The long awaited third issue of CB'r of the Week is here! This week we'll be showcasing Alison Uhma, a cartoonist from Sydney! I first met Alison when she taught a 6 week cartooning class at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design.
Positives: It is affordable to live here, and much more so then in larger cities. This makes it a bit easier to keep costs down, and allows time to create art. The affordable studio space provided by New Dawn at the former Holy Angels High School has been transformative for me in terms of output. There is a good group of artists here that give a damn about making good things, and are also kind folk. There is something about Cape Breton that I am deeply drawn to, something inexplicable, and it absolutely informs my work.
Negatives: Because this is a small place, there are not as many opportunities as in large centres to see new art work, and encounter other emerging artists. It is important to try to get to the places that do have larger galleries or more galleries, and major exhibits--it is inspiring. If there are obstacles in visiting places outside of Cape Breton then the internet is key to engaging with what is being made and has been made; most major galleries offer great online archives. All that said, there are more and more things happening in our community. CBU Art Gallery has wonderful installations, and the current exhibit "Stuff" is excellent.
The final question I asked was "What makes your work unique?" Alison said,
"I am not sure that I consider my work unique, but I do hope it is recognizable as my own. My voice is my own, and though the everyday lived experience of the individual is arguably a unique one, I do recognize the connected experience of people, both joyful and sorrowful. There are a few artists in comics and graphic novel making that I feel have reached a level of unique ability, Lauren Redniss being one. "
You can check out Alison's work and life on her instagram: