SALES VISIT!

Aubusson House

Karen King from Aubusson House

will make a sales visit on

 Wed Feb 12 from 1:00 to 2:00

(Karen usually comes to the tapestry room and sets her wares out on the tables.)

 

Please call at 403-284-4048 if you need specific items

e-mail Aubhouse@telus.net

Fourth Year, Final Semester Angst

 

Martin4

Fine Looking Bunch of Women

pastel, this web etching, lithography on paper

Collection of Checotah Creek Indian Community

Bobby C. Martin

Bobby C. Martin, a painter, has many of the same ideas in his art work that I find in mine. He uses old family photographs to inspire his practice. Martin works mainly with oil paint, but also uses techniques such as encaustic, acrylic, block printing, and etching. Although our mediums are completely different our concepts are very much the same. In his artist statement he says:

“I base many of my works on photographs that belonged to my full blood Indian grandmother, my aunts, my mother—images found in shoeboxes, forgotten in the bottoms of drawers, or found among the tattered black pages of old leather-bound photo albums. The photographs have very personal meanings for me as the artist, but I have found also that there is an almost universal recognition among viewers of a sense of history and identity, evoking memories of their own family’s past.

My hope is for my art to become like an old family photograph—perhaps cherished, perhaps stuffed in a box in the attic—but always able to evoke memories every time it is viewed.”

Martin1

Mom & Mary Ann (The Redhead)

oil and collage on canvas

48 x 72 in.

Martin3

Sunday Best

oil on canvas

24 x 36 in.

Martin2

Granny & Pa

oil on canvas

Courtesy Dr. J.W. Wiggins Native American Art Collection

 

I am drawn to Martin’s work because of his yearning to learn about his family, and himself. While creating new pieces, he says he is able to learn about the people within the photos. He says “it makes you really think about what they were like and what their lives were like.” With my work I try and do the same thing. I am a very family oriented person, and I think this is what drew me to the photographs in the first place. I have a yearning to find out about my ancestors, whether they be alive or passed away. I feel like if I am able to learn about them, I can in turn learn about myself.

 

References: http://www.bobbycmartin.com/Bobby_C._Martins_Art_Site.html

 

 

-Amy

 

 
2014-02-27 13.14.09 2014-02-27 13.17.41 2014-02-27 13.28.39 2014-02-27 13.12.38 2014-02-27 13.11.23 2014-02-27 13.10.42 2014-02-27 13.10.25 2014-02-27 13.08.18 2014-02-27 13.08.08 2014-02-27 13.07.52thanks everyone for coming to the baby shower slash potluck for Tara. if you could not make it you missed out on a fun afternoon with good food, this site
good company, and good conversation! the baby basket for the adopt a family should still be available if anyone has anything to donate.
I found this and had to share it – especially for anyone else who is going through the “fourth year-final semester” angst. This kinda just says it all for me – and is a bit apropos for the readings that we are doing in Fibre 451, malady
Grad class.

bronchi
Sept. 23, 2013″ src=”http://fibre.acadnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Sartre-Recipes-New-Yorker-470×422.jpeg” width=”470″ height=”422″ /> New Yorker Magazine, Sept. 23, 2013

 

Pick a pencil. Any pencil. Are you sure that is the right one? Maybe a pen.Or a brush. Grab some paper. What colour paper? Maybe you want a canvas. Or try organza. What colour warp? But are you sure you want to weave this? Take another look. What about mixed media for that. How do you know? etc.

lol. Christine

 

 

 

 

End of Term Ponderings: Bringing It All Together

I chose to interview my cousin Steven Enns. I wrote a blog post about his work a few months ago. Here is a little most insight…

Amy: When did you first realize you wanted to work with leather?

Steven: After not being able to find a wallet I liked, anemia I decided to make my own. I loved it, hospital and went on to make more and more.

AL: How has your work changed throughout the past few years?

SE: My work has changed from design conceptual to craftsman production. I’ve gone from just sketching to actually making, and loving to make.

AL: Has attending Emily Carr helped your practice/business?

SE: It has helped me to realize the interaction between user and product. Not only about designing something beautiful to look at, but something to beautiful to use.

AL: You’re graduating this year.What do you plan to do after that?

SE: I hope to get an internship at a soft goods/carry business, leading into Research and development for the their product lines. I would pursue my leatherwork as a personal hobby.

 

 

-Amy
It is indeed that time – time to bring it all together and sift through what one has gathered from the term ( and terms that led into this past one). I decided to take some classes outside my major to further my practical knowledge and hopefully open up my mind to processes that could inform my work. Taking Printmaking with Gary Olson and Drawing with Miruna Dragan were two extremely wise decisions – perhaps not for my time management of the term but certainly to grow and push some boundaries.

Miruna’s class allowed for some huge learning curves ( animation, epidemic
wall drawings, shop
automatic drawing, and pushing personal potential). We were encouraged to bring our own practices into class, but also to explore other avenues into resolving class assignments. The small weavings pictured below I named “KOAN” as they were part of the drawings from the subconscious that we did for our first project, and were a kind of secret statement from me to me.  I rolled the images wet, and wove them into triangular wall hangings on the Archie Brennan pipe loom.They are rolled little secrets, that project out from the wall, guarding their thoughts.

"Koan", Paper, bamboo, cotton twine ikat dyed.
“Koan”, Paper, bamboo, cotton twine ikat dyed.

 

The large wall drawing was a project that entailed a student to draw, exhibit and then paint over their image in three days. My painting ( as pictured below) is a topographical map of a female body. The female body has often been used as a metaphor for the earth: as Gaia, as Mother Earth. The Spanish and the French use the feminine to describe the earth ( la tierra, la terre).It has been a body to be conquered, both literally and figuratively. I am interested in the environment and what we as human doings have done to her.  I loved the huge canvas of the wall, and am saddened when I consider how long a tapestry would take to cover the same territory. My experiment with female topography has led into other work.

