RES ARTIST: Airin Mcguinty


Name: Airin Mcguinty
From: North Bay, currently living in Hamilton.
Studied at: NSCAD as interdisciplinary artist.

VR: Airin, this isn’t your first time doing the Artscape Gibraltar Point residency is it?

AM:
 No mon, I did a residency here last year in September with Melanie Hill. We did a shared studio and worked on a project together on these frash water mermaids that we discovered on Gibraltar Beach. However, all of our documentation was mysteriously destroyed.

VR: That’s terrible! So because you have no proof, do people question wither the mermaids were real?

AM: There’s a lot of non-believers out there.

VR: What are you working on for Ghost Hole IV?

AM: Actually, I’ve discovered another supernatural creature at Gibraltar Point. And I think I found a way of enticing this creature to make an appearance on the night of Ghost Hole IV on the beach.

VR: How are you “enticing” this creature?

AM: Well on my first night here on the island I decided to go for a late night stroll along the beach but I didn’t have a flash light so instead I used this glow stick I had. As I was walking along whistling a tune I saw something out in the water… this strange eel-like creature with what looked like bio-luminescent teeth, or nails, and it swam up to me along the shore. It seemed the louder I whistled, the more it responsive it was. So I took a photo of it and am using it to create my own replicas of the creature…. hopefully to lure more of them towards the shore. Maybe trick them into thinking they’re mates and get them close enough for people to see them.

VR: You’re quite the monster whisperer.

AM: More like the monster whistler.

(laughs)

VR: So they’re attracted to whistling?

AM: Yes, I think it’s part of their mating ritual.

VR: Do you consider yourself a Cyrptozoologist?

AM: Not really… but I dunno. I keep finding myself working with a lot of mythological creatures… so I’m reconsidering it. After I found this creature on the beach I came back to the studio to try and find it online, on google, wikipedia, natural geographic, even old X-Files episodes. NOTHING! Nothing turned up. So this creature is definitely an unidentified specimen.

VR: So I guess this means you can name it.

AM: Oh my gosh! How did I not think of this before? Ooooohhhkay. I’m going to have to need a few days to think of a name. By the night of Ghost Hole at least.

VR: So since you’ve stayed at Gibraltar point before… I’ve been asking all the participating residents if they’ve experinced anything paranormal. Other than these strange creatures… have you experienced anything… weird?

AM:
 Yes. I’ve had numerous freaky occurrences. All of them took place in the dorm room that me and my friend were sharing. It’s the bedroom beside the laundry room in the East Wing of the building. I had these vivid intense dreams about fires. By the 2nd or 3rd night staying here I was being woken up by a woman’s voice.. saying things like “You’re going to burn.” or “We’re all going to burn in here.” Strange things like that. It didn’t seem like a warning, because she didn’t sound worried… it was more like she was just stating a fact. Her voice had a strange intonation. So then, one of the nights I woke up and actually thought I saw smoke rising up from the floor.. and I thought “this is it, I’m totally going to die” so I started to freak out and I woke up my friend and she calmed me down again. But that kept happening. I kept having weird dream-like hallucinations about fire.

VR: That’s funny, because they say that the first school, the original one, burned down in the late 1800s. And that this building was built near by, if not right on top of where the old one was.

AM: Weird! Also, another strange experience I had was again, I woke up in the middle of the night, and saw this glowing orb in my room against the wall. I remember, it was so vivid. It was this yellowish green colour, and was bright. I was drawn towards it and so I got out of bed and walked over to it… almost like I was in a trance. It had gone into the medicine cabinet, so I opened it up and just started ripping all the bottles and stuff out of the cabinet to try and get at the light, like I wanted to follow it. Then again, I was making a lot of noise and woke up Melanie, and as soon as she turned on the light it was gone, and I snapped out of the trance. As soon as I did, I felt weird… like… at the time I wasn’t scared, but when I woke up… it felt weird that this thing was luring me… and maybe not in a good positive way.

VR: Did Melanie see it?

AM: No, but the next day, Melanie mentioned it to another Artscape resident, Yuula Benivolski, and supposedly her faced turned completely white when she heard. I was approached by Yuula shortly after and she asked me what colour the orb was. When I told her it was a yellowish/green, she gave me the strangest look. She told me she had seen the very same glowing orb a few months prior, in the same area, the East Wing Dorm rooms.

VR:
 That is CRAZY!

AM: Yea, from then on I started to sleep on the couch in my studio space because I was too freaked out to go back in that room. But Melanie had no problem sleeping in that room what so ever. I was just mostly tired of not getting a full night’s sleep.

VR: Well thank you for sharing that, and good luck working with those strange creatures of yours.

AM: Thanks!

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