It started, as many great things do, with a child's tantrum. Juno Tay was six and bored at home – her mum, Pepper See, had been sleeping – when she acted up. But she wasn't banished to the dunce corner. Instead, See gave her paint and a canvas: 'I tasked her to surprise me with anything she paints, and I asked her to wake me up once she's done, so I can surprise her back by adding something.' Sure, it helps that See is an artist herself.
The day after completing the work, the duo received an offer to buy that piece, christened 'Tantrum'. See and her daughter were on to something. And now, three years later, they're putting together a show of their collaborations.
The works in Pepper and Juno in a TV-less World feature bright swathes of colour colliding with light-as-air characters, set against whimsical backdrops, that flesh out the connection between mother and daughter. 'We don’t have a TV at home,' says See. 'Art is our lifestyle. Sometimes, when I don’t feel like taking Juno out, we just stay home to create.'
But what happens when the inevitable creative differences arise? Like the one time Tay painted her entire canvas in the colours of the rainbow – it was impossible for See to add anything of her own. 'My favourite part is when mummy has no idea what to paint over my backgrounds,' the nine-year-old chirps. 'I do whatever I want. But sometimes, I'll listen to mummy. Like when she tells me no more rainbow colours.'
With Tay's exams just around the corner, however, their biggest challenge now is to find time to make art when Tay’s grandmother – 'Juno’s schoolwork monitor', as See puts it – isn't looking. Don't let their efforts don’t go to waste, and be sure to check out their heart-warming pieces at Artistry when you pop by this month.