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a conceptual artist, cartoonist, and writer / reader of audio stories. She grew up in a Canadian lakeside town until jetting off to London, England to complete an MFA at Goldsmiths College, and intern at the Victoria & Albert Museum as a historical costume writer. She currently lives and works in Windsor, ON.
Tim Comrie is a Toronto-based cartoonist, painter, and illustrator with a BFA from OCAD University. He writes and draws the self-published comics series "Leisure" and the daily webcomic "From Tim's Lips to God's Ears". "Five Hour Breakfast" is a collaborative, online series of self-contained strips that are, apart from this strip, written by Mike Heneghan and illustrated byComrie. Binne MacManamon is an Irish writer of screenplays and short stories.
Gillian Iles creates environmental scale installations combining paintings with sculptures, video and projection. She has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Chicago, Miami, Montreal and Toronto in public institutions, university galleries, artist-run centres and commercial galleries. She has been highlighted in Canadian Art, Toronto Life Magazine, the National Post, and The Globe and Mail. She exhibits with Red Head gallery in Toronto and teaches at the Ontario
College of Art and Design and Sheridan College. Areas of investigation are the existence of accepted ideals, social orders and idealized lifestyles especially as they pertain to Western culture. Their tenuous
persistence, and challenges to by the next burgeoning generation are of particular interest.
Brendan Reid is a writer and musician, both living and working in downtown Toronto. He is currently in his fourth year at Ryerson University, pursuing a degree in Arts and Contemporary Studies. Brendan began to write at a young age, and has always drawn inspiration from the natural world and the layered dynamics of
human interaction. The broader questions surrounding the nature of humanity and the universe have always fascinated him, and he aims to explore these concepts in his work.
Teri Donovan lives and works in Toronto. She incorporates drawing, painting and collage to address paradoxes that shape awareness, thoughts, and behaviours. Her work deals with perception and memory, human relationships, and social impacts on personal and cultural identity.
She graduated from York U., and the U.of Toronto, and studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto School of Art, and The Maryland Institute, College of Art in. She is represented by The Red Head Gallery.
Toronto based visual artist Margie Kelk's artistic practice reflects contemporary concerns about cultural history and politics. Kelk takes an exploratory andexperimental approach as she appropriates and reconstructs visual fragments of ideasthrough diverse artistic media that includes ceramic sculpture, installation and animation. Kelk
has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Kelk is a graduate of Wellesley College, The Johns Hopkins University (PhD.), and the Toronto School of Art diploma program.
This City Is Mine
by Brendan Reid
As I walk these streets, they always look, but rarely do they see.
Even if they do not meet my eyes, I catch their stare. Few look when they are close, but from a distance, it’s as if I can feel their intention, and know exactly what they are thinking. And yet, no matter my impression, the question always remains the same.
“Excuse me, have you got any change?”
It is a query that repels them as much as it sweetens my tongue. I have no longer come to expect much, but still, I must ask. A handful of times, I will get an acknowledgment, a wave of the hand, a shake of the head, or perhaps a spoken word.
“Sorry, not today.”
To this I can only nod. My presence is acknowledged, and that is as good as any donation. Most ignore outright. Perhaps once a day, twice if the day is good, I will get the charity that I so desperately need.
“Here’s two bucks,” the young voice says.
He is perhaps twenty-five, and holds his hand out to me.
“Thank you sir,” I say, taking the money in my cup. The sound it makes as it hits the bottom brings me a fluttering moment of hope, a sense of warmth that will sustain me for the rest of this long day. These are the good times. The times that she is giving.
Though often, she is thorough in her taking, and pushes me back into my skull, and away from the light that I know she can provide. I see it on their faces, every day. Always from afar, or perhaps from across the street, the smiling, jubilant glow of humans happy, of reveling youth and wizened age. I can see it in their eyes, in their bodies, in their clothes. In the way they carry their shoulders, and in the comforted control of their gaze. I can always tell. They are outside of the push and pull, of the unpredictable stir that shapes my every day.
I can see those who are deep within it, like me, and I can see those who are beginning to feel her draw. In their crossed brow, and their vacant grimace, which they often wear without realizing.
This night I do not sleep, and look forward to a morning that will be even more giving. As it comes, I walk through the streets with rare purpose, heading towards a meal that I dare to call reliable.
Many weeks ago, in the back alley of a waterfront restaurant, I found myself in a dark stupor, bowed by drunkenness and hunger. I sat amongst the dumpsters and lay against the brick wall, waiting for the sun to rise, and wondering about death.
But instead, a door opened. Before me was a man in white, and he crouched before me, holding out a plate. On it was steaming eggs and sausage, and its aroma revived me enough to eat. In that moment, I was far from dead.
The chef said that he had been in my position before, lost and destitute. But that he had crawled out of it, one day at a time, until he was stable enough to find a job. He hoped that I would do the same, and bade me to return to him once a week, but never more, for a free meal.
I did what he said. Once a week, I came to him in the morning as he opened his kitchen, and received breakfast.
But today is different. I sit outside the kitchen door, waiting for it to open like an obedient dog. As it does, the chef I know does not emerge. Instead I see an ox of a man, burly and bearded, brandishing two garbage bags in each hand. When he sees me, he drops the bags, and waves his hands in a shooing motion.
“What are you doing here? Go on, get the hell out.”
“I’m here for my weekly meal.”
“What are you taking about? Weekly meal? This ain’t no Salvation Army.”
“The chef gives me a weekly meal, no more.”
“The chef? You mean Royce? He’s gone. I run this kitchen now. And I don’t give out no free meals. So get fuck outta here before I call the cops.”
And with those words, a door once opened to me is forever closed.
Her will has turned on me once more. Dejected and uncertain, I begin yet another amble, one that brings me to her core.
Here, amidst the spires of concrete and iron, I place my cup before me, fall to my knees, and bow. I close my eyes, allowing the peaceful darkness to overcome me, and for a moment, forget my hunger.
If there is any other way to live, I do not know it. I have been a part of this system since the day of my birth, brought into this world by those who did not care, or could not. I was shoveled through orphanages, and fought to survive on the streets, finding my first chemical solace at a young age. From there, I did not recover, was forever bent and broken, and gave myself over to the flowing whims of my city. To me she gives, and from me she takes. Her living innards cycle past me at every moment, and by their good graces I eat or starve, get high or sink ever lower. Only in my city can I trust, and in her cathedral of towering glass, I bow deeper in gratitude.
Today is a good day.
Mystery and a sense of the otherworldly tempered with a dash of humour. Acolourful array of characters interacts with metaphorical electronic components to present vignettes of activity and emotion in a rugged terrain.