 

"Topography of Her", Acrylic paint, charcoal.
“Topography of Her”, Acrylic paint, charcoal.
Detail, "Topography of Her".
Detail, “Topography of Her”.

DETAIL UPPER TORSO

In my print making class I am experimenting with linocut prints, and am cutting some sample imagery for my next tapestries. I am considering a series of local inappropriately named mountains to draw attention to the fact that it is time to rename and reconsider the history that allows for these mountains to continue to be listed on maps by their colloquial terms.

 

Lino cut for tapestry image
Lino cut for tapestry image

Here is the cut plate of a local mountain that may be used for my next tapestry series. I will start printing those tomorrow. I still have a couple of days left to get some stuff done, right?

 

-Christine Thomson

Dissolution and Despair! Defeat and Disaster!

I am borrowing these wonderful quotes from Edward Gorey’s “The Inanimate Tragedy” to illustrate just how frustrating mistakes in a time-based practice can be. I have been set back at least a couple of full days of work by my mistake at the tapestry loom. Death and Distraction!

Can you see the mistake?
Can you see the mistake?

I prepped the cartoon for my next tapestry to be the final triptych of the my commentary and reflection on the BSE issue. I am interested in contemplating issues in the food industry: the loss of many healthy innocent animals, hygiene the toll it takes on the stewards and farmers of the herds,and also on the health issues of humans who ingest infected animals, resulting in the degenerative, and inevitably fatal, Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.

To set up and prepare for tapestry is only a small part of the time investment involved, but it does take time. And time at this point in the semester is not what we are privileged to have. I began weaving yesterday after drawing the cartoon, procuring the wools, getting the colour palette sorted. After weaving for three hours for the hem and the beginning of the image, I rotated the beam to allow for more space to weave. Sadly, at 7:00 last night, I learned that I couldn’t make a shed with the limited amount of warp left to me. It would open, but not easily enough to weave with any ease to pass the bobbins and your hand in.

New Warp at 9:30 last night.
New Warp at 9:30 last night.

I made the drastic but necessary decision to stop weaving, cut off the two completed tapestries and start again for my third. The lesson learned? Warp is cheap, but time is not. Always put on more warp than you ever think you may need. Of course, I did think it might be a good time to rethink the size and scale of #3, but as it is part of a series I feel that I just have to push on and complete this. Intravenous black coffee might help. Taking (dark) chocolate donations as consolation- anything to stop myself from jumping into the “Yawning Chasm” (Gorey).

The two completed tapestries off loom.
The two completed tapestries off loom.

-Christine Thomson

 

ARTIST INTERVIEW WITH YVONNE MULLOCK

Beth Cavener Stichter

Kate MacDowell

These videos are of two different ceramic artist’s that I really find inspiring, buy perhaps not completely in the direction my work is going while writing my grad paper. I could repeat what Stichter says in her video that her work is based off of people she encounters and makes portraits of what she imagines their inner turmoil is possibly, cure but they are equally a portrait of herself as well. What first drew me to her work was a rabbit that displayed to much emotion that you couldn’t help but find in yourself that feeling that it expressed. The sculptures large scale allows you to see each sculpt of the clay, and I terribly wish to touch one. With the size also its impressive how much I can imagine someone physically relating to them on a human scale.

I Am No One by Beth Cavener Stichter, Stoneware, 32″ x 37″ x 30″

Without getting into Kate MacDowell’s concept too far, she first inspired me when I was making my small wire skeletons. Everything seemed so fragile and precious in her work so I reflected on that with my work and what I wanted to protect in my hands. I Highly recommend if your interested to follow the links.

Sparrow by Kate MacDowell made out of Porcelian

Zo~

 The Reparative Impulse

The ACAD Fibre Department hosted a most charming lecture with UK artist Yvonne Mullock on November 6, Phimosis
2013. Yvonne has a multidisciplinary research-led practice that has taken her ( so far, but look out world!) to various parts of the western world, including Newfoundland, Kentucky, Argyle, Bute and Hertfordshire. She was able to give students 20 minutes of her time for studio visits, responses and a talk. As I found her presentation and her work so inspirational, I used my 20 minutes to ask her questions about her life, process and some vagrant ideas.

Yvonne’s B.A. degree is from the Glasgow School of Art in Painting and Drawing. I was interested in the transition between the discipline of painting and drawing and the multidisciplinary work that she is currently engaged with. Yvonne discussed the fact that she sees no division between her training as a painter and the practice that she is pursuing. She feels that as an artist she draws inspiration from things that surround her in her life. Mullock went on to say that the Glasgow School was very traditional, and that although her work in realistic painting was what was being taught and expected of her, she felt stifled by that form. Upon graduation, and a small inheritance from her Auntie Joan, Yvonne went to London to visit a friend. It was there that she chanced upon the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, and talked to the Education Program Director about the potential of a residency. The Museum had never been broached about a possibility like this before, and luckily for Mullock the Director had an arts background and so was receptive to the idea. Yvonne searched out and received some funding, and was installed in an absentee biologist’s office for her studio residency. She remarked upon the excitement of it all: immersed in a real biologist’s office, who was off in Belize doing field work, and full access to the Museum. For her it was also about being active in something that wasn’t boring and stuffy as the Glasgow School, but an adventure that she was formulating herself, and working in response to.

Yvonne’s DIY sense of independence comes through in her practice; both in what she is making and in her understanding and appreciation of the tactile material world of craft and art. ( We never touched on that issue, thank goodness, as we only had 20 minutes and not a full evening and a bottle of wine). To illustrate, Mullock tells a story about the choice of a gift when she was younger. She was offered a watch, but begged for a sewing machine. This was to be a formative decision, as she taught herself how to sew, and has used that skill extensively in her practice, both with her work in the costume department of theatre and opera and in her art practice.

