About a week ago, local music institution Dustin Jones released a music video for the first single Don’t Want To Come Down by his new band, The Conspirators. The group is made up of himself, Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger/The Salads) on drums and Chuck Dailey (I Mother Earth/The Salads) on bass.
Although Brendan Garlick defers the actual meaning of the song to songwriter Dustin Jones, he notes the video concept is an ironic play on the title of the tune. “The video interprets the meaning of ‘Don’t Want to Come Down’ to not wanting to give up a certain lifestyle, or not wanting to grow up.”
According to their social media page, The Conspirators’ high energy songs were built to prove that “rock and roll is still alive and well”. The Garlick-directed accompanying video was clearly directed to capture that same energy.
Garlick notes that Jones first approached him about making a video for the Conspirators back in 2017. Since that time, the duo had bounced around a number of ideas before landing on a concept.
“We came up with the idea for this one in early summer,” said Garlick. “With that concept, we wanted to find an actress with a youthful look, someone who seemed defiant to play the main protagonist.”
The perfect actress turned out to be Hannah Rausch, a local secondary school student. “Hannah was the winner of a high school songwriting contest and she was recording a couple of really great songs with Dustin at Mission Control Studios. Dustin cast her in the video and she was perfect.”
Garlick noted that Rausch’s instinct for the character in the video was spot on.
“The entire wardrobe was her own. We didn’t ask her to dress in any specific way. She would just show up and Dustin and I would both say, ‘That’s exactly the look we were going for.’ All we added was a leather jacket that we found at Value Village for one scene. She was able to capture that defiant alt teen look with a touch of goth.”
The filming for the video took place through August and September.
“The shots are slowed down and then (we) sped it up to give it a specific effect.”
In one scene, Rausch stands in front of a wall with multi-coloured paint running down the walls at an unusual pace. In another, she stands passively in front of a flaming lawnmower.
One of Garlick’s friends and former bandmates, Aaron Allessandrini, was essential in helping make some of these scenes happen.
“I pulled him into the shoot and he contributed a lot to this video. The guy is really talented. He was the key grip behind the scenes and was instrumental in it.”
Allessandrini figured out how to make some of the slowed down scenes work.
“We had a piece of plywood clamped on a carpenter’s bench. The idea was to make use of the sped up effect, so Aaron would take a scoop of paint and let it run down the board to great effect.”
For the flaming lawnmower concept that Garlick had come up with earlier, it was Allessandrini who helped make it happen.
“At first we thought, ‘no, that could be a hazard’. But the night before one of the shoots, I found an electric lawnmower on Kijiji. Someone was giving it away. So I talked Dustin into it.”
Allessandrini was off screen and had figured out how to use a squirt bottle to add gasoline to the lawnmower to give it a billowing effect, while ensuring there was no danger or risk.
Filming the video at a lower speed and then increasing he final version meant their actress could not lip-sync to the song in real time.
“We slowed the song down by 300 percent. I like to refer to it as a Cthulhu remix,” he laughs. “We only had to do one take of each scene. Hannah really nailed it.”
After the video was released, Garlick jokingly asked Rausch if she felt like a celebrity. Her response? “Not quite.”
“Hannah has aspiration to do more in terms of songwriting. So my hope is if she goes on this meteoric rise, I can say I was there at the beginning,” he laughs.
For the band portion of the video, some clever coordination had to take place.
Drummer Darrin Pfeiffer was in Los Angeles and Chuck Dailey was in Toronto. As luck would have it, both were performing as part of Amy Gabba and the Almost Famous’ CD Release in Toronto.
So taking advantage of Pfeiffer being flown into Toronto for the show, Jones and Garlick hopped in a car and drove down to meet them during their practice session for the CD Release.
“This was the first time the guys have been in the same room together in a couple years. They were in the jam rehearsal space practicing for their CD release. When Amy and the guitarist left after their practice finished, I shot the live segment of the video with Chuck, Darren and Dustin. We did it quickly, within an hour.”
The filming wrapped up by the end of September and editing was done before Halloween. “We’ve been sitting on the video waiting for the album’s release.”
If the Conspirator video wasn’t enough, Garlick also directed a video that was released in those months after the wrap. This one for local songwriter Jay Case.
The video for Case’s first single Intend to Be from his album foundation came out about a month ago.
“Jay’s video has a different groove. When I went into it, I definitely did try to match the feeling of the song to the video. Jay’s song is more laid back than the Conspirators’ song which is high tempo.”
Intend to Be was filmed on the shore of Havilland Bay.
“We drove out to this cool house for the shoot. They had a nice little dock with a break wall. We got really lucky and had ducks going by and a mist on the water. So we capitalized on it.”
