Monday, September 22, 2008

fibreworks 2008 and Cambridge Galleries

The variety is great, the method of working varied and blending traditional with the experimental. Kate Jackson's embroidered Kleenex' is just one example of this blending. Fibreworks 2008 which opened at the Cambridge Galleries Queen's Square location on September 6th and runs until October 26th is well worth the trip to Cambridge Ontario.

Kate Jackson, “I won’t treat my tears like tissue” 2008, Hand-embroidery, facial tissue, cardstock, plastic, 22 x l0 x 18cm. Artist Statement: Tears and snot are worthy of a handkerchief. Having spent a great deal of time crying recently and not having a hankie to catch the tears, I watched my emotions get taken out with the trash. Tears should be embraced, calmed, sweetened, and soothed. They should fall into something beautiful.

Once there visiting the three Library Galleries, Queen Square, featuring fibreworks 2008 and Toque by Janet Morton. Then diagonally across the square to the Riverside at 7 Melville St. S. where Radiant Dark a collection of contemporary Canadian furniture and household objects curated by Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson of MADE (designer object store in Toronto) runs until October 19th (they are lecturing there on October 1 at 6:30). The third library Gallery is in Preston at 435 King Street E. and is currently featuring Dave Hind: Salvaged Landscapes September 13 - November 02, 2008, Hind's work could be pieced and appliquéd quilts but its not, it is intricately pieced and riveted aluminium creating intriguing detail urban landscapes. Visit David Hind’s website to see more of his work

Once you are in the Cambridge area you should drop by the Hespeler Library at 5 Tannery Street East where you can see the hand woven 6 X 90 meter drapery composed of a Japanese yarn of nylon and linen paper, which was then dyed. The Libraries and Galleries put out a call for entry for the design and production of the drapery with the theme of Natural Surroundings, and it was designed and constructed by Lesley Armstrong and Anke Fox of Armstrong Fox Textiles from Nova Scotia to read more about the Hespeler Library building project go to Canadian Architect Magazine .

On Saturday September 20 the official opening of Fibreworks 08 Biennial Exhibition of Canadian Fibre Arts took place. This exhibition was juried by J. Lynn Campbell (visual artist) Melanie Egan (Head of Craft at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto) and Chris Mitchell (Exhibition Coordinator Gladstone Hotel in Toronto). Cambridge Galleries curator Ivan Jurakic presided over the event introducing the galleries connections to the textile history of the region, its commitment to showcase and collect contemporary Textile and Fibre work by Canadian artist and after introducing Chris Mitchell he announced the Juror’s Choice award and runner up awards and the artist that were in attendance

Photo from left to right, Ryan Hughes, Jurors Choice for “Lifetime supply”2008, Angela Silver, Jurors Choice runner up for “Residuum” 2006, Ivan Jurakic, Li Chai, Jurors choice for Dermoid Tumor 1 2004-2008. Chris Mitchell standing to the side with unknown man back of her and Janet Morton with unknown woman to far right


Juror's Choice Award

Ryan Hughes, Lifetime Supply, 2008, Cotton swabs, expanded polystyrene, 66 x 100 x 50cm

Lifetime Supply is literally a giant ear made out of 29, 200 cotton swabs (Q-tips). It is modeled after the artist’s right ear and the size is determined by his individual consumption of this household product, if he were to use one per day and live to the age of 80. In addition to its materiality, an extra ridge along the top of this piece adds a head to the human figure stretching within the organic folds of the ear, plus the collection of so many cotton swabs in tight formation acts as a baffle that absorbs sound.

Juror’s Choice runner up

Angela Silver, Residuum, 2006, 230 Spools, wood, plastic, cut text, white glue, 285 x 72 x 4 cm

An installation of fabric spools wrapped with strands of finely cut alphabetic text. The conceptual underpinnings of the work examine literary experimentalism, time, labour and futility. The prototype for Residuum began in 2003 with 125 spools. The complete series of 250 spools was finished in 2006 and has not yet been exhibited in its entirety. For this exhibition, 230 of the 250 spools have been installed.

Juror's Choice runner up

LI CHA: Dermoid Tumor, 2004-2008 Serged thread 150 x 150 x6 cm Dermoid Tumor! began to grow in the end of 2004. It is an ongoing piece...

LI CHA standing by her piece and in front of Barbra Hobots piece Killux

Killux 2008, Sheepskin 305 x 320 x 10cm Killux is part of a series of sheepskin wall-hangings that employ symbols of power. The silhouette of a crown is used in this piece as a sign of control, dominance and authority. Constructed entirely of sheepskin clippings backed onto canvas, the scraps of skin allude to violence, vulnerability and power imbalances. A connection is made between the decadence of the Colonial-inspired crown, extreme violence, and the tacit acceptance of that violence. By combining this symbol of power with pieced together furs, the work suggests an abuse of authority.

Along with the Jury Awards the Cambridge Galleries purchase pieces from the biannual exhibition to add to their permanent collection

Kathryn Walter, 5 yard Vessels, 2008, Industrial felt (95% wool), Various dimensions5 yard Vessels shows off the versatile sculptural quality of industrial felt. Each stacked unit is made from one strip of felt that is 3/8 of an inch thick, 1 inch wide and 5 yards long. Vessels represent my ongoing exploration of manipulating single lengths or sections of felt into an array of objects and wares.

Sylvia Kind, 9 impossibly small sweaters, 2007, Knit wool, zippers, buttons, Various dimensions.

