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Artist Spotlight: Andrya Duff

Andrya Duff is a multidisciplinary artist from St. John’s. Andrya most recently performed during our Spring Edition of First Look as part of Grand Trine’s “Neptune's Shadow”. She also performed as part of FND 2021 and sits on our board!

1. Is there a piece of art you are drawing from/inspired by?

Taking in other people's work is a window into what grabs their attention in this world and I love that! I'm not typically inspired by the work of others more than I'm intrigued by what they choose to highlight, focus on, see, expose, dissect, etc. I like seeing what matters to other people and looking at the world through their lens. Inspiration for me tends to come from observing and questioning life as a whole. Someone told me years ago that the biggest mistake people make is not seeing life as a creative act, I fully agree. The idea that there are 'creative' and 'non-creative' people in this world is ridiculous. Our lives are our life's work and the greatest contribution we have to offer during our brief time here whether you work consistently in a conventionally acknowledged artistic practice or not. To be alive is a continuous act of creativity offering each of us limitless inspiration.

2. What have been your biggest challenges and inspirations creating during the past 2 years?

Mainly logistical stuff; getting people in the room, spaces closing, that sort of thing. But it has inspired new levels of letting go, no point in getting all worked up about it. Sometimes you simply have to get out of the way and stop trying to control everything. I'm often reminding myself to trust and trust some more.

3. Has the experience from the past 2 years created new patterns in your life, new routines? If so, what are they?

My life had changed so drastically by 2018, full 180, it was my pandemic training in a way. The past two years only solidified my general approach to everything - show up, pay attention, don't be attached to the outcome. This life is mine and I'm solely responsible for it. I have to answer to myself at the end of the day, the week, the year, this life - enough with the bullshit.

4. What are some comfort foods that have soothed your soul during the pandemic?

Oatmeal. I was never into it as a child but now it's almost a daily meal, usually in the morning. I make oatmeal with coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, and cocoa powder. I'll throw in some unsweetened coconut flakes, nuts, local berries when available, a bit of honey, or maple syrup. I've always gravitated toward warm stewed foods; soups, curries, anything like that. Oh, and tea with a bit of toast and jam never goes astray!

5. What are you looking forward to? Dream projects, projects in the making, a good soup tonight, warmer weather?

I'm looking forward to it all, buckle up!

The 10 + years I spent performing, creating, and collaborating with Alex Tigchelaar, Cat Nimmo, and their crew of ingenious misfits, first as the Scandelles and then Operation Snatch, was a game-changer. The work was revolutionary (and hilarious!), the relationships profound - I carry the magic of that time with me always. Alex and Cat individually are true visionaries, together they were a phenomenon. It was incredibly special to be a part of that world and it sent me down a path more fantastical than I could have ever imagined for myself when I left home.


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