Also evident is Yvonne’s sense of humour in her work. I asked her about negotiating the “art stars” of the art world and how, with her honesty and direct approach to life she deals with large egos and the artificiality that can surround that world. She responded by likening it to working in opera and stage, where she was always given the more strange or difficult talent to work with. She enjoys the challenge of the “strange and odd” ( Mullock), again which is evident in her work ( look at her series of the cross- Canadian art quilt images, where the quilts are designed with holes for the female breasts to be displayed). Again charmingly and bluntly, she did tell me that she “loved weirdos” but was not good with dealing with (expletive deleted) rude people.

The interaction with people is evident again in her work; many of her research-led projects deal with entering a community and interacting therein. The Fogo Island residency, where she was formative in spearheading the soft furnishing cultural display of the Fogo Island Inn, involved researching the hand crafts of the local villagers, from quilting to rughooking. The islanders, due to the sense of thrift and being some of the original upcyclers, make their quilts and rugs from scraps of unrepairable and unused clothing and worn out household linens that can be cut around and reused. Mullock’s So to Sew interactive performance at Wreck City involved using the “reparative impulse” to mend clothing that was brought to her, with love and care. At the end of the repair, she sewed in a label with her name to commemorate the act, and her participants left with a memento of remembrance from Yvonne, as well as a mended article of clothing. When I was listening to Mullock talk, the “reparative impulse” as coined by Jeanne Randolph kept playing in my head. Sure enough, I found the quote in Jane Kidd’s “To Practice in the Middle”:

      The reparative impulse is altruistic, generous, and synthetic. It does not cast out  what is impure or ruined.It restructures,reinterprets, and illuminates the potential of the impure subject, object, idea or form. The reparative impulse attempts an integration of grief for the lost ideal with the desire to make good for injury done.Reparative action is the endeavour to restore. Rather than hiding traces of damage, it integrates them with grief of the lost ideal and the remaining qualities of value. (Randolph)

This terminology seems to encapsulate the impulse in Mullock. She enacts both altruism and generosity in her work, and is willing to look at the value of the lost ideal. Her Samoyed fur jacket, knit for a stuffed dead ( obviously, if it was stuffed) Mexican Hairless dog in the Rothschild Zoological Museum, is another example of her altruism, however idealistic.

In closing we talked about the concept of the triangle of Scotland/Fogo Island/Calgary. I asked her about that juxtaposition from a cultural viewpoint. I could see the similarities, both economically and geographically, between Fogo Island and Scotland, but Calgary’s oil and gas economy and conservative mentality must have been a bit of an adjustment for her. The move was prompted by her partner’s involvement with the Watershed + Public Art Project with the City of Calgary. Mullock responded that she is optimistic about the new territory here to explore and investigate. I found her both personally and professionally to be an inspirational and encouraging artist and speaker, with an unorthodox “breath of fresh air” approach to her work.

Yvonne Mullock, Zoology. Image from www.yvonnemullock.co.uk
Yvonne Mullock, Zoology. Image from www.yvonnemullock.co.uk

– Submitted by Christine Thomson

 

Exhibit Review Published in the “Wildlands Advocate”

Elisa
Red Deer River, more about Near Schraeder Creek Natural Area | Elisa Sereno-Janz

Late last term Dana Bush ( 2103 Fibre Grad), surgery Elisa Sereno- Janz ( 2014 Grad – Drawing) and Amanda Oberacher ( ACAD Alumni, for sale Painting) had a group show at the Alberta Wilderness Offices in NW Calgary, called A Shifting Balance. Dana asked me to write a review/essay about their show, and it was published, with images of the artists’ work, this week. The publication is called the Wildlands Advocate, and the article is called “Three Artists Who Give Voice to the Silent

As is often the case when you give your work over to editors under time crunches,  they did a weird punctuation error in the last paragraph. For the most part though, the editors did publish the whole review, which is rare and gratifying.  Editing can sometimes take the heart out of a piece, and they gave it full coverage. I thank the publication for that!

I think that really engaging with,  thinking about, and writing on other artists’ practices can give us clues into our own systems of working and enlarge our perspective. This has been just one of the invaluable lessons and encouragements that I have received here at ACAD, and I plan to continue with writing as part of my practice.

 

– Christine Thomson

 

 

For All You Weavers!

Beth Cavener Stichter

Kate MacDowell

These videos are of two different ceramic artist’s that I really find inspiring, buy perhaps not completely in the direction my work is going while writing my grad paper. I could repeat what Stichter says in her video that her work is based off of people she encounters and makes portraits of what she imagines their inner turmoil is possibly, cure but they are equally a portrait of herself as well. What first drew me to her work was a rabbit that displayed to much emotion that you couldn’t help but find in yourself that feeling that it expressed. The sculptures large scale allows you to see each sculpt of the clay, and I terribly wish to touch one. With the size also its impressive how much I can imagine someone physically relating to them on a human scale.

I Am No One by Beth Cavener Stichter, Stoneware, 32″ x 37″ x 30″

Without getting into Kate MacDowell’s concept too far, she first inspired me when I was making my small wire skeletons. Everything seemed so fragile and precious in her work so I reflected on that with my work and what I wanted to protect in my hands. I Highly recommend if your interested to follow the links.

Sparrow by Kate MacDowell made out of Porcelian

Zo~

 The Reparative Impulse

The ACAD Fibre Department hosted a most charming lecture with UK artist Yvonne Mullock on November 6, Phimosis
2013. Yvonne has a multidisciplinary research-led practice that has taken her ( so far, but look out world!) to various parts of the western world, including Newfoundland, Kentucky, Argyle, Bute and Hertfordshire. She was able to give students 20 minutes of her time for studio visits, responses and a talk. As I found her presentation and her work so inspirational, I used my 20 minutes to ask her questions about her life, process and some vagrant ideas.

