Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Show Prep

This week I am down in Fort MacMurray, AB prepping and installing my show - Silk Caravanna   - that will be on display here for a month.  I am installing eight 39 FOOT panels to create a giant lantern as well as creating 24 3D silk butterflies.  We are at 2 days to set up....

I'll post progress photos as we go along....

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Craft vs Art a final solution?

In the UK, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport are currently proposing dropping craft from their list of creative industries. "We recognise that high-end craft occupations contain a creative element, but the view is that in the main, that these roles are more concerned with the manufacturing process, rather than the creative process.".  This in effect removes craft work from funding opportunities, drops the value /price of high end craft work and otherwise ghettoizes crafts in the arts community.  This concerns me.

Here are the 5 key questions that have been created to determine if your work qualifies as creative work.... 

1. Novel process - Does the role most commonly solve a problem or achieve a goal, even one that has been established by others, in novel ways? Even if a well-defined process exists which can realise a solution, is creativity exhibited at many stages of that process?

 2. Mechanisation resistant - The very fact that the defining feature of the creative industries is their use of a specialised labour force shows that the creative labour force clearly contributes something for which there is no mechanical substitute.

3. Non-repetitiveness or non-uniform function - Does the transformation which the occupation effects likely vary each time it is created because of the interplay of factors, skills, creative impulse and learning?

4. Creative contribution to the value chain - Is the outcome of the occupation novel or creative irrespective of the context in which it is produced; one such context being the industry (and its standard classification) of the organisational unit that hosts or employs the role? For example, a musician working on a cruise ship (a transport industry) is still creative while a printer working within a bank is probably operating printing technology and hence would be considered mechanistic and not creative.

5. Interpretation, not mere transformation - does the role do more than merely 'shift' the service or artefacts form or place or time? For instance, a draughtsperson/CAD technician takes an architect's series of 2D drawings and renders them into a 3D model of the building. While great skill and a degree of creative judgement are involved, arguably the bulk of the novel output is generated by the architect and not by the draughtsperson.

 Hmm, let me ask these questions of MY "craft" work...

Hand painted/dyed silk scarves - no, yes, yes, yes, yes
Wet felting - no, no, yes, yes, yes
Ceramics - no, yes, yes, yes, yes

But what if my work was...

Bulk dying of silk - no, no, yes, no, yes
Wet felting "blocks" for other purposes - no, no, no, yes, yes
Making purses from felts - no, no, no, no, no
Ceramic bowls - no, no, no, no, no


Thursday, April 18, 2013

New group show opens tomorrow

I am excited to be one of the invited artists in this show opening tomorrow...

I have two pieces - one in the main gallery and one in the black light gallery.  here is a bit more about each one...

Poison Patch

Materials: Hand felted fish, knitted plastic shopping bags, wood tray and hand-dyed simulated roe

Inspiration: The plastic of the great pacific garbage patch is slowly killing our oceans.  Many fish are trapped beneath the patch and although they continue to spawn, their roe dye from lack of nutrients.  There is no hidden story here.

This is an interactive piece.  Over the duration of the show, the simulated roe will dry up to further the point of life erosion.

Atlas Shrugs

Materials: hand-felted wool globe, plastic army men.

Inspiration:  Recent news of North Korea and other nations building and or/rebuilding weapons stores and continued military presence around the world had me thinking of a world with no army men.  Could we survive?  Do we stand on their shoulders  or do we dye from their wounds?

Pictures will follow after the show opens...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Heritage Art Show

The City of Yellowknife holds a themed Heritage Art Competition each year.  Last year I was honoured to have my piece selected for purchase by the City for their permanent collection.

This year the theme was immigration and I submitted a wool and tin sculpture called "Stasis".

I am very pleased to say that again the City has purchased my piece for their permanent collection and it will be on display at the Public Library.