Meet CO*LAB’s First Artist in Residence, Gabs!

While on an evening stroll one March, GABS stumbled upon the QuartersArts Spring Equinox Glow Lantern Parade. Mesmerised by the comforting bob of lanterns proceeding slowly down the street, she was instantly captivated by the artform and vowed to participate at the next open community parade. One year later, she gleaned the basics of lantern construction from Darren Radborne and has been at it ever since.

Over the past 5 years Gabrielle has created dozens of lanterns for the subsequent Glow parades and various community arts initiatives in the Boyle-McCauly neighbourhood with Arts on The Ave. Though a good majority of them have been destroyed by the elements due to their delicate nature and as a result of several break-ins.

The City of Edmonton, which Gabs calls home, is a festival city, and festival lanterns from different creators have increasingly been lighting up the night. Gabs sees the potential in this for something larger and enjoys sharing her skills. She can be found teaching lantern creation workshops leading up to various fetes around the city.

Gabs regularly travels to Japan where she recently visited the Nebuta Museum Wa Rasse, A Lantern Museum the City of Aomori has created to house some of its building-sized festival lanterns. There, she discovered exciting new techniques which she has employed to great success on the Giant Mammoth.

Her love of Japan has inspired her to build 1000 interconnected butterfly lanterns over the course of the past year thanks to a generous grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Tiktok: @mammothsounds
Instagram: @Gabsdoesart