Cannabis has long been a catalyst for the artistic process, triggering the imagination, awakening the senses, and freeing us from our self-censors. Jen Arron is a Toronto-based fibre artist and mother that has consciously incorporated cannabis into her process. She weaves commissioned installations that feel like landscapes, at once grounded and otherworldly. We spoke with her about wellness, the strange beauty of making art and how cannabis plays a role in both.
I’m trying to access this place in my heart and my mind that is like a childlike curiosity, a place totally free from inhibition. At this point in my life there are so many memories and experiences that have made it really difficult to let myself go. I use cannabis to get to that place. I’m trying to expand my mind to include what’s possible, on an impossible level. Because that’s where I want to go. And I can’t do that on my own all the time.
I have been a working photographer for the past 12 years. I knew I needed a change. Then I took a weaving work- shop and completely fell in love.
I felt a lot of joy and connection to the process, like I could live forever and not nearly touch the surface of all the things I want to make. I use cannabis at a very specific point, once I have thought about my approach and I’ve got my materials and everything is set and organized and it’s really about me using my hands.
Since it has become second nature to use the loom, cannabis has allowed me to do so much more therapeutic and meditative thinking. That’s the point where I’ll usually decide to incorporate cannabis. I’m ready to let my mind go and let myself dream.
My process is always about experimenting. It is a process of triangulation, figuring out where I am based on where I went. Now that I know that, I’m okay with ripping pieces out halfway through, because I know this is part of the process. Instead of saying: “Oh, see, you’re not a good artist. You don’t know what you are doing!” No, I totally know: that’s actually a huge part of my process. With that self-knowledge, I can allow flow, instead of letting it trip me up. I’m excited about the idea of making
Photography by Angela Lewis
I use this mantra very deliberately to plant these beliefs into my deep mind. Through repetition, writing, and speaking these words, I am able to integrate these beliefs into my actions, therefore elevating myself to what my mantra means.
These songs make me feel like myself. They’re a conduit for me to get into an expressive zone. When I hear this music, I am immediately taken to a place where it’s nostalgic, strong, and emotive all at once. These qualities are what I’m always striving to align with when I create.