#DrakeDreams: Broadbent Sisters, artists

Posted by Drake, July 19, 2016


We’ve teamed up with Street Dreams Magazine and New Balance to connect + inspire up-and-coming dreamers who live the creative life. If you're as passionate about food, drink, art, craft + design as The Drake is, we want to hear from you! Calling all makers, artists, musicians, mixologists and culinary adventurers: post on Instagram to show us how The Drake inspires your creativity. Be sure to tag #DrakeDreams + win a priceless Drake experience that nurtures your craft. Interested? Learn more here.


Drake Dreams: Broadbent Sisters

Gracing Drake walls across the city (a custom lightbox at The Drake Hotel and wallpaper collection available at Drake General stores), Rose and Joy Broadbent are honorary Drakers whose creativity and multidisciplinary art keeps our spaces inspiring + full of eye candy. The sister / artist duo collaborate to transform every space, material, and movement into a magical and nurturing experience that often starts over a cup of coffee.

Sharing their practice with The Drake from painting + sculpture to performance, we’re thrilled to introduce this week’s Drake Dreamers, the Broadbent Sisters.

Drake Dreams: Broadbent Sisters

1. What does the Drake mean to you?

The Drake is the best caesar spot on a Sunday. It’s a landmark in Toronto for creating culture and supporting artists. It’s a great place to party as well as take visitors, clients and family. It’s a space full of good art, good music, good people and good energy.

2. How does working at the Drake inspire you to follow your dreams?

Working with The Drake has been such a pleasure. The openness and dedication to our vision is strong and supportive and allows for risk-taking. We are excited for a long collab with the Drake crew!

3. What do you love most about what you do?

We get to play with magic every day. As artists we get to enter the unknown and listen through culture and nature and our own hearts to what the universe is telling us. If we pay attention we get to see, absorb and create beautiful and provocative things.

4. How do you feel when others get inspired by your work?

We get to create spaces for people to enter and see themselves in a new image. It’s exciting to watch and we’re very humbled by the amazing response. We’ve had a few people cry at our performances, it’s quite moving.

5. Why do you wake up and do what you love?

It’s pretty amazing as sisters to collaborate with someone you love so dearly. It’s very gratifying to share the excitement and the failures of making art with someone else. It’s definitely good for the world to do what you love, it’s one of the greatest soulful acts. We’re very lucky to be able to do so.

Drake Dreams: Broadbent Sisters

6. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

The sun. We’re both born in the summer (July 17th + August 17th), and we definitely need those warm rays to inspire us. We also share a studio (Studio 835) with incredible artists that push us to make great things and have fun at the same time!

7. Describe your creative process.

We start with coffee. We like to talk (a lot), so sitting over coffee every morning sparks many of our ideas. We discuss dreams, the world, books we’re reading, personal issues, etc. It’s important for us to keep our own relationship cleared first for the creative process to flow. As we continue to work on our unfolding practice ‘Clearing Spaces’, we make sure to stay open to the muse and use rituals such as meditation to get to a deeper understanding of it. We try to explore the sacredness in the everyday. We are always experimenting with new mediums, which keeps the process really exciting and feeds our curiosity - our upcoming project is a telepathic film!

8. Describe your ideal day.

Coffee on a patio while discussing our next piece. Going to the studio to experiment and play. Making sure to connect to some nature - a walk or bike ride. Sitting on our studio stoop, watching the sunset on Bloor, getting inspired by the other artists in our community. Andddd going to Body Blitz Spa. We wish.

9. Tell us 3 random facts about yourself.

Joy - not scared of ghosts or snakes, but scared of cold calls.
Rose - believes in aliens, and thinks she is one.
Together - we are Tiger (Rose) + Snake (Joy) zodiac signs, which are said to work well together in business relationships!

10. What's something people would be surprised to learn about you?

We’re very much opposite in personality - extrovert vs. introvert.

11. Where in Toronto do you feel most creative?

In our studio (Studio 835) where fourteen of us work as artists, designers, directors and music producers. We hang out on our stoop and talk about ideas and love and life and argue and laugh with each other and with the locals that stop by. The stoop has inspired some of our art including the glass staircases and our sunset stair patches. The island is also an amazing escape to reconnect, get grounded and clear your mind.

Drake Dreams: Broadbent Sisters

12. Why do you love Toronto?

We love that Toronto spaces are grimy, dirty, lush and green and full of paradox. So many adventures to be had! The people are most inspiring - the rich cultures and food and ideas and creativity pushes us to an enlightened city. You can feel the intense energy when Spring hits, it’s a soulful place.

13. Who or what are your greatest influences?

Matthew Barney is our art god with his fearlessness to explore any medium to bring his own unique mythologies to life. Thomas Moore is our literary muse through his soulful ideas of exploring our dark sides with kindness and creativity. Our brother Justin Broadbent is an amazing, inspiring artist and challenges us to get rid of what we think is our best work and allow the truly good stuff to rise to the surface. And MIA, Grimes, and FKA TWIGS have inspired us as we make our art with their music as our soundtrack and inspiration.

14. In what ways you do see yourself improving in your work?

We always like to push ourselves to try whatever medium is appropriate for the vision of the piece (prints, film, photography, performance, sculpture, installation etc…). We also like to re-explore some mediums like film, to learn from our failures and hone in on the craft. Pushing ‘Clearing Spaces’ into darker and more uncomfortable places is always on our minds.

15. What do you think distinguishes you from others?

Definitely the sister connection has made us recognizable (along with the matching nude turtleneck dresses ;) Possibly our recklessness to enter into any medium regardless of experience - “Let’s go to Arizona and make a short film with no money, very little planning and a small film crew of four women!”

16. What do you when you hit a life roadblock? How do you get past that?

Take very deep breaths. Allow the emotions to speak - sadness, anger, depression, joy, panic - all of them are good - our body is helping us make the journey we need to make. Go to nature - the desert / spa / grass in a park. Do the dishes. Find a good psychotherapist. Have a drink with friends. Make art. Care for your soul in small acts.

17. How does it feel to create something that inspires/affects others?

Feels so good, our ongoing series, ‘Clearing Spaces’ feels as though it’s actually cleared some spaces for people to reflect and see themselves in a new image.

Drake Dreams: Broadbent Sisters

18. What's one important thing you've learned, that you could have only learned through experience?

To not get caught up in the suffering artist stereotype. There is enough suffering in everyday life, we try to have joy and lightness and humour while making our art - even when we are exploring the darkest subjects such as death and powerlessness.

19. What's one of your favourite quotes? Why?

“The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead. To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” - Arundhati’s Roy Arundhati’s Roy’s words cut to the marrow of life and art for us. As artists we must be aware of “the unspeakable violence” of life around us yet at the same time be open to wonder and joy. Cynicism does not fuel our art, and neither does willful ignorance.

20. What are some goals you’ve yet to accomplish?

We would love to make a feature film that plays with both a traditional narrative approach, and also an art film aesthetic, as we attempted in our short film “Clearing Spaces V”. We also want to have an art show in Miami this year, as we have some friends there that really inspire us, and the ocean will help too!


*All photos by Quincy Williams

Want to read on about the Broadbent Sisters and their practice? Here's the time we got a little freaky... Broadbent style.

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