Yvonne’s B.A. degree is from the Glasgow School of Art in Painting and Drawing. I was interested in the transition between the discipline of painting and drawing and the multidisciplinary work that she is currently engaged with. Yvonne discussed the fact that she sees no division between her training as a painter and the practice that she is pursuing. She feels that as an artist she draws inspiration from things that surround her in her life. Mullock went on to say that the Glasgow School was very traditional, and that although her work in realistic painting was what was being taught and expected of her, she felt stifled by that form. Upon graduation, and a small inheritance from her Auntie Joan, Yvonne went to London to visit a friend. It was there that she chanced upon the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, and talked to the Education Program Director about the potential of a residency. The Museum had never been broached about a possibility like this before, and luckily for Mullock the Director had an arts background and so was receptive to the idea. Yvonne searched out and received some funding, and was installed in an absentee biologist’s office for her studio residency. She remarked upon the excitement of it all: immersed in a real biologist’s office, who was off in Belize doing field work, and full access to the Museum. For her it was also about being active in something that wasn’t boring and stuffy as the Glasgow School, but an adventure that she was formulating herself, and working in response to.

Yvonne’s DIY sense of independence comes through in her practice; both in what she is making and in her understanding and appreciation of the tactile material world of craft and art. ( We never touched on that issue, thank goodness, as we only had 20 minutes and not a full evening and a bottle of wine). To illustrate, Mullock tells a story about the choice of a gift when she was younger. She was offered a watch, but begged for a sewing machine. This was to be a formative decision, as she taught herself how to sew, and has used that skill extensively in her practice, both with her work in the costume department of theatre and opera and in her art practice.

Also evident is Yvonne’s sense of humour in her work. I asked her about negotiating the “art stars” of the art world and how, with her honesty and direct approach to life she deals with large egos and the artificiality that can surround that world. She responded by likening it to working in opera and stage, where she was always given the more strange or difficult talent to work with. She enjoys the challenge of the “strange and odd” ( Mullock), again which is evident in her work ( look at her series of the cross- Canadian art quilt images, where the quilts are designed with holes for the female breasts to be displayed). Again charmingly and bluntly, she did tell me that she “loved weirdos” but was not good with dealing with (expletive deleted) rude people.

The interaction with people is evident again in her work; many of her research-led projects deal with entering a community and interacting therein. The Fogo Island residency, where she was formative in spearheading the soft furnishing cultural display of the Fogo Island Inn, involved researching the hand crafts of the local villagers, from quilting to rughooking. The islanders, due to the sense of thrift and being some of the original upcyclers, make their quilts and rugs from scraps of unrepairable and unused clothing and worn out household linens that can be cut around and reused. Mullock’s So to Sew interactive performance at Wreck City involved using the “reparative impulse” to mend clothing that was brought to her, with love and care. At the end of the repair, she sewed in a label with her name to commemorate the act, and her participants left with a memento of remembrance from Yvonne, as well as a mended article of clothing. When I was listening to Mullock talk, the “reparative impulse” as coined by Jeanne Randolph kept playing in my head. Sure enough, I found the quote in Jane Kidd’s “To Practice in the Middle”:

      The reparative impulse is altruistic, generous, and synthetic. It does not cast out  what is impure or ruined.It restructures,reinterprets, and illuminates the potential of the impure subject, object, idea or form. The reparative impulse attempts an integration of grief for the lost ideal with the desire to make good for injury done.Reparative action is the endeavour to restore. Rather than hiding traces of damage, it integrates them with grief of the lost ideal and the remaining qualities of value. (Randolph)

This terminology seems to encapsulate the impulse in Mullock. She enacts both altruism and generosity in her work, and is willing to look at the value of the lost ideal. Her Samoyed fur jacket, knit for a stuffed dead ( obviously, if it was stuffed) Mexican Hairless dog in the Rothschild Zoological Museum, is another example of her altruism, however idealistic.

In closing we talked about the concept of the triangle of Scotland/Fogo Island/Calgary. I asked her about that juxtaposition from a cultural viewpoint. I could see the similarities, both economically and geographically, between Fogo Island and Scotland, but Calgary’s oil and gas economy and conservative mentality must have been a bit of an adjustment for her. The move was prompted by her partner’s involvement with the Watershed + Public Art Project with the City of Calgary. Mullock responded that she is optimistic about the new territory here to explore and investigate. I found her both personally and professionally to be an inspirational and encouraging artist and speaker, with an unorthodox “breath of fresh air” approach to her work.

Yvonne Mullock, Zoology. Image from www.yvonnemullock.co.uk
Yvonne Mullock, Zoology. Image from www.yvonnemullock.co.uk

– Submitted by Christine Thomson

 

The cycle of abuse is much like a cycle of life, website
moving through motions of forgetting and
remembering, and forgetting again. An act of violence, the feeling of neglect, the power of fear,
drain a victim. Through a victims every motion they must fight the restraints of shame and doubt, hurt and fear. There is temporary comfort and ease in a moment of reassurance. A
momentary trust in the sweet talking. Smoothing over the trauma with hollow words.

Candy coat
the pain, forget and move on.

 

-Natalie
ok i shall try to put to words (in more point form because its easier and feels the most honest) the things i am thinking about with my crochet objects before i present on Wednesday.

crocheting is something done with rhythm, meningitis
same as knitting. things that also have (or commonly do have in variation) rhythm are; breathing, click your heart beat, moon cycles and nature with seasons. this expands to growth and decay, things begin and things end. cycles are also comforting, and relayed upon. rhythm is comforting. community is comforting and also keeps loneliness and isolation at bay. culturally individualism makes us lonely because we consider ourselves singular entities, rather than as apart of a something bigger. this is also considered a western idea. (*video worth watching added below*)

http://vimeo.com/70534716

how do we relate to the self and to others? objects as stand in for people for example because they can be sources of sentiment. sentiment: “exaggerated and self-indulgent feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia.” this exists and multiple forms and exists in childhood toys for example. in this piece i am attempting to convey a intimacy with objects of rhythm, sentiment and comfort. i want to have a sound recording of a heartbeat playing in the background of this piece in hopes it will relate more to a level of human connection. if a heart beat is heard in a closed room i want it to relate to being in a womb. a safe and natural environment.

