My watercolour-ink painting titled INTIMACIES explores context, relationships, pleasure, reciprocity, and abundance. This detailed piece plays with intersecting circles highlighting some relationships witnessed during quarantine with growing and gardening. It is an invitation to get lost in looking up close and within, and gazing softly and lovingly. Lines and textures, fluids, and landscapes emerge into each other, simultaneously boundaries.
It is a glimpse of a place that my wife and I call ‘home’ which we complicate as settlers on Turtle Island. It is the third year of growing, harvesting and sharing vegetables and flowers and the first year of watching our efforts transform a dirt pile into a rain and wild medicine garden, having shaped it the previous year just in time for our family and friends to gather before our wedding. While some seeds were planted with our intention, other plants revealed themselves like nettles, thistles and more. Each year we learn and observe different visitors and relationships change in our garden. As our community responded and implemented precautions, turning to our garden and caring for it became an important part of daily life. This year, in quarantine, we felt very grateful to have a home, and to have had time visiting last year with family and friends especially those who traveled. The uncertainty of being able to visit each other in-person without careful consideration and taking precautions has meant finding creative ways to grow INTIMACIES.
Jayal Chung (钟凤玲) is a self-taught artist born and raised in Thunder Bay, ON. She is queer and her ancestors settled on Turtle Island from China. From paints, pastels, zines, illustration, to spoken word poetry – making art is an expression of resistance, self-care, urgency, dreaming, finding community, and writing into existence. Recently, she completed an intensive BodyWeather: Exploring Physical Presence with Victoria Hunt at the Banff Centre. In 2017, her painting ‘the forbidden fruits’ was part of the group show Queer Landscapes, Queer Intersections, John B Aird Gallery.
She has been involved in collaborative community arts and activism projects focused on bringing people together, talking back to racism, colonialism and sexual violence. Reciprocity shapes her relationships and she hosted Queer Radio Hour, CILU 102.7 FM as way to mentor 2SLGBTQ+ youth, and created Bridging Resistance: Relationships and Resurgence Radio Project with two amazing friends Sarah Nelson, a youth connector and community organizer; and Farah Ahmed who is host and producer of Racialized the Podcast and Advocacy Coordinator of Racialized Young Professionals Network. She is a dedicated volunteer and artist-member with Definitely Superior Art Gallery.
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