by Grady Mitchell | ”Light is the most important thing,” says Jennilee Marigomen. “Light is everything.” The Vancouver photographer has masterful control over that most ethereal substance. She combines her deft hand for light with a love of colour and coy dashes of humour to create work that celebrates the routine miracles of everyday life. She’s happiest, she says, when she finds “something that shouldn’t really be there.”
The core of the humour in Jennilee’s work revolves around the often clumsy interaction of manmade objects with nature, something especially abundant in a city like Vancouver. “Nature always finds its way.” Another key feature of her work is Vancouver’s unique light. “It’s actually more the lack of light,” she says. The familiar overcast of the city’s misty winters create a soft, diffused tone. The short days and capricious weather are both a gift and a curse. It makes light difficult to catch, but also precious. “You feel like this is a really special thing happening.”
Jennilee has collected one of her most beautiful series, Window Seat, into a book that will be released on September 26th at Make Gallery. The photos were taken on a trip through Mexico, a place with very different light. Its intensity and heat were a challenge, but one she embraced. The light is more direct, the colours more vibrant, but the images still bear Jennilee’s meditative and revelatory approach.
The title, in a direct sense, refers to the book’s opening photo of an airplane window rimed with frost, but it also embodies the way Jennilee works. Shot in the coastal towns of Sayulita and San Francisco, Jennilee operates as an observer, not an active participant. It’s as if she quickly came across these scenes, snapped a photo, and just as quickly vanished without a trace, content with the record of a brief moment that will never come again. You can grab the book for $35 at Make Gallery on September 26, and see more of Jennilee’s work on her website.
We recently came across Eureka Tea, a new line of locally produced tea. It’s just one of Miranda Hudson’s many creative projects. With a background in graphic design and brand management, a line of all-natural ecologically conscious candles (Feest), and a clear commitment to all things handmade and delicious, putting together a collection of hand-blended, loose leaf teas wasn’t too much of a stretch for her.
Why tea? Because of my deep and abiding love of it. I’ve been a tea drinker ever since I was a little girl. It was something my father would share with me, heavily laden with milk, of course. I’m sure that I drink about 12 cups of tea a day, and that’s enough tea-preparing time to start thinking.
What’s the concept behind your brand? In general, I think tea brands tend to appeal to a female demographic and can be a little overly feminine in their branding, or they veer quite seriously into the Health Brand concept. I wanted to see Eureka embrace a sense of humour about tea and allow people to have fun with it. It’s not stuffy, it’s not necessarily for your grandmother (unless she’s got a wicked sense of humour). I decided to include some lighthearted phrases on the packaging that are completely obvious but only make sense if you take time to decode them, essentially interacting with the package to reveal the whole story. Tea itself is a ritual that requires you to take a moment and your first interaction with the package encourages you to do that.
What was the most fun you’ve had in developing this line? The learning process that goes into it – there’s so much beautiful complexity to tea! And definitely hearing feedback from people during the development phase. People who love tea are generally passionate about it. Tea provides all kinds of connections to comfort and memory and place – in asking people to test the blends I also got to share in many stories about what tea means to other people.
Do you have a tea ritual? I drink tea non-stop throughout the day. I turn on the kettle before I shower in the morning and get a cup going right away. I’m working on a breakfast blend right now, something bold and rich but I don’t mind a good old fashioned Red Rose to speed things along. Throughout the day I sip my absolute favourite, lavender earl grey while I’m working. I love it with a medium steep, about 3 minutes, served with just plain milk. The process of scooping loose leaf into an infuser, pouring in the water, waiting – it’s such a nice pause in a busy day. I switch to rooibos in the late afternoon to stay hydrated (it’s caffeine free). I drink more tea than water, that’s for sure.
Pair a cup of Lavender Earl Grey with: pain au chocolat from Beaucoup Bakery.
Pair a cup of Vanilla Rooibos with: Yoga! Perfect post-hot yoga beverage, enjoyed in the park with a Culver City Salad.
