy while the clock ticks faster into forever. This art is about THIS moment, right NOW, and it is about sailing on a bike (a.k.a. lifeboat) close to other people, making connections to make the journey easier, shedding unnecessary baggage to prepare for the home stretch.

The “home stretch” in this case is in Winnipeg, which is located within Treaty No. 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Anisininew (Oji-Cree), Dene, and Dakota, and it is the birthplace and National Homeland of the Red River Métis Nation. Awareness of other peoples’ historic and ongoing relationships to this land is part of cultivating a broader and more nuanced experience of place, learning how to see what we haven’t seen before from someone else’s perspective.

A plain bike is the central theme of constant movement through the spaces we call home. Other key themes are cats, trees, water, Winnipeg, birds, fishing spiders, and our beloved solar system. Smoke, fire, flood, and meteors are always present because they represent chaos, along with the Covid virus which is literally everywhere, including space. Sound is key, too, the hum of Winnipeg, the sounds of the clunky old bike and a neighbourhood filled with birds and people going about their days.

This was a labour of love, and it was a labour of dogged perseverance through trial and error, figuring out how to take photos while biking, then how to print them. The 20×20 inch wood panels required a lot of prep work and Juanita drew the background star-field, which she then printed and transferred to each panel, moving Captain James Kirk (the cat) around a central axis. After each star-field was applied, there were many layers of paint and layers of clear pouring medium that followed, embedded with objects that “move” from one panel to the next. Juanita wanted to create a 3D effect that works if the viewer moves past quickly or stops for a closer look. Above all, she hopes her work will be fun for you to see, a break from the heavy things we’ve all got to carry.