Tara Bursey is an artist whose practice encompasses sculpture and installation as well as drawing, craft, and self-publishing. In the past two years, she has exhibited extensively throughout Toronto in a diverse range of venues, from storefront window installations and telephone poles to the Textile Museum of Canada, the Ontario Crafts Council, as well as in group exhibitions in Halifax, Saskatoon and Copenhagen. Tara’s most recent projects include coordinating The Portable Library Project and installation programming for City of Craft 2009. She began studies towards a degree in Criticism and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University in September of 2009.
What's one thing that really inspires you and your work these days?
I've been finding it a little hard to get inspired lately. When I lack inspiration, I find it helps to spend time alone walking from one destination to another or puttering around the house. Inspiration always strikes when you're not worrying about how uninspired you feel.
Lately, I've felt most inspired when I've revisited the work of artists I remember having a really strong effect on me when I first started making art. A couple of weeks ago I looked at a catalogue of local artist Louise Noguchi's Compilation Portraits
and though I wouldn't say they've inspired any recent work of mine, I found them really exciting. Some work is so smart and so striking, it makes me feel genuinely excited to be an artist and reminds me why I am one.
What do you like to craft for yourself or for close friends and family only? (ie. do not sell)
Since Christmas, I've been crocheting quite a bit. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was a kid, and it's one of those skills that I've always had and messed around with here and there, but never applied towards any serious projects. In December, I took a houseguest to Romni Wools on Queen Street West, and fell in love with Noro Yarn as soon as I laid eyes on it! Their colours, especially the blues and greens and multi-coloured skeins, are mind-blowingly beautiful. I made three scarves in two weeks-- one for myself, one for my mother, and one for a friend. Just as I started to move past scarves and master the granny square, I decided to curb my crochet habit...the irresistible Noro Yarn became far too hard on my pocketbook!
What's your favorite thing about toronto?
There is so much I love about Toronto...and there are certainly things I don't love about Toronto, too. One of the main things I love about Toronto is even though I am not particularly worldly or well-travelled, I feel like I am because this city is so incredibly multi-cultural. I grew up in Scarborough, spent my teen years loafing around Kensington Market and Chinatown, and then moved to Parkdale when I was 18, so I've almost always lived and spent time in really diverse neighbourhoods. I think that living in such a multi-cultural city has enriched my life and made me a more knowledgeable person.
How do you deal with cold, cold winter nights?
I will answer this question honestly, and risk sounding like a total slob! Tall cans of beer, popcorn, Youtube, listening to records, and watching free movies in bed on my laptop are WAY up there! Aside from that, I've been trying to cook more...making huge pots of healthy, nourishing meals is a good way to stay warm and-- oddly enough-- stay motivated. It's so easy to just let yourself shut down in the middle of winter...cooking and expanding/improving one's culinary repertoire is surprisingly invigorating and has motivated me to keep myself going and not resort to eating out or eating crap.
Heart = organ or emotion?
I hate to sound horribly unromantic, but heart = organ and brain = emotion. No contest.