2013-11-30 12.29.57

i am using a round chair that will be covered with both the objects i made and an assortment of stuff animals. (i will not be offended if anyone wishes to sit.)  there is more in regards to the crochet objects because they act as containers. “containers are receptive; they establish a transition between interior and exterior.”  (Mathieu 116). to me these objects have meaning that i am not sure is really important to the piece but they are filled with material that are without purpose, and projects i have not finished.

Mathieu, Paul. “Object Theory.” Utopic Impulses: Contemporary Ceramics Practice. Eds. Chambers, Ruth, Amy Gogarty & Mirelle Perron. Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2007. pgs. 111-127print

well then, i hope this works

Zoe

 

 

 
AUBUSSON HOUSE SALES VISIT

Karen King from Aubusson House

will make a sales visit on

Mon. Nov 4 from 1:00 to 2:00

Usually Karen brings her wares to the tapestry room. Wool, drug
silk and various blends. Coloured and natural hues.

 

Please call at 403-284-4048 if you need specific items

e-mail Aubhouse@telus.net

ARTS CONFERENCE: The most amazing couple of days ever

 

The view from the Kinnear Centre
The view from the Kinnear Centre

 

From Thursday October 17 until Sunday October 20, geriatrician I was fortunate enough to attend the UAAC Conference in Banff.  (UAAC is the acronym for Universities Art Association of Canada). Along with five other ACAD students and two MFA students from the University of Lethbridge, information pills we volunteered to assist with the mechanics of lectures (A.V. issues, infertility seating, lights, blinds – not arduous issues) and thus were able to sit in and partake of the conference.

The format of the sessions is interesting: each panel has a facilitator and a title that has been designed to encompass the papers. The papers are given by professors, Ph.D. candidates and individual scholars and artists. There are between three to four papers per session, and each session lasted an hour and a half. On the first day I clocked 16 lectures, plus the engaging keynote speaker ( Fred Wilson: The Silent Message of  the Museum).

The papers were varied in their scope and direction. Three of the more personally interesting panels were titled: The Question of Making, chaired by ACAD’s Mireille Perron,  Elisions: Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun, and Feminism within a globalizing art historical practice: Where are we now? As gleaned from their titles, the subject matter and arguments presented were varied and complex. The richness of the language and the dialogue that some of these papers opened up was intense. After the third paper, I could actually “see” the format of the paper and the argument: the opening thesis, the argument, the examples that stated the argument, and then the more specific support brought in to strengthen and give weight to their argument.  The presenters often referenced writers and thinkers that we are being brought into contact with through our readings at school. One of my more personally evocative  lectures in the panel entitled ” Elisions” was a paper called ” Transformation of Remains” by Natalia Lebedinskaia, a Curator of Contemporary Art from Southwestern Manitoba. Her thesis was on the complex relationship between David McMillan’s photographs from the 30 km Exclusion Zone surrounding Chernobyl and his pictures of Pripyat, and the writer’s personal memory of the Soviet Union. Part of my ongoing interest is following McMillan’s photo documentation of the Zone, and I referenced one of his images for my Pripyat tapestry. It was interesting to follow the argument on the transformation of memory and remains through a lens of a former Soviet resident who was in Moscow at the time of the meltdown.

Within the panel of The Question of Making were such papers entitled: “Messing with Making and Meaning in Current Craft Media” by Prof. Ruth Chambers, and “Re-materializing the Labouring Body: Carey Young, Kelly Mark , Klara Liden” , an especially well written paper presented by Ph.D candidate Saelan Twerdy, Art History, McGill University. Chambers writes about re-skilling, referencing Stephen Horne, Polly Ullrich and David Pye            ( thanks to Dr. Salahub for having these thinkers in our reading list and course outline for Craft History last year), and she proposes that “there is a specific strategy employed by some artists to undermine the influence commodity culture has on the meanings of material objects”  (Chambers, from the Abstract )

There were artists and academics from the U.K., South Africa, The United States and all over Canada. It was much more intense and valuable than I have presented in this entry, but I wished to share this experience with other students as it is an opportunity to listen, write, present and explore new ideas in art history, contemporary art, and modes of thinking which I was not aware of before this conference.  Although it is heavily weighted towards established academics and Ph.D candidates, one can also be accepted as an “independent scholar” to present. It is an invaluable experience for any serious student of art, whether historian, academic or maker, as it contextualizes what our participation  within a more global framework of theory and practice.

 

Taken from the third floor, Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation
Taken from the third floor, Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation

 

Submitted by Christine Thomson

Challenging Cultural and Political Narratives

Fiction Non Fiction
Sept. 28 – Dec. 22, treatment 2013
Esker Foundation
1011-9th Ave. SE
Co-produced with Illingworth Kerr Gallery
Curated by Wayne Baerwaldt, cialis 40mg Steven Loft, rehabilitation Naomi Potter

 

Jeffrey Gibson. Call and Response, 2013. Thirty cement blocks, elk rawhide, artificial sinew, coloured pencil and acrylic paint. Photo from Esker Foundation website.
Jeffrey Gibson. Call and Response, 2013. Thirty cement blocks, elk rawhide, artificial sinew, coloured pencil and acrylic paint. Photo from Esker Foundation website.

I skived off homework and yard duties yesterday to do some gallery visiting. The most interesting exhibit to blog about is the show currently at the Esker Foundation. It is a timely and intelligent exhibit that challenges the default position of the white western notion of aboriginal culture. Through a group show that encompasses sculpture, installation, painting, notebook journalling, and video, the artists explore their reinterpretation of traditional belief systems, from both a Western and a First Nations sensibility.

Entering the gallery is a visual feast in itself, with the high end architecture, well chosen tiled floors, and the sculptural elements of polished steel girders thrusting into the atrium of the entry hall. The gallery is light, airy and quite frankly, just a beautiful space. There is enough room here to really exhibit and present the work without the conflict of competing pieces that are hung too close for an objective experience. One is immediately taken by Dean Drever’s giant Haida style totem pole constructed entirely of paper; an interesting comment on the transitory nature of the traditional wood totem poles subverting to paper. Drever’s other piece in the show is captivating. Spying a huge hard bound book on a plinth, with some gallery gloves carefully positioned nearby, I was wondering whether that was the complete work in situ. But going to art school does make you question the obvious and be a bit brave, so I cautiously donned the gloves and opened the book. Drever has cleverly added text and imagery to the book of photogravures by Edward Curtis. He is manipulating the romantic imagery of the “noble savage” by subverting the content of the photographs and giving voice to his anger. It is a fascinating piece and one that is well worth the time to turn the pages and meditate on his work.