Pair a cup of Hibiscus White Peppermint with: I love this brewed extra strong and iced, taken in a mason jar on picnics with tacos from the Tacofino food truck (and possibly a little post-dinner growler of 33 Acres California Common).
You can pick up a tin of Eureka Tea ($14) at Hunter & Hare, West Pender, Barefoot Contessa, or online at www.eurekateas.com.
Pecha Kucha Night Vol. 27 goes down tomorrow night at the Vogue Theatre. We have a pair of tickets to give away right now. Here’s what you need to do…
1) “Like” this post (and Scout on Facebook if you haven’t already).
The winner will be chosen at random after breakfast. And now…
As always, there’s a phenomenal line-up of fascinating speakers. Among them is our old friend Kim Peacock, who loves solving problems, developing brands through storytelling, and travelling — affections that made her former position as Director of Global Marketing for HootSuite a great fit, and her current position as General Manager of the Western Division of Edelman (the biggest PR + communications company in Canada, and the world) just about perfect (it also satisfies her bossy tendencies). She loves her rescue dog Lucy, and doing just about anything on a mountain or an ocean, which makes Vancouver her ideal home base.
Can you explain briefly what you do at Edelman West? I’m accountable for the strategic and operational success of the Western Canadian business.
You used to be the publisher at Vancouver Magazine (and Western Living). Following that, you were with Hootsuite. How is the culture at Edelman different? What similarities do you see? There are more similarities than differences in my mind. All three are creative communications companies filled with really smart, hard-working, passionate people. HootSuite and Edelman are both privately owned, which creates a specific culture of entrepreneurship I really love. At HootSuite, though, I could get an email at 5:30pm on Friday that said, “Human curling starts in 10 minutes in the upstairs lounge”. That never happened at the magazines, and it hasn’t happened yet at Edelman.
Where are you from? Tough question. I was born in Edmonton, but have lived in seven cities in Canada. So I guess the answer is Canada.
What neighbourhood do you call home? Why do you love living there? South False Creek. I can’t imagine living in Vancouver and not being on the water.
What inspires you? The simplicity of my dog’s emotional life and her expression of it.
Default drink/cocktail of choice? Guinness.
The Vancouverite that you admire most and why? There are many, but at the moment, it’s Elaine Lui. She’s totally awesome – her TEDx talk says it all.
Your favourite sound? My dog’s woo-woo-woo howl when I come home. She’s always happy to see me.
Your least favourite sound? Children crying. Especially in a restaurant or airplane.
The strangest talent that you possess? I took up the ukulele last year, but talent is a strong word to describe what I do.
Your three favourite films? Of the ones I saw in the last year, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Rock of Ages.
What’s the thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? Big Macs. I love them, especially after a night out drinking.
Describe your favourite photograph. My dad on a hot air balloon in Africa. It was taken a couple of years before he died, and he looks so healthy and peaceful.
If you had a motto, what would it be? Live curious.
Your favourite word? Puppy. It was also one of my first words. I learned it before daddy.
Your least favourite word? I like all words, just some more than others.
Your favourite curse word? Fuck.
One thing of no monetary value that you own and will keep dearly until you die? It’s actually of significant value, but my engagement ring from my marriage. I wear it almost every day because it reminds me of love, and wisdom earned the hard way. And also because it’s beautiful, and after all, it’s not the ring’s fault.
The strangest road you’ve ever travelled? I’d say the road of life qualifies.
Your first memory? Visiting my mom in the hospital after she had my sister. I was rocking an orange and brown herringbone print polyester pant suit. I mostly remember the pant suit.
The first album that made you love music? The Jungle Book.
Your go to, no-frills place for dinner in Vancouver? Salsa & Agave.
Last place you traveled? Calgary.
The strangest place you’ve ever been to? Disneyland Paris.
If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you? Toronto. My partner, Gary, is there as I write this, and I wish I was with him.
