Once upon not-that-long-ago, I secretly dreamed that if I were ever to find a romantic partner that that person would also be a creative partner as well. Never in my wildest dreams could I have anticipated the explosion of creativity that has continued to swell through the years that Stefan and I have been together. There’s been paintings, t-shirt designs, blog posts, podcasts, doodle collabs, the Horace & Abigail webcomic and Tilted Windmills itself.
Thus, as part of our upcoming marriage celebration, we will be hosting a two-week long, public art exhibition in the fourth floor gallery space of cSPACE King Edward in Calgary. The exhibition will feature acrylic paintings and digital artwork created by myself that celebrates our relationship and our lives as a disabled woman and a transgender man. We’ll also both be writing letters to each other to be displayed with the art that provide context and back story for these works.
Stefan and I will then be married in a very small, private ceremony with family at the end of August in a room that opens into the art exhibit space.
I am very excited to be shaping this unique creative celebration alongside our upcoming wedding and having it here in Calgary where, in many respects, this whole new chapter of our lives has begun to unfold. We also recognize that we are blessed with family and friends that stretch across the globe, so we will be finding ways to share the exhibit experience with everyone who wishes to participate.
If you are local to Calgary though, we hope you’ll come down to cSPACE in August and let us tell you our love story.
Tilted Windmills presents:
The “Find Your Heart(h)” art exhibit
Paintings & Digital Art by Athena Cooper
August 24 – Sept 5, 2019
cSPACE King Edward, 4th floor gallery
1721 29th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB (map)
Nature is a remarkable thing.
Take the phenomenon of “gynandromorphism,” which is where an organism is born with both male and female elements. It can be seen the most dramatically in creatures like birds, crustaceans and insects where male and female counterparts are so visually distinct. A Google search of “gynandromorphism” and “butterflies” yields a dazzling array of results and was the inspiration for my most recently completed painting.
In humans this expression of male and female elements can be more complicated. Sometimes it presents as something visible, but other times it does not.
Either way it is no less rare and remarkable than a bi-gender butterfly.
Well, another year has drawn to a close. In the Tilted Windmills household, 2018 was full of late nights studying, early morning dog-walks, weekend coffee dates, and exploratory ventures along Calgary’s Bow River. Athena and Lola, with furniture in tow, made the big move from BC to Alberta in late July to join me as I enter the final year of my MSW program. The move was no small feat, and one that tested our mettle but that we managed with flying colours, thanks in large part to Athena’s most excellent organizational skills.
It has certainly been a year of surprises, challenges, and adventure – and continued growth! Can’t wait to enter 2019 with my two favourite persons next to me. Looking forward to my Master’s graduation and a somewhat Tilted Windmills inspired art exhibit for Athena — more details about this to follow at a later date! 😉
To each and everyone, wishing you a 2019 that exceeds your wildest expectations in the best possible way. May you spend it living, loving, laughing and always learning.
Stefan (with Athena and Lola nearby)
ATHENA: You know, once I’ve bundled up in my hoodie, knee-length parka, two layers of pants, two pairs of socks and these giant mitts, Lola’s morning walks really aren’t all that bad–
STEFAN: Winter is coming.
And yes, we’re “Game of Thrones” fans. In fact, I’d say that watching our way through the entire HBO series thus far has played a fairly significant role in our courtship.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the beauty in this milder, chilly prelude to the deep, dire Calgary winter that everyone seems to insist on warning me about.