Rock on… Girl Gang Dance Party!

(skip to 6:53 to see the artist’s hands or click HERE)

Remember when you use to draw or make things when you were little, site then drop whatever you were doing as soon as you realized someone was watching you? Did you ever feel like while you were in your own space creating your own little world for the pleasure of yourself, then suddenly your were maybe violated? I use to feel that why doing most things on my own or with a friend or my sister, it breaks your zone having a audience but now I totally get why people get so fascinated by what we do as artists and craftsmen/women. Having taken glass or wheel throwing for an example I will happily admit I could watch someone else make stuff for hours!

I get the same pleasure watching as I do making, especially as I’ve come to accept I cant get material to do exactly what I want it to anyhow (Ive even begun to grow fond of my unintended experiments).  Our hand and eye ordination is just as interesting as our personal vices that we bring to our work.  Maybe this is just me admitting to myself this is just another case of me being unable to divide my attention between two or three things like watching TV or reading a book while making myself lunch (to be clear its not like I cant make grill cheese perfectly but I seem to continue to challenge myself to make it half attentively.)

So I hope I wont bore you into watching just a minute even of this Bert Haanstra video, but really watch the hands of  people making in it. Its like a dance that goes both unnoticed and unappreciated! Or you can just enjoy the jazz in your background.

Zo~

Cayce Zavaglia is a contemporary artist using embroidery techniques to create obsessively detailed portraits.  Her portraits are done with wool on lined canvas, hospital
traditional material for embroidery but considers herself to be a painter because the way that she layers colours and lines mimics the way she would layer colour and line if she were painting with a brush.

I am not usually one to be attracted to portrait work however Zavaglias portrait work stands out to me.  Painting is often a very forgiving medium to work with, buy it is easy to mix colours off of the canvas until the desired colour is produced or to mix and blend on the canvas until the desired result is achieved.  Achieving specific shades and tones of colour by layering threads takes time and practice and cannot easily be undone if the result was undesirable.  The process Zavaglia uses to create portraits makes the work interesting conceptually. In observing one of these portraits up close the labour is apparent, clinic large detailed portraits built up with layers and layers of short threads stitched together to create the illusion of depth and textures that suggest an intimate layered connection to the person in the portrait.

Greg and I- Hand Embroidery: One-Ply Cotton, Silk, and Wool on Raw Belgian Linen, 9 x 18 inches

– Karin
Hello Fibre Grads, Myocarditis
I have added writing resource links to the Grad Paper Resource Page including the Perdue OWL (Online Writing Lab). Feel like taking a break from writing your Grad Paper Outline? Have a look at this!

At the risk of assisting you to procrastinate, resuscitator
Ubu Web is amazing! (And just might count as “research”!)

-Mackenzie

Completed straight jacket, pills
before embroidery.

My current work revolves around the idea of creating garments that relate to individuals or moments in time. Garment portraits, so to speak. Through this work, I explore the relation between textiles and the human body, and connection between clothing and the individual. This exploration is combined with an interest in history (particularly histories pertaining to medical, mortuary, and the bizarre).

To date, I have created numerous garments that relate to individuals, or groups of. The majority of the garments have focused on “freaks”. To be clear, the celebrity and influence of the individuals in the American Sideshow. I used these garments as a way of focusing my admiration of these individuals, while also hearkening to the imagined anxieties, and concerns.  My work still refers to the sideshow, but the more I research, the more I am interested in specific moments in time, as well as how it relates to the individuals involved.

This current garment, I have drawn upon the history of psychiatric institutions, using the straight jacket as a vessel. The straight jacket was constructed, after drafting a very basic pattern. I hoped to emulate the appearance of a mid-20th century straight jacket. Now, I have gotten to the point that I have begun the embellishment.

The straight jacket is going to be covered in embroidery, inscribed with the words graffiti-ed on the walls of abandoned asylums. The idea of actual insanity versus imagined insanity fascinates me, as well as the idea that it is difficult to distinguish the two.