We’ve been fans of Wild Rice since it opened way back in 2001. Over the years it has proven to be one of the most consistent restaurants in town, staying true to owner Andrew Wong’s original concept of a restaurant that was modern and open in design and outlook (both gastronomic and environmental) but true to his Chinese heritage. And as a founding member of Ocean Wise and Green Table, it has been a leader in sustainability since long before it was sexy. Behind the consistency is the chef, Todd Bright, whose passion for local product and unique preparations are deliciously evident on the plate, 7 nights a week. Wild Rice expanded this time last year by opening a new location in the revamped River Market out in New Westminister. Bright came on as a chef/partner in the new enterprise, which is to say we’re very grateful that he took time he couldn’t spare to answer the following questions…
Where did you go to school? Toowoomba, Australia.
If you had a motto, what would it be? Work hard, play harder.
What’s the thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? I love chicken skin! I know lots of people are opposed to eating poultry skin for health reasons these days, but it’s the best part.
What ingredient grosses you out the most: We would never use this at Wild Rice, but you know what natural raspberry flavouring is made of right? Natural raspberry flavor, or castoreum, comes from the anal extracts of a North American beaver.
Default drink of choice: Beer — anything local and cold.
What are you the most proud of: I’m really proud of the team we have built at Wild Rice, and that we get to be part of the River Market renewal process.
What are you the least proud of: I’m the least proud of not being able to answer this question honestly.
Your favourite smells: Roasted chicken stock is pretty awesome.
Your least favourite smells: The smell of something burning. I hate the smell of something burning!
Your chef role models: Neil Perry, Tetsuya, and Marco Pierre White.
Your favourite sound: I really like the sound of a busy restaurant. The roar of the hood vents, sizzling pans, communication from my crew, laughter and chatter from the dining room. It’s music to my ears!
Your least favourite sound: Dropped cutlery. It pings through the entire restaurant. It’s horrible.
The best way to die: Fat, happy and with no regrets. Read more
Sarah Rankin is a West Coaster, a Jewelry and Landscape Designer, a dog owner, tree hugger, and a mess maker. Her jewelry line, Camp + Quarry, is nature-inspired and made right here in Vancouver. From hand-dyed organic textiles to raw crystal jewelry, each piece is designed to emphasize the unique qualities of the natural materials used. Travel, outdoor adventures, and daydreaming are essential components of the C + Q design process and finished scarves and jewelry will happily go anywhere year-round. Check out her Etsy shop here. Sarah is going to take part in Got Craft on May 6th, and since we couldn’t wait that long, we caught up with her to ask her a few pre-Got Craft questions about what she’s been up to…
Three things about Dunbar that make you want to live there: I love the proximity to Kits and the University Endowment Lands — the dog walking potential is endless. Mountain views and lots of parks and beautiful gardens. Room to grow: I finally have space for a studio and a garden.
What inspires you? I’m a landscape designer by day and find a lot of inspiration in the landscape work I do. Shapes, compositions, and colours in the landscape inspire me, as does being introduced to new techniques and materials for making things. Often it’s the raw form of a given stone that inspires me to seek it out for use in jewelry. The wooden jewelry that I make uses materials and technology that I originally learned how to use to make models in landscape architecture school.
Tell us about your favourite space to work: (IMAGE: sarah-studio.jpg) Now that I have a studio set up at home, that’s where I love to work. It has great natural light and a good set up with a workbench, storage, and peg board that lets me have much better access to materials that I use. I’d love to say it’s always clean or at the very least organized, but that is not the case.
Where do you enjoy shopping in Vancouver? Tell us about some of your favourite local haunts: I love spending a weekend day in Gastown. For food, I always find myself at Six Acres. I’m loving Oak + Fort these days for clothing. They use natural fibres and make affordable basics that are unique and super wearable. And for jewelry I am absolutely in love with the Arielle de Pinto pieces at One of a Few. Someday, I hope to have one of her bracelets or necklaces to call my own.