With this video, Garlick was trying to capture an atmosphere rather than tell a story.
“The more I can do in trying to create an atmosphere, the more successful I am going to be.”
Unlike the Conspirators’ video, the Jay Case shoot was less planned and done quickly. “We shot it in a couple of hours,” says Garlick. “We didn’t plan much out ahead. I listened to the song a couple of times and had this idea about Jay preparing a dinner. We left the ending open ended and we never know who it was on the other side of the door.”
As a filmmaker, Garlick has to live in both worlds and be ready to work in planned and unplanned shoots.
He notes that many clients don’t know exactly what they want, but they know what they don’t want.
“On the creative side, it is really challenging to just trust yourself. You have to know that the client may not see what I am seeing. You have to try to figure out what they need.”
Although Garlick has most recently been working in the directing world, he notes that there is another world: the organization side.
“I started my career in filmmaking on the organization side of things working on a film called All Hallows Eve: October 30th. I went from slate as a volunteer to assistant director in 3 days. I am very time organized and the crew didn’t have anyone in terms of set organization. So, I just slipped into that role.”
Those organizational skills were handy in his role as a band member too. “In Gnaeus, I was the guy who kept track of shows, of when are we practicing, and how are we going to get the gear to the shows. Aaron [Allessandrini] would write the words and melodies and handled things like the art work.”
So for Garlick, his most recent experiences working with Dustin Jones and the Tidal Records artists, was a big shift from the organizational side to the vision side of the equation.
“Working with Dustin, I was able to supply some of that vision. I would lead shots by default.”
Garlick has come a long way from his early roots working with Shaw Cable to stream City Council meetings, as a wedding videographer or even as part of the All Hallows Eve: October 30th crew. He has learned from his earlier music videos for local band K.I.C.K. and songwriter Brendan Hodgson
“My initial videos were done by trying to get artists together and film performance shots.”
As a fan of the MuchMusic and MTV music era, he has been working to develop his skills to match a video to the song.
“With limited resources, it is often hard to tell a convincing story. You can look really amateurish the more you try to show a consistent A to B to C. So, I like to get into these abstract ideas where you can gain in innovativeness and eye catchiness to make up for what you don’t have in terms of lenses or lighting gear.”
Garlick remembers the impact of videos like Madonna’s Like a Prayer video had on him.
“Even as a 10-year old, I loved those videos. I knew there was an underlying message there but I wasn’t sure what it was. I didn’t totally get it, but knew it was there.
Aside from music and film, Garlick has developed his own comics.
The Spaceman Chronicles he describes as a combination of Star Trek and Magic Schoolbus.
“It was a six part series that followed a group of six space explorers.” The catch was that at the end of each episode, the explorer died.
He is currently working on another called Detox: A Love Story.
“I have all the pages laid out. I am going panel by panel. My hope is to find a way to finance an outside illustrator.”
The concept stemmed from a placement he had at a withdrawal management centre while he was in school.
“I also have a personal history that involves experiences in that realm. So this comic will be about addiction and the way it overlaps with other aspects of people’s lives. I want it to be for people who actually have that experience, people who are in the middle of it. I want it to be universally accessible.”
Garlick is philosophical about his art.
“I loved Calvin and Hobbes when I was young. At first I saw it as trivial. Looking back, it has so much philosophical messaging, so much emotional development. It is also so simplistic as a format. If you look at so called ‘low culture’ media, including music videos and comic books.”
Garlick wants to imbue those mediums with the same sort of meaning you would find in Dostoyevsky or Dickens.
“Good art has to have meaning, but that doesn’t have to mean that you need to say things explicitly. That’s the trick. If you say things explicitly people will reject it or they will tune it out. Great art tricks you into emotionally connecting. Afterwards you say, ‘oh shoot, I can see things from a different perspective now.’”
Kingston art thriving in Martello | The Journal – Queen's Journal
Queen’s alumni David, ArtSci ’83, and Wendy Dossett, Con-Ed ’87, launched Kingston’s Martello Alley back in 2015. Martello is an immersive installation featuring the works of local Kingston artists, while also challenging the formal atmosphere of traditional galleries.
In an interview with The Journal, David Dossett credited the inspiration behind the showcase to his late father.
“He used to spend all his time on the water in a little boat his dad made for him,” Dossett said.
“He was a very interesting person. He liked art, he could fly, he learned how to play music and everything, and he painted.”
Dossett ultimately found they shared a love for painting.
“He painted this picture of this French street, a copy of a Maurice Utrillo painting, and it always struck me. I never knew that I could paint, and I discovered I could paint, and that was the inspiration for this spot,” Dossett said.
