Sunday, July 19, 2020

COVID 19: Moving Forward with Photographers Laura Noonan and Tara Mary Paget

I first met Laura Noonan and Tara Mary Paget at an exhibit of their photographs of people and places on the Eastside of Vancouver. She and Tara are partners in MeetMeAtTheLamp(p)ost. I share an Irish name, Colleen, and a bit of Irish family heritage and when I see them, I think about a visit, some day. Although I have seen Tara at the Massybooks exhibit, I see Laura more, now, through her work with Art!Vancouver. She has taught me how to take a selfie and how to do more on Instagram, toured me through Art Exhibits, visited me BWSS_MSC, My Sister's Closet Thrift Boutique, to pick up an outfit for the real Kentucky Derby, shared her exhibit Art!Vancouver and has invited me to watch her paint Art!Vancouver at Cathedral Square, Fridays 11-2, throughout the summer. So busy, so energetic and enthusiastic, she took the time to tell us more about MeetMeAtTheLamp(p)ost and how finding magic in the small things, the every day world around us, is so important right now. Thank you Laura Noonan and Tara Mary Paget and, as always, to MarilynR.Wilson, who led the way for the COVID 19 Interviews. See all interviews here.

Meet me at the Lamp(p)ost

1. Tell us more about your business and how long you have been working at it. Goals, audience, events, etc.

Meet me at the Lamp(p)ost is a visual art collaborative established here in Vancouver, in 2016, by Irish-born, Canadian residents Laura Noonan and Tara Mary Paget. The premise of our work is focused on the idea of contentment in self and place. We aim to highlight the beauty in the mundane and splendor of everyday life. Our work is concentrated in the present and committed to challenging the status quo. We are guided by notions of gratitude and questioning as a means of capturing stillness in a world full of transient moments.

The body of work we have presented since 2016 reflects a lens-based exploration of the landscape, people and architecture that make up East Vancouver. East Vancouver breathes creativity and acts as an illuminative backdrop for self expression and contemplation.

Our work is currently on display at Bean Around the World on Granville and 14th and we will be exhibiting at Art Downtown, Lot 19, in association with the Vancouver Visual Art Foundation on August 12, 2020.

2. How did you reach your audience before covid 19? 3.What are you doing now to reach
them during this time of social isolation?

Since the beginning, Meet me at the Lamp(p)ost has endeavored to separate itself from virtual platforms of presentation. Our online presence has always been significantly minimal, and we have tried to steer away from virtual engagements with our audience. Our focus instead has been directed at physical connection and experience. COVID-19 has given birth to a whole new genre and era of social, and by extension, artistic interaction. In many ways we could view this as a negative reckoning so to speak but we don’t. We are accustomed to standing in opposition to ‘e-interaction’ and have always advocated for the attainment of a tangible and quantifiable truth. A truth that can only be found by way of human connection. Fighting against the status quo is something we are very familiar with. As society submerges itself deeper into the depths of the world wide web, Meet me at the Lamp(p)ost can be found swimming in double time towards land. We will never compromise the weight and importance we place on physical connection and until such time that we are in a position to interact with and present to our community again, we will continue to study, continue to self reflect and continue to grow.

4. How has COVID 19 affected you and your colleagues/friends/work group?

It’s interesting because despite the distress COVID-19 dispensed i.e. exhibition cancellations paired with the inability to interact in and with our community, it presented an opportunity to really reflect and root ourselves in our present moment. It allowed us the opportunity to realign our feelings and attitude towards the things we are thankful for and the way in which we assign a hierarchy to our priorities. This in essence is the mandate Meet me at the Lamp(p)ost champions – the banality of everyday life and the wonder that can be realised in the simple things, the little things. The onset of COVID-19 meant that we had no other choice but to find joy in our present self and place and this is
the feeling we wish to conjure in each and every person that stumbles upon or engages with Meet me at the Lamp(p)ost.

5. What moves you forward? Do you have a mantra, model, book, photo, country?? something that motivates you? Next Projects?

We are very excited to be working on a brand-new body of work, centred on the human brain, its mechanisms, and our never-ending pursuit of identity as visceral and functioning members of society. We aim to delve into both the conscious and unconscious realms of the mind to ultimately arrive at an understanding of self. Our directive around the promotion of contentment in self and place translates and applies itself to this project tenfold. Our aim is to elevate our exploration of thoughts around contentment in self and place by focusing directly on the human psyche. COVID-willing, we hope to be in a position to present this work in a physical sphere in 2021.


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