Ground Pepper

Jen MacDonald

The freckles around your eyes always had always looked like ash. After spending my morning stacking river rocks to shoulder height for a fire pit, I finally found fuel. I squatted down and grabbed a weightless, crunchy armful. The leaves smelled like grade school self-esteem issues.

Twelve trips ‘til the pit was teeming with shrubberies, four dead house plants, and twenty eight cereal boxes from recycling bins. I tiptoed into our bedroom with great precision, held my weight between the creaky floorboards and dropped a match between two of the stones. Embers shot up and floated gently to your warm, sleeping face. You refused to wake until the ceiling fan melted.

Jen MacDonald is a time-based artist and writer in Toronto. MacDonald received her BFA in studio art and psychology in 2012 and is currently completing her MA in art history at York University. Jen is passionate about community building through healing and resistance. She has been fortunate to work in geriatrics, provide peer support for LGBT*Q youth and work with community-based arts organizations. Informed by queer theory and notions of the supernatural, MacDonald explores methods of collapsing history and activating background space through performance, writing and sound art. Her work has been featured in a number of juried group exhibitions, with shows at Propeller Gallery and Twist Gallery. MacDonald has received recognition for her work, including a time-based media prize from York University in 2012. She continues to collaborate, listen, and agitate.