Kent Monkman has one of his recent works that was featured at Mass Moca’s “Oh Canada” on display here. His “theatre of the absurd” sense of humour is, as always, in evidence. In Two Kindred Spirits we have an installation set in a sterilized utopia for Tonto, the Lone Ranger, and their “German” ersatz counterparts ( which is a sharp jibe at the ongoing Teutonic fascination and cultural appropriation of aboriginal culture). It is a brilliant piece, and his observations are astute and clever. The German side of the tableau features “Native” costuming with silkscreened images of beadwork, which is a barbed comment in itself.  Playing in the background of the cabins are flat screens that are projecting playful videos, starring the characters staged in an Albert Bierstadt inspired arcadian vision of the love that dare not speak it’s name.

Kent Monkman. Two Kindred Spirits, multi-media installation. 2012. (detail). Image from internet.

Kent Monkman. Two Kindred Spirits, multi-media installation. 2012. (detail). Image from internet.
Kent Monkman. Two Kindred Spirits. 2012. Mulit-media installation. Photo from internet.
Kent Monkman. Two Kindred Spirits. 2012. Mulit-media installation. Photo from internet.

Brenda Draney’s oil paintings are arresting and unsettling. Her use of colour and imagery causes tension in the viewer, and speaks of skewed memories and narratives. Draney’s use of subject matter combined with the overriding red in Tent makes for an almost ghoulish read on a seemingly mundane event. We are placed inside a red tent with two individuals. One is turning away, unzipping the tent; a seeming innocuous event. But the other indvidual challenges us being in there with him. His sinister gaze, indeterminate silhouette and even his “morning after” whisker shadow conspire to unsettle the viewer. Her unusual decision to place us in the tent is just so weird that you have to applaud the piece and her choice to render this memory for us.

Brenda Draney. Evacuation. 2013, Oil on canvas. 3' x 4'. Photo Credit Sarah Fuller

Brenda Draney. Evacuation. 2013, Oil on canvas. 3′ x 4′. Photo Credit Sarah Fuller

 

Brenda Draney. Tent. 2103. Oil on canvas, 3' x 4'. Photo Credit: Sarah Fuller
Brenda Draney. Tent. 2103. Oil on canvas, 3′ x 4′. Photo Credit: Sarah Fuller

These are just three of the thirteen artists that are exhibited in Fiction Non Fiction. Get down there, read the Curators’ essay ( which is brilliantly written and not rolling around in the art-babble one sometimes has to wade through) and experience and engage in one of the most important and challenging exhibits to be mounted in a long while.

– Christine Thomson

 

Work in Progress

Subject matter for this term’s work is bending toward a commentary on man’s inability to accept nature as it stands, generic and his constant search to improve, medical make ” cost effective” , or to alter his landscape. I am interested in the food that we put into our bodies, and the related affected health of the land. Having always been an “organic” gardener, and being aware of the ethical treatment of animals, my interest is heightened when I find that man’s meddling kicks him back in the face. The new piece that I am developing in my own “slow art” movement is based on BSE and Creutzfeldt- Jacob Disease.

The cartoon and inspiration on the loom.
The cartoon and inspiration on the loom.

IMG_0767

 

The feeding of carnivorous material ( namely other animal parts: scrapie infected sheep brains and bones for example) to a herbivorous ruminant such as a cow is bound to have disastrous effects, as we have witnessed with the cross infection in humans from eating infected cattle. As a result of this scare ( which is ongoing, as new cases are diagnosed constantly), many healthy as well as diseased cattle were and are being terminated in a huge large scale slaughter, which changes and alters the landscape of the countries affected. The images are visually disturbing on many accounts, not the least of which is the awareness that the carcasses of the cattle and sheep destroyed also destroy many a small farmer’s livelihood. Our actions have reactions.

 

wool window

I have hand dyed the variegated wool for the tapestry. Tapestry wool is a thinner two ply crewel style yarn that is getting increasingly hard to source. ( Karen King at Aubusson House still carries it). However, I like the play of colour that one can custom dye, and this tapestry calls for an almost watercolour like palette.

edited orangecorrected purple

hipsto purple

As with all slow art work, I will have time to think while weaving about the effects of our meddling with the animal and plant world; spider silk in medicine, genetically modified food, the vegetables that we are importing from China which are irradiated before entering the country. I think we all need to be aware of what we put into our bodies and from where it came; the source and the sustainability of what we eat.

– Christine Thomson

 

Nezhnie: Images of the Holocaust

Muriel Nezhnie Helfman: Images of the Holocaust 1979-1989

Muriel Nezhnie. Daughters of the Earth, <a href=
order 81" x 53". 1981″ src=”http://fibre.acadnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/NezhnieDaughtersofEarth3-copy-159×240.jpg” width=”159″ height=”240″ /> Muriel Nezhnie. Daughters of the Earth, 81″ x 53″. 1981

Informing the content and direction of my tapestry practice is an artist who wove a beautiful series of Holocaust imagery from 1979-1989. The series is called Images of the Holocaust, and were inspired by Muriel Nezhnie Helfman’s research into war images of the Second World War. She was a child of Russian Jewish parents, raised in the States, with a formal training in art. Stationed in Europe at one point in her adult life, she took up tapestry (  by some accounts stating that pursuing  a “formal” art education  was distressing her husband, himself a painter.)

Muriel Nezhnie. Ghetto Child- Stroop Report, 60" x 48", 1982
Muriel Nezhnie. Ghetto Child- Stroop Report, 60″ x 48″, 1982

Using photographs of the brutality of the Nazi regime, she tried to find a balance of memory and redemption. She felt that including text into her tapestries allowed the viewer a deeper awareness and entree into the content of her work.

