Talking Art, Life and Passion with Winnipeg Filmmaker, Randy Frykas.
When does someone become an Artist? What drives the creation of a painting? How many hours are spent making Art? People are attracted to passion, and those who pursue their passions relentlessly, putting it all on the line.
In October 2019, a few months before COVID-19 started changing how we navigate our worlds, I invited a Winnipeg filmmaker into my haven, my Art studio. As I stated in a blog post from 2018, art studios “are places typically reserved for artists to create, serious art collectors to view the work privately, and curators to visit and consider works for future art exhibitions.” After a few emails back and fourth, and a telephone conversation, I agreed to the visit and I also agreed to let the filmmaker ask questions without pre-screening. He came to learn and film and arrived with a professional audio engineer, James Humberstone, also originally hailing from Manitoba. I accepted their visit and interest purely on the portfolio Frykas produced when I began asking questions. There seemed to be a common ground in the topic of hockey and my paintings about hockey, so the focus became mostly these works from my oeuvre of the past decade. I had recently returned home from a month studying and making work at the Royal College of Art in London, England, and was in the process of making a new work, a large landscape on loose canvas.
Over the course of two separate days, Frykas asked questions and recorded digital video. Over the course of the coming months the team of The Passion Projects, led by director Frykas, began editing while flying to other locations to film with other talented people driven by their passions. With Frykas and Humberstone also creating their own soundtrack for each short documentary film produced for the project. This truly was becoming a collaborative effort, filled with passion and experience, bringing together film, editing, sound, music and visual art.
As this series began shooting before COVID hit, and was being developed as the filmmakers’ own passion project on the side while he is working full-time TV and freelance gigs, the series is developing organically and is quickly becoming a record of life and attitudes before, during and eventually post COVID.
I don’t invite many people into my studio, it really is my workplace, and a sacred place I go to escape into my work. I was moved by the enthusiasm exuding from the voice on the other end of the phone line, which was as palpable in person. Vulnerability is another important facet of making great Art, and those days we were filming, we were at our most vulnerable, and I am proud of the film that came from this experience.
Sincere thanks to Randy Frykas and James Humberstone, I can’t wait to see what comes next!