In this series of small hand-knit and densely felted sweaters, I played with the idea of limitations and distortions. Like these sweaters — impossibly small, distorted, and unwearable - we live together within varying constraints that both limit and invite negotiation. The individual sweaters were created with holes, openings, long necks, extra arms and other unexpected constructions.

Artist in this exhibition come from across the country: Keith William Bentley: Toronto, ON, Li Chai: Etobicoke, ON. Gabriel Dawe: Verdun, QC, Daniel Desaulniers: Toronto, ON Caitlin Erskine-Smith: Toronto, ON, Dianne Fries: Waterloo, ON., Sonia Haberstich: Hudson QC., Kate Hampel: Montreal QC, Barbara Hobot: Kitchener, ON, Ryan Hughes: Montreal, QC, Kate Jackson: Toronto, ON, Tricia Johnson: London , ON, Keith: Calgary, AB, Jane Kidd: Calgary, AB, Sylvia Kind: Vancouver BC, Valerie Knapp: Toronto, ON, Amanda McCavour: Toronto, ON, Dorie Millerson: Toronto, ON, Marija Nakic, Montreal QC, Ali Nickerson: Montreal, QC, Nicole Panneton: Montreal, QC, Tina Poplawski: Montreal, QC, Kathryn Ruppert-Dazai: Toronto, ON, Reeta Saeed: Toronto, ON, Joyce Seagram: Toronto, ON, Roma Shafer: Calgary, AB, Angela Silver: Calgary, AB, Marjorie Siska: Calgary, AB, Catherine Telford-Keogh: Brampton, ON, Wally: Calgary, AB, Yvonne Wakabayashi: Burnaby, BC, Kathryn Walter: Toronto, ON
Below are images of some pieces I found interesting along with their accompanying artist statements

Marija Nakic The Circle of Fibre, 2008, Textile, embroidery, printed paper, 40 x 40 x 5 cm

Thinking about textile fibre I got an idea about a different kind of fibre that has became such an important part of our daily lives — the dietary fibre used by our body. It comes from plants, as fibre for textiles and paper. That’s how I got the idea to combine the three together. The dietary fibre we eat, we consume, we need as a health ingredient but also as a fashion trend imposed by beauty magazines. We try to stuff ourselves with it and afterwards it goes through our intestines and comes out as waste, or if we really think about it, as non digested fibre again. Eventually it gets back into the soil and new plants will grow in it...

Tricia Johnson, All they have are themselves and a piece of paper, 2008, Rubber stamped text on braided Kozo paper, 131 x l38 x l8cm

All they have are themselves and a piece of paper is an object braided from 7mm strips of blue hand stamped Kozo paper. Two references points have coalesced in this work - a text written by John Baldessari and an excerpt from Sylvia Plath’s novel ‘The Bell Jar”.

In “The Bell Jar”, the protagonist marvels at the workmanship her boyfriend’s mother puts into a braided rug, only for it to end up on the floor, soiled and dirty in days. Baldessari’s text, which is physically stamped onto the paper, discusses the bloody-mindedness of making art.
The paper strips have faded from the sun to varying degrees, depending on how long they waited to be stamped. After stamping, the strips have been braided and manipulated into an oval form. The overall object has become ‘wavy’ on its own accord as braided strips have been added.As a work in progress, it’s currently 29 x 26 1/2 inches and growing.

Reeta Saeed, Tea Nap2, 2007, Silk screen print on cotton, 46 x 115 cm
The series of tea naps are made of found tea napkins. For the artist, the humorous part is that maps of London underground and the British flag is printed on napkins used for tea. In London, tea breaks in offices and universities are commonly practiced and such items are not unusual. These napkins are not only funny but they describe English lifestyle and culture.
I have played with the threads of napkins by removing it from certain areas. It’s done by hand, with the pulling of each thread. This process is lengthy and time consuming. It’s the opposite of weaving. Deconstructing the material gradually, giving it new shape, form and image.

Reeta Saeed is also in the Dyed Roots: The New Emergence of Culture at the MOCCA in Toronto

Jane Kidd, Possession Series: Imprint/Impact #3, 2006, Woven Tapestry, 60 x 140cm

The tapestries in the Possession Series explore the implications of accumulating, collecting and displaying objects from material culture and the natural world. In this series I am interested in the human desire to possess and assimilate the natural world into material culture and recreate nature under human control through translation into the decorative, systems of notation and collection. I have been influenced by 16 century cabinets of curiosities and later natural history collections that bring into question the relationship between knowledge and control and that reflect our continuing anthropocentric attitude to the natural world.

Roma Shafer, Crazy Horse, 2007, Rug hook on rug backing, 84 x 67 cm

Crazy Horse is a wall hanging made by using traditional rug hooking techniques. The horse motif, as Roma explains, references life growing up in rural Alberta. Drawn from her imagination, Roma’s dramatic colour scheme brings this piece to life; “It makes me think of spring of summer,” she says, and “I like horses.”

This piece, which took Roma two years to complete, was exhibited as part of the 2007 “Creative Living Show” at the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede. During this event Crazy Horse was awarded a first place ribbon in recognition of her contribution to Western arts and culture.

Out of all the work in Fibreworks 08, Crazy Horse made me grin from ear to ear, its whimsy and light heartedness. It is a very mixed bag of approaches and results the jurors shifted through the work of 180 artist to come up with the 35 works by 32 artist. The show again proves that the interest in working with fibre and textiles is strong and diverse in Canada.

No comments: