Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson have worked as an artist team for 3 years. During this time they have exhibited works on paper, canvas and wood in exhibitions held in Cairo, Nanjing, Paris, Barcelona, San Diego, Toronto and Ottawa. They are active in creating outdoor wall murals and have created many large outdoor murals in Nunavut and Nunavik. Beyond painting, Alexa is a weaver and both Alexa and Patrick have done a wide range of printmaking and papermaking.
An Interview with Alexa and Patrick
What was the inspiration behind your mural?
We went to the Lesbian and Gay Archives without a particular focus and ended up leafing through many old Body Politik magazines until something jumped out at us. It was a half page piece of text that appeared to be a non-descript personal ad, a grey rectangle that read in a plain typeface: “Happy 10th Anniversary Joe, From Dave.” We thought, what a simple way to boil this project down to a very important sentiment. We only altered the text to read “love” instead of “from.” We want the mural to have the feel of a homemade card.
We take our Body Politik inspiration to be historically significant because, as discussed in the meetings with elders and important figures in the community, non-heterosexual classified ads were not allowed to be published in the mainstream newspapers.
Tell us about how you made your work
We will be painting two murals. One is abstract with text reading Happy 20th Anniversary Pat, Love Alex” and the second is an abstraction or a birds eye view of a cake celebrating the anniversary of two men which reads “ Happy 10th anniversary Joe, Love Dave.” The Joe and Dave piece pays homage to the Body Politik ad, and the Pat and Alex piece uses two gender-ambiguous names in order to be inclusive of the whole community.
We paint in layers, one person goes over the other while adding and subtracting from what ever we are working on. We do our best not to get attached to the things we are doing and trust in each other that their judgment call is right when it comes to what to paint where and how.
We seek to make the personal public and the public personal. Conceptually, we have taken something that is intimate and hand-made and turned it into something public.
It will be painted with latex exterior paint and brushes and spray paint.
What do you hope people will take away from your piece?
We hope people will grin from ear to ear.
How do you see this project changing or contributing to the Church-Wellesley Village?
This project brings a blast of color and vibrancy that reflects the energy of the area. Our contribution is a light-hearted, fun addition to the Village. Appropriately, considering the upcoming World Pride, we believe these murals are celebratory pieces. Color is always a healthy addition.
Check out the photos of their finished mural! : http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrickevoke/10060646575/