“Perhaps art is the only expression that can keep the vision (of the Holocaust) horrible as it is, alive in a positive and constructive way.”
Letter from the late Muriel Nezhnie to Elie Wiesel

In the book, A Mission in Art: Recent Holocaust Works in America, Vivian Alpert Thompson defines Nezhnie as an “empathizer”: “The empathy of the artists who are not survivors is at times so deep that some of them have taken on characteristics normally attributable to survivors…” and, like for survivors, “the creation of these works is not cathartic for the artist… likely because the conditions of evil that their art warns against still exist.”

Muriel Nezhnie. Pogrom. 64" x 48". 1989
Muriel Nezhnie. Pogrom. 64″ x 48″. 1989

I find a sympathy with those words as I try to weave my imagery, especially the more poignant shoe series. It is not about “ownership” of an event, but rather the empathy that is elicited when one is confronted by the images of horror and survival, and an awareness to be vigilant to human rights abuse.

Christine Thomson. Untermensch. 12" x 12", Wool and cotton tapestry. 2012
Christine Thomson. Untermensch. 12″ x 12″, Wool and cotton tapestry. 2012

All images of Nezhnie from Creative Commons, with permission by her husband Sheldon Helfman. 

Christine Thomson

Transformations: A.Y.Jackson and Otto Dix

Sylvian Meyer

this

 

 

Sylvian Meyer

 

Richard Shillings

I had this huge urge while researching Land Art to go hop in my car and drive down Bergen road by the river and take my camera and just move stuff around. *mission accomplished as of Sept 17*

I did this as studio research and while conducting my experiments I realized how what I did changed how I saw the terrain because I had left a human mark in nature. This realization had me also think on when I walk through the fields around my hometown in Carstairs. Its a growing community suffering a lot of growing pains and I like to walk the surrounding fields that are being developed. At first they are featureless once the farmer is no longer involved, pancreatitis
then I have watched huge piles of earth being moved, otolaryngologist
adding strange landmarks unnatural to the flat prairie. The landscape becomes more and more constructed by man. Its more recently that these changes are becoming more and more frequent as well.

I connect to this landscape for many reasons. My early childhood was spent on a pig farm and I take a huge comfort seeing all this space, just earth and sky because I think I can actually feel the air move gently around me. My heritage comes also from a farming background, my dads parents came here to Canada from Germany just after the Second World War and my moms family has been in Canada from a few more generations; both of which were farmers of some sort in Manitoba. When I am outside in these fields I feel connected to that simpler way of life that was shorten for me by moving off the farm.

I have developed a forever increasing collection of photographs of clouds, many of which are of sunrises I have  seen when out and about walking in the morning, and some also where I work. I document them and capture the landscape that is fleeting but so beautiful. A theory I am toying with is continuing with land art and only keep the photo documents of what I do, thereby understanding what mark I leave on nature and my connections too it.

man made rock pile in river by myself
man made rock pile in river by myself
man made rock formation #1 by myself
man made rock formation #1 by myself
man made rock formation #2 by myself
man made rock formation #2 by myself

 

Zoe~
Exhibit: Transformations: A.Y. Jackson and Otto Dix
Glenbow Museum, troche Calgary Alberta
September 7, generic
2013 – January 12, 2014
This exhibition is produced by the Canadian War Museum, with the generous support of the National Gallery of Canada.

Musing before-hand on the Transformations exhibit at the Glenbow Museum featuring work by A.Y. Jackson and Otto Dix, I was compelled by an awareness of how much the Group of Seven are identified with the Canadian consciousness. As a young student, I was exposed to the work of the primarily Ontario artists, and learned early to differentiate between the painting styles of the Varleys, Lismers, MacDonalds, Jacksons et al. The stunning landscapes of the Canadian psyche were painted by this group of artists, and by their peers like Emily Carr and Tom Thomson. ( I was particularly attracted to the tragic story of Thomson: certain of a shared heritage and kinship, and swept away by his rugged good looks and mysterious demise. This was an adolescent art student’s über Canadian fantasy.) The images of the Group of Seven’s paintings appear on calendars, engagement books, coffee cups, placemats and stamps. We are inundated with the landscapes of these artists, and have subliminally adopted their vision of Canada as our own. I am left to wonder if that is true with Germany and the visions of Otto Dix? Is Dix as crucial a component of the evolution of the German identity as Jackson is to ours?  If so, then their nationalist identity is very much darker than our own. I didn’t find any clear answers to that question on the exhibit at the Glenbow (I am sure  that I can figure that one out), but it is an interesting juxtaposition of artists.

 

Oil on canvas, 86.6.x 112.2 cm. Photo Credit: Canadian War museum, Ottawa Ontario. From the Beaverbrook Collection
A.Y.Jackson. A Copse, Evening 1918. Oil on canvas, 86.6.x 112.2 cm. Photo Credit: Canadian War Museum, Ottawa Ontario. From the Beaverbrook Collection

 

Otto Dix. Near Langemark, February 1918. Print. Intaglio, Etching. Minneapolis Institute of the Arts
Otto Dix. Near Langemark, February 1918. Print. Intaglio, Etching. 1924. Minneapolis Institute of the Arts

Thematically the curator from the Canadian War Museum, Dr. Laura Brandon, has linked the two men in their first hand depictions of war. There are some poignant examples of sketches that are of the same location, but from different sides of the trenches. Both Dix and Jackson painted Lorette Ridge in France, but from different vantages of No Man’s Land. What is clear in the paintings, sketches and prints from both these artists is the different personal view that is exposed in their work. Dix’s work was targeted as degenerate, and he was dismissed from his Dresden teaching position as just one of the punishments meted on him for his viewpoint. Jackson on the other hand, was portrayed as a nationalist Canadian hero with his Group of Seven painting style.

