The story of how this piece came together is a story of winding roads, and winding ideas intersecting.
A while ago James shared with me the letter of a woman who had started her recovery process, detoxing from fentanyl and methamphetamine. This was a person starting a journey while trying to run on empty, and they heard James talk about Stoke, and what they got from them was CHARGED. For James, a person who has been on his Journey this letter meant everything, the energy it gave him was amazing. For myself it would take time before I could truly wrap my head around the inspiration of this letter, while I’ve had my battles in life it has been nothing compared to what these people have been through.
After starting a job in the Beltline of Calgary that would change, I would start seeing people affected by addiction on a near-daily basis, and part of me would want to become numb to what they were going through. It was at this point I was reminded of the letter people running on empty, people looking for that charge and their hope, it was at this point the letter meant something to me as well.
I have also always been a lover of art, and an artist whose work had always meant something to me was Katsushika Hokusai, his most famous work being Under the Wave off Kanagawa. In this print, a massive wave with almost animalistic qualities can be seen about to crash into several fishing boats. A moment captured in a way that lets the viewer ask, what happens next? While also allowing them to answer their question, do they make it?
It was these inspirations that came to mind when creating this piece, I wanted to capture the feeling of being on that journey, that even with the support we will have to take those steps down the road into the unknown ourselves. How will we handle that road, those mountains, and how will we find our charge? I want people to ask what is next. What is next in this image? What is next for them?