Work in progress; the embroidery detail on the straight jacket.

-Emmelia Taylor

Completed straight jacket, sanitary
before embroidery.

My current work revolves around the idea of creating garments that relate to individuals or moments in time. Garment portraits, site
so to speak. Through this work, I explore the relation between textiles and the human body, and connection between clothing and the individual. This exploration is combined with an interest in history (particularly histories pertaining to medical, mortuary, and the bizarre).

To date, I have created numerous garments that relate to individuals, or groups of. The majority of the garments have focused on “freaks”. To be clear, the celebrity and influence of the individuals in the American Sideshow. I used these garments as a way of focusing my admiration of these individuals, while also hearkening to the imagined anxieties, and concerns.  My work still refers to the sideshow, but the more I research, the more I am interested in specific moments in time, as well as how it relates to the individuals involved.

This current garment, I have drawn upon the history of psychiatric institutions, using the straight jacket as a vessel. The straight jacket was constructed, after drafting a very basic pattern. I hoped to emulate the appearance of a mid-20th century straight jacket. Now, I have gotten to the point that I have begun the embellishment.

The straight jacket is going to be covered in embroidery, inscribed with the words graffiti-ed on the walls of abandoned asylums. The idea of actual insanity versus imagined insanity fascinates me, as well as the idea that it is difficult to distinguish the two.

Work in progress; the embroidery detail on the straight jacket.

-Emmelia Taylor

Completed straight jacket, buy before embroidery.

My current work revolves around the idea of creating garments that relate to individuals or moments in time. Garment portraits, seek so to speak. Through this work, noun
I explore the relation between textiles and the human body, and connection between clothing and the individual. This exploration is combined with an interest in history (particularly histories pertaining to medical, mortuary, and the bizarre).

To date, I have created numerous garments that relate to individuals, or groups of. The majority of the garments have focused on “freaks”. To be clear, the celebrity and influence of the individuals in the American Sideshow. I used these garments as a way of focusing my admiration of these individuals, while also hearkening to the imagined anxieties, and concerns.  My work still refers to the sideshow, but the more I research, the more I am interested in specific moments in time, as well as how it relates to the individuals involved.

This current garment, I have drawn upon the history of psychiatric institutions, using the straight jacket as a vessel. The straight jacket was constructed, after drafting a very basic pattern. I hoped to emulate the appearance of a mid-20th century straight jacket. Now, I have gotten to the point that I have begun the embellishment.

The straight jacket is going to be covered in embroidery, inscribed with the words graffiti-ed on the walls of abandoned asylums. The idea of actual insanity versus imagined insanity fascinates me, as well as the idea that it is difficult to distinguish the two.

Work in progress; the embroidery detail on the straight jacket.

-Emmelia Taylor

Completed straight jacket, hospital before embroidery.

My current work revolves around the idea of creating garments that relate to individuals or moments in time. Garment portraits, so to speak. Through this work, I explore the relation between textiles and the human body, and connection between clothing and the individual. This exploration is combined with an interest in history (particularly histories pertaining to medical, mortuary, and the bizarre).

To date, I have created numerous garments that relate to individuals, or groups of. The majority of the garments have focused on “freaks”. To be clear, the celebrity and influence of the individuals in the American Sideshow. I used these garments as a way of focusing my admiration of these individuals, while also hearkening to the imagined anxieties, and concerns.  My work still refers to the sideshow, but the more I research, the more I am interested in specific moments in time, as well as how it relates to the individuals involved.

This current garment, I have drawn upon the history of psychiatric institutions, using the straight jacket as a vessel. The straight jacket was constructed, after drafting a very basic pattern. I hoped to emulate the appearance of a mid-20th century straight jacket. Now, I have gotten to the point that I have begun the embellishment.

The straight jacket is going to be covered in embroidery, inscribed with the words graffiti-ed on the walls of abandoned asylums. The idea of actual insanity versus imagined insanity fascinates me, as well as the idea that it is difficult to distinguish the two.

