Last year I pitched a story to UPPERCASE magazine — a profile of my creative hero, artist/author Sabrina Ward Harrison. It was a thinly veiled attempt to meet Sabrina, whose work I have followed for close to ten years. As luck/fate (read: GOD) would have it, the pitch turned itself into much more than a phone interview.
I was sent to Prince Edward Island for a three-day sojourn with six other women to create alongside Sabrina at an old waterside hotel called the Highlands. (You may remember I faced a little trepidation as prepared for this trip.) The historic home and adjacent town dance hall, where we did our making, has housed royalty and the likes of Reverend Billy Graham. Each room was brimming with island minutiae and stacks of old LIFE magazines — a writer’s dream. Angela Ritchie, founder of the Whistler-based ACE Camps, and a creative mastermind in her own right, was the organizer of the retreat. I had the good fortune of interviewing her when I was back in Vancouver last week.
The fruit of the trip — Watchful Reverence, in UPPERCASE issue 10 — arrived at stockists and doorsteps days ago.
“It’s the steady calm of the island air whistling through the birch trees. It’s the burst of plover, finches, and jays that begin their daylight calling at 4:30am, beckoning us to do the milking… I am sitting on the front stairs of the Highlands main house. Here four crooked trees congregate like an outer hearth. The twisting white-worn branches are the sort you’d find in the Haunted Wood of Anne of Green Gables’ imagination. The beaked chirps, caws and whistles blend into a symphony of spring. Behind me seven girls chatter on around the breakfast table: preserves, balkan yogurt, fresh-baked muffins, boiled eggs, brimming between. In the old adjacent dance hall Sabrina, dressed in a vintage polkadot dress, is readying for the day’s making.”
It was an absolute gift to meet Sabrina and a joy to work with Janine Vangool, tireless publisher/editor/designer of the magazine (not to mention mother to an on-the-run toddler.)
If you are interested in reading the complete article you can order single copies or subscriptions to this beautiful publication at: http://shop.uppercasegallery.ca/collections/uppercase-magazine-1\. It is available in print only.