Is there a local designer that you admire? There are so many talented designers in Vancouver that it’s hard to name just one. I do have a small collection of Heyday Design porcelain pieces. I love the clean, minimalist look of the pieces and how Heyday’s aesthetic is translated from housewares right down to tiny jewelry pieces. They make really great gifts, too.
What is your favourite Camp + Quarry creation right now? Right now I’m making some new pieces that mix raw stones and brass. I have a particular necklace made with brass tubing and rutilated quartz points that I love making. Adding the brass really reinvented this piece and the rutilated quartz points are my favourite stone to work with, though they’re a bit rare and I usually have a very limited supply of them. Read more
photo: Jason Lang
Andy Dixon is a local artist and musician. He will be taking the stage at Pecha Kucha Night this April 26th to talk about his work and what inspires it. Since not every Scout reader could score tickets in time (oh, wait), we’ve asked him 60 questions in an advance effort to get to know him better…
Three things about the Fraser & King Ed area that make you want to live there: 1) Walking distance to Le Marche St. George. 2) Affordable rent. 3) Dosas everywhere.
Name the thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? Sour Patch Kids.
Default drink/cocktail of choice? Red wine.
The Vancouverite that you admire most and why? My friend, Matt Smith. Why? He least possesses the character trait I describe in my answer to question #30.
Best Vancouver place to be inspired by emerging artistic talent: The Waldorf. You’ve got the Black & Yellow gallery upstairs, local DJs in the Tiki Bar and local performers down in the Cabaret…and, of course, my own studio across the hall from the Black & Yellow gallery. You should see me drink a bottle of red wine in there. Serious talent.
Last art show that really blew you away: No painting has ever effected me quite like seeing Twombly’s The Italians at the MoMA.
The historical personalities, both good and bad, that fascinate you the most? David Koresh & Michelangelo (the Ninja Turtle)
What trend have you followed that you now regret? The early 90s trend of gigantic pants, tight ringer t-shirts and obnoxious wallet chains was pretty embarrassing.
The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair? For a brief time in the mid 90s I had a shaved head save for my bangs which were bleached white and braided.
What are the three things you’d like to change about Vancouver? 1) If it could have the climate of LA 2) the housing prices of the Maritimes 3) if we didn’t win the award for the worst dressed city.
Favourite breakfast? Fried eggs and toast made by my wife.
Your go to, no-frills place for dinner? Fassil, an Ethiopian joint on Broadway and Fraser.
If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you? It’s a particularly grey day here in Vancouver as I type this so I’d choose somewhere warm. Italy, maybe.
The strangest place you’ve ever been to? In Pittsburgh, my old punk band needed a place to crash after the show (a usual occurrence) and ended up in this horror movie style situation with the psychotic bartender of the club who kept stealing our things and then trying to sell them back to us. He also had an attic room with an empty baby crib in it with no sign of a baby or a partner. The guy was so scary that some of us chose to sleep in the creepy abandoned townhouse next door, which had intentionally-torn family photos, children’s shoes, and filth.
The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years? A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers, The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, Calvin & Hobbs.
What is the best way to get to know a neighbourhood? Visit its local liquor store. Read more
Simon Kaulback is a veteran barman in Vancouver’s cocktail scene and the manager of Gastown’s popular Boneta restaurant (due to move to new digs later this Spring). He was recently named 2011 Bartender of the Year by a jury of his peers. Say hello…
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: Kraft Dinner and ketchup.
Default drink/cocktail of choice? G n’ T.
Drink/cocktail you’ll never have again? Anything that needs an explanation from “the mixologist“ on how to drink it.
Fashion turn-off? Clothes that don’t fit.
Fashion turn-on? Women that can pull off the “I don’t give a F—K style”.
What is your favourite local patio? My roof top garden.
The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair? Started to lose it.
What are the three things you’d like to change about Vancouver? Happy Hour, Happy Hour and Happy Hour.