Work in progress; the embroidery detail on the straight jacket.

-Emmelia Taylor
Steven Cottingham has written a piece on Melinda Topilko, tooth
Peter Britton, health
and Lindsay Joy’s Girl Gang Dance Party…

Each stall provides a visitor with a different form of unloading or banishing, different ways to take control. Emotional burdens and desperate secrets can be pinned down, captured in the shackles of language, written on slips of paper and released into a glowing toilet bowl. Another stall has been converted into a photo booth, wherein the unsure and the shy (and possibly the distressed, the wounded, the mascara-streaked refugees) can photograph themselves on disposable cameras. The film cameras are an important touch, here. The time it takes to develop the resulting photographs means we are not granted an instantaneous image to judge. Superficial self-deprecation is precluded. We cannot critique the frozen absurdity of our own face as soon as the shutter closes, as we can when enacting selfies on our iPhones or webcams. We will be equally imperfect when the developed images are posted online. We will be equally beautiful in our naturality.

Read the whole post HERE…

-Mackenzie

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

 

 

Pauline Macura Brown | Wounds, Scars, Recovery

My work is informed by an exploration of my own identity as a first generation Canadian of Polish ancestry, pill an ancestry that has been overshadowed by my father’s WWII experience. As with many war veterans’ offspring: the second generation of post- memory, resuscitator my history is one of silence. Using laborious production techniques (such as knitting, order sewing and embroidery) combined with conventional drawing and painting, I interrupt the silence of the past to make audible the hidden, forgotten and overlooked histories that haunt and continue to haunt even in generations that did not experience the trauma of war.

Pauline Macura Brown’s exhibition at the Marion Nicol Gallery opens this Thursday at 5 pm. See you there.

Extended Studies Fibre Courses

THE MUMMERS PARTY combines theatrical staging with sculptural knitted installation in an invested exploration of cultural identity, women’s health folklore and craft practice. Referring to the traditional folk practice of mumming, bronchitis a lively and often drunken affair made popular in Newfoundland & Labrador, the figures of THE MUMMERS PARTY are not rowdy, they are haunted. Pulling inspiration from David Blackwood’s iconic The Mummer’s Veil print works, this exhibition explores the tension between comfort and oddity, humour and unease – a sentiment commonly felt by those who have witnessed or experienced mumming first hand.

Suzen Green’s exhibition The Mummers Party opens tomorrow night at 8 pm at Stride Gallery in Calgary Alberta. The exhibition runs until October 5, 2012.

ACAD Fibre Alumnus Suzen Green is teaching two exciting courses, Migraine
Rug Hooking Basics and Knitting in the Studio  for ACAD Extended Studies. More information HERE

For a full calendar of courses offered this Fall+Winter 2012/13, click here. You can register for courses offered through Extended Studies by checking out their website or calling 403-284-7640.

Suzen Green | The Mummers Party

THE MUMMERS PARTY combines theatrical staging with sculptural knitted installation in an invested exploration of cultural identity, more about folklore and craft practice. Referring to the traditional folk practice of mumming, a lively and often drunken affair made popular in Newfoundland & Labrador, the figures of THE MUMMERS PARTY are not rowdy, they are haunted. Pulling inspiration from David Blackwood’s iconic The Mummer’s Veil print works, this exhibition explores the tension between comfort and oddity, humour and unease – a sentiment commonly felt by those who have witnessed or experienced mumming first hand.

Suzen Green’s exhibition The Mummers Party opens tomorrow night at 8 pm at Stride Gallery in Calgary Alberta. The exhibition runs until October 5, 2012.

-Mackenzie Frère

Tapestry by Jane Kidd and ACAD Alumni at Alberta Craft Council

Throughout my career as an artist I have explored ideas that reference my experience of the world. To do this I have chosen to work almost exclusively with the process of woven tapestry. I find Tapestry to be a compelling medium partially because it provides a means to develop content through imagery. I am also drawn to the material identity of tapestry and I am committed to finding meaning and relevance in the process of handwork.