Of course, there are huge differences in the geographical realities of the two men. Jackson went abroad to fight for the Empire, and survived. He often credited being a war artist with his survival in France. However, he was able to return to Canada and to a land unravaged by the effects of war. Dix stayed in Europe, and witnessed the after effects of the deprivation of WW1, and the rise of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. His work is dark, a biting social commentary on war, corruption and misplaced ideals. Jackson’s work is more concerned with a nationalist landscape of nature, perhaps his solace from the horrors that he had witnessed.

Otto Dix. Verwundeter ( Herbst 1916, Bapaume) Wounded Soldier (August 1916, Bapaume). Print, intaglio, etching, aquatint. From Der Krieg 1924. Collection National Gallery of Australia. The Poynton Bequest 2001
Otto Dix. Verwundeter ( Herbst 1916, Bapaume) Wounded Soldier (August 1916, Bapaume). Print, intaglio, etching, aquatint. From Der Krieg 1924. Collection National Gallery of Australia. The Poynton Bequest 2001

 

My companion and I both agreed that the exhibit was frustrating in its layout. The floor plan is a bit confusing as to chronologically where to start, and to my great disappointment, many of the prints and paintings had no information as to medium and method. ( So I just had to buy the Taschen book on Otto Dix to get that information.) Only $9.00 admission for a student at the Glenbow, and the exhibits are a feast. Also went to see Made in Calgary: the 1980s. Till next post….

– Christine Thomson

Denver Art Museum Exhibits

 Sadly for ACAD Fibre students, website like this there are only three days left to see the amazing exhibits at the Denver Art Museum. The chances of us getting down there are next to none, so I wanted to draw attention to the textile related work that is being supported at the DAM. There has been much funding to this illustrious museum: most recently a 1.75 million gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that continues the transformation of the museum textile’s department. They have hired a textile art curator, as well as textile conservators. They also offered a fellowship for employment and training in textile conservation. This introduction to a museum that supports both historical and contemporary textile work brings me to the two outstanding exhibits on now:  Spun: Adventures in Textiles, and Nick Cave: Sojourn.

hero-spun Spun: Adventures in Textiles has been segmented into different topics. The Denver Art Museum takes a wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography in the campus-wide exhibition. The curators have included such exhibits as Cover Story, a collection of over 50 textile pieces from the collection at the DAM. “Cover Story explores the myriad ways that textiles envelop, embellish, and enrich human lives across centuries, continents, and cultures.” (DAM)

Tapestry designed by Stefan Galkowski (1912-1984) manufactured by Wanda Cooperative, Cracow, Poland, 1961. Wool and Linen Tapestry.  DAM Textile Collection
Tapestry designed by Stefan Galkowski (1912-1984) manufactured by Wanda Cooperative, Cracow, Poland, 1961. Wool and Linen Tapestry. DAM Textile Collection

 

 

Sojourn -Nick Cave Anschutz Gallery Hamilton Bldg Curated by William Morrow,Nick Cave and Bob Faust

hero-CAVE3Nick Cave: Sojourn is also being exhibited at the museum. Nick Cave has long been a huge influence on my work. He is an American artist, with a wide ranging multi-disciplinary practice. He is a dancer, sculptor, fibre artist and performance artist, perhaps best know for his “soundscape suits”. The link provided to the exhibit takes you on a brief tour with Nick Cave, and allows the viewer to experience briefly the impact and intricacy of his work.

Nick Cave’s Work at the DAM

(All images from DAM website)

Additional information on this exhibit and the textile conservation work being done can be resourced from “Spin-off”‘ Magazine’s Summer 2013 Article on the Denver Art Museum.

– Christine Thomson

Museum of Craft and Folk Art (San Francisco) closed its doors November 2012!

I guess others have heard the bad news for Craft in the Northern California area, prostate ( and I think by extension for Craft in North America), drug but it was news to me. While searching the archives of the Museum of Craft and Folk Art for an exhibit I saw there in 2000 (Gugger Petter’s newspaper weavings) I learned of the demise of the Museum. A quick overview of their archives reveal the contribution that they made in exhibiting craft artists like Kay Sekimachi, price Pat Hickman, to such precise displays like Hand Bookbinders of California, Jewish Papercuts, Rags to Riches: Japanese Rural Rugweavers. The list of exhibits is exhaustive and available at their archived website (www.mocfa.org).

I saw an exhibit there in 2000 that resonated with me – not so much for the subject matter but for her technique. Gugger Petter is a Danish American artist who has woven with newspaper for over 20 years. She prefers the limited palette of newsprint, and makes use of both the flyers for colour and the text for background and relief texture.

Her canvases are large, some 72″ x 89″, and she allows for the nature of the eccentric weaving to be exposed. Hers is a radical and vibrant style of weaving, and I think this is what attracts me to her. They are large tapestries of everyday street life and barking dogs, or portraits of friends.

The street scenes are some of her older work, and have more character and story than the portraits. Regardless, she is an engaged weaver that takes a few chances with her medium, which makes her work worth contemplating.

You can see her work at the gallery which represents her: www.jsauergallery.com/sagemoon/artistPages/GPetter.html, or just google Gugger Petter.

Also interesting to note the prices that the weavings are listed for,  something that we emerging weavers need to learn about and take note of.

So back to the MOCFA’s sad news – they felt that they couldn’t keep the doors open in the financial climate in the States right now. Due to drastic cuts to arts funding, the beautiful gallery on Yerba Buena Lane which did so much to promote craft and educate is silent.

 

– Christine Thomson

Maximo Laura

Maximo Laura is a tapestry artist who truly reflects his cultural heritage. Based in Lima, look Peru, information pills Laura was raised in a weaving environment and also uses the force of his culture’s narrative to inspire and inform his work. His tapestries are currently in Canada in Oakville, Ontario, in the 2012 Festival Exhibition “Myth Making”.
The website ” Threads Festival ( see link attached) brings world fibre artists to your email once a month. It is a worthwhile link to have in your computer! http://www.worldofthreadsfestival.com/artist_interviews/083_maximo_laura_12.html

-Christine T