Reflections: Habitat with LolaBunz & Just John

On March 8th, the MOEG hosted the second of two shows in our new series Habitat, featuring artists LolaBunz & Just John. 

The two CUE musicians were invited to participate in the project, where they each built a fully immersive original installation. Their goal was to provide a deeper look into their complete habitat of inspiration and vulnerability: each installation consisted consists of projections, a listening booth containing their music, interactive visual art, and an intimate live performance.

Check out LolaBunz's Habitat "Olugundudu" below:

Lola on "Olugundudu":

I am Lola Bunz. Born Funmilola Lawson (pronounced foo-me-luh-lah), a Yoruba Nigerian girl, raised in the West end of Toronto, the 6th of 7 children. I am an artist, entrepreneur and university graduate.

Throughout my life leading up to where I am today I have had many experiences and battles to get where I stand now. In this installation I broke things down into 3 of my worlds...

  • The journey of meeting the expectations of my very cultured Nigerian parents while at the same time convincing them that being an artist is a profession.
  • The struggle of living in a neighbourhood where street smarts were often more important and valuable than book smarts.
  • And the uphill battle through about seventeen years in the Canadian Eurocentric school system to earn this white piece of paper which we call a University degree.

In these three different worlds, I've had to wear different hats, and guard myself with different armour. I'd like to show you both that girl and the armour as well as the girl underneath it.

Check out Just John's Habitat "Audible Illustrations" below:

Just John displays a comic book and cartoon depiction of real life while paying homage to the literary beatnik generation in his installation  "Audible Illustrations".

John uses the TTC Subway Transit Line as a way to direct moments in time that were crucial in his development as an artist born growing up in Scarborough, Toronto while pin pointing periods of influence or hardship in his life emerging in the Inner City. Growing up, John uses characters and caricatures as an escape, sharing his truth was his best device to communicate — or in this case, commute his messages in collage style.

The concept extends further with a curated video of his most influential cartoons and a live acoustic performance to draw upon his Jazz roots under his most recent moniker, "Black Beatnik".

Thank you for everyone who was in attendance to share this experience, and a massive thank you to MOOG Toronto for sponsoring the evening!

- The MOEG

The Habitat Series was produced by Matthew Progress.