Within my practice I employ handwork as a human centered activity that embraces risk and invention to create the potential for originality. I value skillful making and disciplinarily knowledge as a link to history and the tradition of makers. I see the labour intensive nature of my process as an embodiment of time that creates a metaphoric reference to the accumulated weight of experience and history and provides a counterpoint to the temporal nature of contemporary society. I am willing to invest in hand processes as a way to pay attention and focus on the issues that I care about. READ MORE…

See more of Kidd’s work on her website.

A second exhibition curated by Kidd, population health Negotiating Traditions: Five Approaches to Contemporary Tapestry is running concurrently with her exhibition in the Alberta Craft Council Feature Gallery

Negotiating Tradition: Five Approaches In Contemporary Tapestry brings together five artists working with the demanding process of tapestry weaving, buy Jolie Bird, emergency Murray Gibson, Judy Brown, Linda Wallace and Melissa Wong. Throughout their post secondary education these artists negotiated the use of the traditional materials and processes associated with tapestry weaving within the context of contemporary art and craft. Each has developed a dynamic contemporary practice that embraces the material identity of tapestry and acknowledges tapestries narrative traditions. Narrative or story telling is central to the European tapestry tradition; these contemporary artists employ narrative with literal, symbolic and psychological intent. READ MORE…

Shannon Stratton Appointed Critical Studies Fellow

Jessi Fraser

The third-year Weaving two class has been working hard over the past two weeks producing samples and full pieces with over six metres woven so far. It is very exciting to see the cloth grow as it travels to the cloth beam at the back of the loom. In this picture you can see the reverse (which is actually the front) of some weaving by Fibre major Jessi Fraser.

Amber Johnston

The loom has performed very well with only a few hiccups (Tara and Mackenzie can now replace bent hooks without breaking a sweat!) Here you can see one of two panels being woven today by Sculpture major Amber Johnston. This work will be cut from the loom this Friday for finishing before Monday’s critique. More to follow…
ACAD Fibre alumnus Shannon Stratton has recently been appointed Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Bloomfield Hills, shop MI — Cranbrook Academy of Art is pleased to announce the appointment of the Chicago-based curator and critic Shannon Stratton as the Critical Studies Fellow for the 2012-2013 academic year. Operating as a critic at-large at the Academy, recipe Ms. Stratton will meet directly with students to promote dialogue on issues of prominence in the world of art and design. The general public will also be invited to meet Shannon Stratton and hear about her work during two public lectures at Cranbrook in the fall of 2012. Read more…

Valentina Drag Ball next Friday!

Hello everyone!

As you may be aware the Valentina Drag Ball is only a week away! This event is a fundraiser for the Jasmine Valentina Herron Scholarship. All proceeds from the Valentina Drag Ball will go towards a scholarship to benefit ACAD students in honour of Jasmine Valentina Herron. The event will be held Friday February 17 at 7:00 pm in the ACAD Main Mall and the Candahar Bar in the Illingworth Kerr Gallery.

The evening will feature performances by Sleepy Panther, melanoma Cluster Fox and the DJ stylings of J Waddell. Tickets to the event are only $5 if you come in drag, and $10 if not in drag.

Can’t make it but still want to contribute to the scholarship fund?

Please consider making a donation by cheque today. Cheques should be made payable to The Alberta College of Art & Design. Indicate in the memo line that your donation is for the Jasmine Valentina Herron Scholarship.

Cheques should be mailed to:

Office of Advancement
Alberta College of Art & Design
1407 – 14 Avenue NW
Calgary, AB   T2N 4R3

In order to receive a charitable tax receipt, ensure your cheque includes your name address and phone number.

Thank you for your support and see you at the Ball!

Tea for One | Jolie Bird

ACAD Fibre alumnus Jolie Bird has a new website.

