Losing My Mind a Thousand Times Over
September 4, 2021 When asked what influences my work, I often say “light and shadow”. I belong to two landscapes. One is the prairies that I spent part of my early childhood in, watching the shadows of clouds drift across vast plains, and the other is the microscopic textures of the Westcoast. Last week my daughter and I went on a road trip to the Badlands of Alberta, she wanted to see the dinosaur museum, and I wanted to be consumed by expansiveness. I find it very grounding to be surrounded by so much open space, to know where I stand. I am deeply inspired by the sculptural river valleys, muted dirt palette, abandoned buildings and the ever-changing drama of the sky. Here is a little visual overview of a most inspiring trip!
LOVE February 14, 2021 Repost from 2017 I don't like Valentine's Day but I love Love. I had compiled some images of expressions of love I have seen around. Graffiti on walls, accidental heart-shaped pizzas, intitials carved on picnic tables, clever quotes inscribed on leaves, pebbles in Lola's pockets shaped like hearts. They were all lovely but this is the image that really gets to me. I have not seen this flower myself; the moment was experienced by Amy Merrick but I feel so much when I look at it. The vulnerability, the fragility, the determination, the defiant explosive flower atop a spindly stem. I love that it appears to flourish from nothing, no lushness, no nutrient rich earth, no perfect situation. It is bursting with life in the most inhospitable and unlikely environment. Then... then there is the person who saw all of this struggle and thought to tape it up. One simple gesture; That is tenderness. That is love Happy Valentine's Day Thoughts | Janaki Larsen Photo| Amy Merrick
Throwing BlindlyJanuary 3, 2021Last New Year’s Eve I spent alone in my studio. I wanted to seam together 2 decades doing what I love most, throwing. I was thinking hard about what I wanted to make that most represented what I had in mind for this year. Usually, I like to set an intention, something that acts like a marker in the woods to know I haven’t gotten too lost, wandered too far. A home base. I was thinking in circles and finally came to the conclusion that regardless of the good intentions, the resolutions, the desires, goals, planning, and expectations, we really have no idea what the future holds. We have such little control of our lives really.So, I blindfolded myself and quietly threw into this year, into this decade. No intention set, no marker laid, no expectations; just throwing into the unknown, into the darkness. It seemed the most logical thing to do.The piece above was the result of that evening spent in solitude. It has stayed on the studio floor all year, being moved around, getting stepped on, gathering dust, and constantly yet gently reminding me, that everything is imperfect, nothing is permanent and nothing is complete. I couldn’t have intentionally made anything that sums up this year better. It is the perfect piece.Although I hadn’t begun the year with a word, I ended the year with one. It has been written on the back of the studio door since the beginning of the first lockdown, and it remains the word today.Wishing everyone the best vantage point of the mysteries that are always unfurling before us. Happy New Year!And always, a billion thank you’s for all the love and support!Janakip.s this year I was asleep by 10:30
The Dinner Parties that Were August 2, 2020 The other day I was lamenting all the dinner parties that I could have thrown but didn’t during lockdown. Then I had a thought; I had more dinners at home with my daughter than ever. I think everyone had more shared meals or singular meals at home than ever, and surely those count as parties. Here is a visual overview of not only the meals I ate alone, or with my daughter, but most of the ones people sent me (there were so many so I may have missed some!) It was one of the things that brought me the greatest happiness over the past few months; the sharing of styled and un-styled experiences of my dishes being used for fancy things, simple things, and small pleasures. Thank you for having me at your parties!
Sheltering in PlaceMay 30, 2020
Hello, and thank you from the studio! I started writing this over 3 weeks ago. It has taken me some time to work out what to say. I wanted to get it right. Although things have unfurled quietly, and another shift feels imminent, the sentiments still ring true, so I will just send it before it becomes obsolete.It's been almost 3 weeks since the first news of all my contracts being suspended arrived in my inbox. I had a total freak-out. I was so worried about how to pay my rents, how to keep afloat during all of this, and then homeschool on top of it. I was worried about everyone else too and how they would figure it out. Then one day, I had a little epiphany. I am always worried about money and paying my rent and I'm always worried about everyone else too. I like to worry, that is nothing new. What was new about this unprecedented situation was that without the contracts dictating my time, I could make whatever I wanted. Without the fear, it's like a beautiful, quiet dream and without worry, it's total creative freedom. I decided then and there that it would be an opportunity squandered, to not give it all I've got right now. To not make things that mean the most to me but choose to become paralyzed by the fear would be an opportunity missed. So, I put my head down and worked, there was no other choice.I am so grateful I have a medium to help me articulate all my thoughts and feelings. I've often thought about impermanence and beauty in the face of adversity, flourishing in inhospitable circumstances, about solitude and security, surrender, acceptance, longing, loss, control, and sorrow, about community, relationships, and belonging. My favorite states of being are; change, evolution, and transformation. This global phenomenon has only magnified these subjects and given me a lot to work with.Spring keeps springing, people find ways to cope, even flourish, people freak out or continue to live in fear, but regardless, life continues with or without us. What really matters is how we choose to use this time that has been given to us without our asking. I am eternally thankful for the support I've received over the years for my work and other projects, I am always in awe every time anyone buys something from me. Truly. I've been able to pay my rents, remain buoyant, and inspired, support others however I can AND Homeschool (somewhat questionably) and that is more than enough. So, thank you so so much!Wishing everyone the best that can possibly come from this strange time. There is much to be gleaned if we can remain open to all the possibilities, learn to see what we were once blind to, and carry it forward into our futures.All the love and some more thank you's, Janaki