Thursday, February 22, 2007

Its All About Play

Images provided by IDS07 and used with permission

Decisions Decisions

It is Thursday morning and I am preparing for a tare around town that officially begins at 5 pm with the media preview (yes fibreQUARTERLY is now officially considered Media, perhaps not mass, but media none the less) of the Interior Design Show 07 . This weekend in Toronto is about Interior/ living and working space, not “art”. That however is a vast arena in which independent artisan /craft producers working with fibre and textiles have a growing presence. It is also a world unto itself and can appear intimidating both in terms of breaking into the market as a producer moving out of “craft market” (high end or local guild sale in a park or church basement) which has been the traditional outlet for this type of work. It is also a seemingly hostile world for the non “branded” item. Mostly it’s a world worth exploring at many levels.

twig fabric

My interest in the Interior Design show this year is specific in that I want to re-acquaint myself with Armstrong and Fox Textiles , weavers from Nova Scotia who where at the One of A Kind Show a couple of years ago. A professional association at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design brought them together joined forces in 2004 and formed Armstrong Fox Textiles to pursue the creation of beautiful woven products made from high-quality yarn with an appeal to customers who want to express themselves in unique and tactile clothing. This past year they were select finalist and were awarded the job in the Hespeler Libraries Drapery Competition. While their clothing and accessories business has been growing in reputation with nominations in prestigious international design awards such as the International Fashion Group “Rising Star Awards” I am looking forward to seeing what they have brought to interior design.

ink Carpet (in house design team) from Weavers Art

Another exhibitor who is a mainstay of this event is Weavers Art a company that puts artist designed carpets, rugs and wall work into corporate and private interiors. They have been helpful to me recently providing information and contacts with artist while I have been working on the first component of Textiles as Public Art web Gallery / directory (you can read the first instalment in “who made that” in fQ winter 2007) There will be other gems unnamed as usual and fQ is taken on the job of digging them out and bringing them to you.

Moving quickly from the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place over to the Gladstone Hotel at the corner of Gladstone and Queen Street West for Come Up to My Room which is now in its fourth year and will as usual (hopefully) have the feel of a parody of the overtly pretentious Interior Design Show (pretension is a good thing, if Interior Design becomes pedestrian we may have to look to illegal drugs for the jolt of adrenalin/ lust good design can cause) But don’t be fooled Come Up to My Room” along with providing an alterative presentation venue for small production/ one of a kind furniture and interior accessories makers it also in many cases works as installation work that explores a variety of

socio-political theatrical concepts of location, function and self. Not to mention pure fun.

Featured this year is ILAVSKA: A Celebration of the Lost Arts & Crafts of Grandmother a group show that will be moving from the Gladstone to Magic Pony at 694 Queen Street West from February 23- March 18.

That’s interior design dealt with for the moment but there are still decisions to be made about Friday night:

opening of World of threads Festival Feb 23- March 4, 2007

Ten days of Textile Arts in Oakville, Ontario

I highly recommend this new media innovator Joanna Berzowska ... one of thirty nine Canadians who make the world a better place...Maclean's 2006 Honour Roll

Speaks at the Kodak Lecture Series, Ryerson University on February 23rd at 7:30 pm

Also on Friday Textile Talk - 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Studio 109 at 401 Richmond Street West. All are welcome!! The cost is $10.00 ($8.00 for Associates)

This first Textile Talk will feature a visual presentation and talk by visiting artist *Nicole Dextras* , entitled *"Ephemeral Art"*. Nicole is a Vancouver based photographer, paper maker, and costume designer doing an art residency this month at Gibraltor Point Arts Centre.

Since you like me can’t be everywhere here are some links to sites with information about Joanna Berzowska

Well that’s it for now, its time to go out into latest blizzard that seems to be bringing Toronto to a stand still and may severally hamper getting anywhere over the next few days. So thank you world wide web ( as long as the power doesn’t go out here, parts of TO are blacked out at the moment)

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