My art practice is grounded in Textiles, a time-honoured medium that requires dexterity, intellect and intuition. Textiles are both visual and tactile in nature; process and materials become intertwined with concept. I am interested in the dichotomies that exist within textiles: simple techniques translate to complex patterns, ancient technology is used to represent contemporary imagery and a required dedication to craftsmanship in a time when machines and efficiency are the norm. My studio practice continues to explore these specific contrasts and the tensions, both visual and conceptual, that arise through a range of techniques and process.

Fibre Alumnus Shannon Stratton Featured

Shannon Stratton spends her days doing a lot of unsexy work. Yes, here there is unsexy work in the art world. It isn’t all Art Miami all the time, hemorrhoids and thank goodness for that. Because although the style blogs and even certain art critics might suggest otherwise, decadence isn’t the new meaningful.

As executive and creative director of ThreeWalls, one of Chicago’s most vital visual arts organizations, Stratton writes grants, raises money and does whatever else it takes to make sure the organization she co-founded in 2003 “has all four legs screwed into the table,” as she put it in a recent telephone conversation. In a city more famous for temporary apartment galleries than stable, supportive small-scale art centers, eight solid years of exhibitions, residencies, artist grants, publications, conferences and commissions is something to celebrate. READ MORE…

Marcel Proust asks Lindsay Joy some questions*

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Not being afraid

What is your greatest fear?
Everybody

What historical artist do you most identify with?
Maybe Agnes Richter.  She was a patient in an asylum in Austria in the early 20th century. She made herself a jacket out of institutional linen to fit her body  specifically, cough even hunched to one side the way that she hunched.  It was completely covered in mostly indistinguishable embroidered text, view inside and out.  I identify with the obsessive stitching quite a bit right now.  When I realized I’d finished the work for my current show in the Marion Nicoll +15 space, I had this horrible sinking feeling that I needed to keep going until the very end, even though I already had six more pieces than I’d proposed.  

What living artist do you most admire?
“Most” is so absolute.  I change my mind all the time about artists and things.  I’m really interested in Sophie Calle right now, mostly because I can’t figure out how I feel about her following people around and trying on their clothes.  I find wondering if the person is batshit insane or just being arty very intriguing.  I had a similar reaction to Ashley Neese’s early work where she described something she’d done and you have to trust her documentation.  Are you genuine or just crazy?

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I don’t know how to stand up for myself.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Unbridled enthusiasm

What is your greatest extravagance?
Sleep.  Also, I can’t stand bad coffee, even if I’m completely broke (like uh, now.)  

On what occasion do you lie?
When I’m embarrassed about what I’m afraid of. (i.e. “Did you call for the reservation?”)

When and where were you/are you happiest?
When I’m around people I understand and who understand me.  Location-wise, the last time that all clicked I was in Montreal visiting an old friend.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I’m afraid answering something about anxiety would make me boring.  If I was taller I could reach things on high shelves, however, and people wouldn’t talk to me like I was 8 years old. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I haven’t given up yet.

If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?
Knowing my luck it would be something like a hamburger.  *Shakes fist at ironic universe*

What is your most treasured possession?
My hands.  I have reoccurring dreams about losing them or the ability to use them.  I’ve also had disturbing dreams about people I care about losing their hands.  

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I’m not sure, but it probably has something to do with “Soak Up The Sun” by Sheryl Crow. 

What is it that you most dislike?
I’m not sure how to answer this, so I will make it about art, since I haven’t talked about art enough in this art blog interview.  I really dislike when people make things that are supposed to be shocking but don’t add anything to the conversation.  And please stop making vaginas, everyone.  Please.  

What is your motto?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ytCEuuW2_A

Lindsay Joy is a recent graduate from the ACAD Fibre Department. Her exhibition Anxiety is currently on view at the Marion Nicoll Gallery +15 Window at the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts. She also has a blog where she says pithy things.

*These questions are adapted from Vanity Fair magazine’s Proust Questionnaire. “The 19th century parlour game popularized by contemporaries of Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, was believed to reveal an individual’s true nature.”