“[Martello] is to honour him. Unfortunately, he died two years before I opened this up, but I know he would have been beyond thrilled with this place.”
When engaging with gallery visitors, Dossett is always telling stories about the art in Martello and Kingston’s history. Being bilingual in both English and French allows him to connect with his visitors on a personal level.
As an artist himself, Dossett understands the importance of having local artists run Martello rather than salespeople. While art galleries often draw people in for what’s inside, Martello attracts visitors with its exterior art.
“When you see limestone in Quebec City, they always have bright colours with it—yellows and blues and greens and reds. I thought we’d bring that here,” Dossett said.
“We had the basis of it, we had the old stone walls and the beautiful courtyards, but they were very dark.”
Realizing Dossett’s vision for Martello involved strenuous work. The restoration prior to its 2015 opening proved arduous, with Dossett doing much of the work himself.
“One of the first things I did was paint the ground, which took a month on my hands and knees.”
Martello isn’t the only art space in Kingston the Dossetts have revived. They also took over another store on Brock street, now known as Martello on Brock. After transforming it into a thriving art shop and gallery, they invited the space’s previous artists back to share and sell their work.
Despite receiving little attention early in the pandemic, Martello has since implemented technological innovations that have kept their sales and engagement at pre-pandemic levels.
“We have to bring art and art galleries into the twenty-first century,” Dossett said.
Nevertheless, for Dossett, the work behind Martello was never about making money.
“It’s not to have a store to sell stuff to people,” he said.“When you’re here, you’re always talking to an artist, always. The story is the critical thing. There is a ton of history all around you. This place has a story. Kingston has a story.”
Dossett emphasized the importance of patience and consistency in building community. For some of Martello’s featured artists, making art is an important emotional outlet.
“You make a difference in people’s lives, and to me that’s what it’s about.”
Community comes together for Kelowna’s Imagine Pandosy Art Festival – Global News
The painted fence posts that have been popping up around Kelowna’s Pandosy Village neighbourhood are part of an advertising campaign for a new artist and crafter festival.
“Imagine Pandosy Art Festival is created to bring our community together,” said Paul Clark, organizer.
“To have people create pieces of art that they can bring to the festival to be donated eventually and be put up at Pandosy Waterfront Park.”
In the weeks leading up to the event, organizers are handing out fence painting kits, to get the community involved in the marketing campaign for the festival.
“The theme [of the festival] is colourful people so the first fence and the family that I’ve created is full of colour and then we have given out over 50 boards to the community to paint,” said Mary Meenagh, artist.
The Imagine Pandosy Art Festival will take place on August 15 at Sopa Square in Pandosy Village and on Grouse Street.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Art Fx #29: The Wilderness Collection by Stephanie Aykroyd – Huntsville Doppler
Art Fx is a year-long series on Huntsville Doppler featuring Huntsville-area visual artists.
The Wilderness Collection is a series of original oil landscapes on canvas by Stephanie Aykroyd.
“In a remote region of Ontario, Canada, is a land filled with old-growth pine, smooth granite outcrops, and clear waters. Like most wilderness areas, it is ancient and sacred,” writes Stephanie of her inspiration for this series. “The ancestors of this land left carvings in the rock, barely visible now, but their presence is strong. They travelled this land that you’re camping on and paddling through. Perhaps they sat on the same rock overlooking this lake…
“The storm has just passed and everything feels deeply still and peaceful.
“You can smell the pine and damp earth as you watch the mist drift across the far hills and light break through the clouds. A loon calls in the distance, and you smile, knowing that you belong.”
“Limitless” (left) and “In the Quietest Moments” are original oil paintings in Stephanie Aykroyd’s The Wilderness Collection
About the artist
I live with my love Alex, on 27 acres north of Toronto, Ontario in a beautiful part of the Canadian Shield.
I’m happiest in my studio or outside with my hands in the garden, searching for rocks, making pigments, portaging a canoe, or paddling the remote wilderness.
Over the years I always managed to paint, but it wasn’t a regular practice. I held back from making it my career and it was usually the first thing to be shelved when life got overwhelming. Far too often I focused on others at the expense of my own creative expression. However…
I’ve always dreamed of doing my art full-time and I’m a firm believer that when we set clear intentions & do the work, amazing things unfold!
By 2020, the need to create art became too strong and too important to ignore. Why keep putting off the very thing that feeds my soul?? This is the best decision I could have made and I haven’t looked back since!
Stephanie’s work is available for purchase at stephanieaykroyd.com.
See more local art in Doppler’s Art Fx series here.
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