Saturday, July 5, 2008

pender island adventure day.

my father lives on pender island, british columbia, and has since i was in my teens, so i usually just spend time with him and fall into an allergen-induced coma when i go to visit. but with aitor in tow, and fostering our current lust for exploration, i undertook a day of intense activity (by island standards).

we started late, i guess (by farm standards), with a trip to the weekly pender island farmer's market. it runs every saturday from 9:30am to 1:00pm. we got there just before noon and all of ewa's famous baked goods were sold out. so if you go, go earlier. we did get to see lots of cool stuff, though, like the spinning demonstartions (above). to our great joy, we also discovered the table of an artists collective/partnership/residency called islands fold. we had heard of these folks before from our friend zeesy powers who just finished a residency with them a few weeks ago.

it's interesting to encounter different artist projects in rural areas (like all citizens) and to see how they manage to survive (or not) in different ways. it's also neat as a pseudo-resident to see art that i identify with appearing in the gulf islands. in spite of possible offenses this may dispatch, i have to say i have never had much fondness for the bulk of "art" i have seen coming out of the gulf islands. i mean, i have seen beautiful native art (and cruddy knock-offs thereof), and some impressively skilled craft (there is an amazing metalsmith here, and spinners), but the ratio of these things to wreaths with dried flowers glued on them is shockingly low. to be diplomatic, wreaths and ceramic cat buttons are not my thing. if everyone is being out-priced by the surrounding cities, it is nice to know that young artists who don't fit the "country kitchen" aesthetic of art and craft are also making a sustainable migration. long story, short - i bought this book:

...and i'm really happy with it.

from the market, we went to the pender island recycling depot. the depot also houses pender island's free store.

i thin someone needs to give a home to these guys (below). maybe the regional assembly of text? whoever you are, these are just waiting for you on pender island. for free!

we poked around the free store and found an adjustable eat-in-bed service tray that will probably find its way into my craft fair displays back in toronto. after shopping for free, it's hard to go back to shopping for money but the nu-to-yu is a happy medium. besdies, we were trying to do everything there is to do on pender island and this thrift shop is a real social hub on the weekends. we found so many silly goodies - glass-top mason jars, an old collapsible egg basket for my dad, some rick-rack, vintage fabric with a large football print, an old portable stapler, a vintage two-hole punch, some picture frames...all sorts of fetish-worthy trinkets. and when the ladies behind the counter tallied it all up, it was under three dollars! this is why i go so crazy at out-of-the-way thrift stores. they also packed all the jars up in old mismatched sewing patterns.

after our loot score, aitor and i reconnected with my father to go get oysters for dinner. the tide was so low that we didn't even have to hammer them off the rocks very much, the just littered the beach. we also learned that to test the potential poisonousness of oysters, you should rub their juice inside your lower lip. if it tingles or your face goes numb, eat no further. or so my dad says.

aitor was pretty much in hog heaven and asked that i take and post these pictures to make anahi jealous:

good night, pender island. we really ate you up.


DavesGotTheGun said...

that recycling center looks like a bunch of photoshoots waiting to happen!!

PS: great art find!

shannongerard said...


sweetie pie press said...

thanks, guys!

i believe the art in the book is by luke ramsey. if you like his style, they also have a whole host of art, books and other things available on their website. and i know how important online sales are to rural types.

and shan, i know. i know. i can't believe we were only able to stay for two nights. aitor and i are rolling around the notion of setting up shop on the island in a more semi-permanent way next summer. we'll see.

ablebody said...

my god those oysters. i mean GOD!

sweetie pie press said...

i know! i miss it all, already. you i miss, too, ablebody. but i should be seeing you in about a month. okay?