Is there a local bartender who could sell you anything? Yes. Read more
Vikram Vij is a man requiring little in the way of introduction, but here goes…
The owner of Vij’s and Rangoli (with another on the way) is inarguably one of the most celebrated (and coolest) chefs in North America. He is the co-author (with his amazing wife Meeru) of two superlative cookbooks, a board member and past president of the Chefs Table Society of BC, and an all-around ambassador of everything that is fine and good about this excellent city of ours. Dare I say Knighthood?
Dear Elizabeth II…get on it.
Three things about the Cambie & 14th area that makes you want to live there? I can walk to my restaurant, walk downtown to the Canucks games, and it’s a cheap taxi ride so I do not have to drink and drive. I live on Cambie and 14th Ave.
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? I eat cheap Indian snacks in the car while driving to Surrey.
Default drink of choice? Johnny Walker’s “Blue Label” Whiskey.
Drink you’ll never have again? As long as it has alcohol, I shall drink it.
Fashion turn-off? Indian clothes with running shoes.
Fashion turn-on? Cleavage.
The Vancouverite that you admire most? I do not admire ONE person only, but rather a lot of people for small and big accomplishments.
What is your favourite local patio? I do not get time to go on patios, but I think “C” has a great one.
What trend have you followed that you now regret? I set trends, not follow them.
Your major character flaw? Arrogance. Read more
We love Rebecca Tay, and not least because sharing oxygen with her at a party, show, restaurant or sidewalk is to participate in the manufacture of a jolly good time. The local writer has supplied cases of her words to The Block, Globe & Mail, enRoute, The Georgia Straight and other publications (for years she was the Western Editor of FASHION Magazine), but of greater import to us is the fact that she is consistently one of the best dressed ladies in Vancouver, as well as one of our most learned in the realm of looking good. So say hello…
The first three things that you do every morning? Snooze, check email on Blackberry, snooze.
Your ancestry? Chinese-Singaporean.
What makes you the most nervous? Feeling the need to make a To Do list and, for some reason (phone died / no paper / no pen), not being able to make one.
Three things about the West End that make you want to live there? The location; my building (it’s apparently one of the oldest residential buildings in Vancouver!); the West End parking permit.
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? Oh god. Where do I even begin? Chicken wings, chips, movie popcorn, cheese, gluten gluten gluten.
Default drink/cocktail of choice? White wine or a Caesar.
What are the three things you’d like to change about Vancouver? The rain, complaining about the rain, and the barrier between being acquaintances and actually friends that seems higher here than anywhere else.
Your go to, no-frills place for dinner? Iki Sushi on Broadway at Macdonald in my old hood!
If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you? London or Spain, to see my boyfriend.
The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years? Matilda by Roald Dahl, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, any of the Babysitter’s Club / Sweet Valley Twins books.
Whose personal style do you covet? Gwyneth Paltrow’s, Chloe Sevigny’s, Carey Mulligan’s. Someone from Vancouver? Leila Bani has a pretty amazing wardrobe.
Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure? South Africa for Christmas. AMAZING. It was pleasure but I’ve since freelanced about it!
Where did you go to school? Calgary for elementary, junior, and high school; Queen’s University for my undergrad, and UBC for law school.
What did you major in as an undergraduate? Psychology.
Shoe of choice? I could never choose just one! And it depends on my mood and the occasion. I do like a good, high heel though.
The character flaws in others that you can’t abide? Unreliability and procrastination. And extreme frugality.
What are you listening to as you answer these questions? The soundtrack to a Nowness.com video featuring Elle Fanning in Rodarte clothing. It’s research!
What musical instrument you secretly long to play? Cello. I do have my ARCT in Piano Performance, though! I come from an over-achieving family, didn’t you know?
What is the game that you’re best at? Taboo! [remember?]
What’s next? Hmm. Good question. I’m freelancing now, but I’m also Managing Editor at Aritzia, gearing us up for e-commerce and the opening of the company’s first US flagship in SoHo.
Have you ever fired a gun? If so, what were the circumstances? I have my Canadian Firearms license but haven’t used it yet. I’ve only actually shot a gun in Thailand. Read more