Category Archives: Contextural group
Still not the whole thing as i am finding it hard to find a good spot for space and light!
And now it’s time to turn my thoughts to new work. I have goals again, one of them being not to get SO immersed in something that it becomes a Herculean effort to finish! I’d like to work a bit smaller again, with colour and more sculptural (ly?).
Probably my last post of the year, so i wish you all the best in whatever *you* wish/plan/desire/do. See ya on the other side of the calendar.
I can’t believe how slow i was with this one! Started at the beginning of April, i had some real time lapse moments–as in, i let it lapse in time to work on! Don’t know why i had such a block with it: Padded Cell took 7 months, and it was at least as much stitching as this one, give or take a hundred hours! *I sort of kept track at the beginning of how much time i was putting into the handwork, and gave up at around 142 hours–add another 76.675459 or so, and that means a lot of myopic moments!
So, nine months later, here it is, “A Birth of Silence”.
We are losing our habitats, our rivers, indeed much of our planet, to irresponsible stewardship, on global and personal levels. Without pollinators, our food supply and natural reserves will be devastated. I have chosen to represent these necessary life forces in “A Birth of Silence”. Bees hover around a butterfly egg, the honeycombs and pollen grains are suspended in space, perhaps to disappear forever. Without the key element of pollinators in the world, there will indeed be a colossal birth of silence, a death rather, of everything we need and desire in our world.
I am truly horrified by how even locally this mismanagement is so striking. I learned this past week that my beloved Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and the local “wildlife habitat” area are in jeopardy of becoming simply open spaces with no real natural benefit to the local ecosystem. Invasive plants, non-native plants, no water in the marsh areas, plowing over the area that was used as flood mitigation repair which opens it to more invasive and non beneficial plant life, plowing which also destroyed the natural land formations of small hills and barrows and all of the trees remaining after the flood, no long term plantings for birds and small mammal food supplies and nesting/shelter areas, removal of beaver populations, improper stewardship of new plantings, construction of touristy buildings and well meaning but spurious “art projects” gawdz, the list goes on and on……….I suspect some eco-activist action
may will be upcoming in my future.
Through the local fibre arts group Contextural, this will be part of an exhibition at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta. X3 features 3 organizations on the cutting edge of fine craft: Alberta Potters’ Association, Contextural Fibre Arts Cooperative and the Nina Haggerty Centre.
This is the starting fabric, the base, created in my 2012 residency at ACAD. I had deliberately done large pieces, intending to use them as start points for future work. (Some of these are still sitting in the stoodio, waiting for inspiration.) You never know where these will lead you until the time is ripe. Through the last few years, my intent is faster than the implementation though, truly “Slow Cloth”! (Note though, “slow cloth” is NOT just about hand work–it’s about intent and commitment.) I know too that sometimes–for me at least–my ideas can’t come to fruition until i have the skill set to make them real, whether it be a particular technique, or a concept, or a deep seated NEED to do that specific work.
I flipped the fabric though so the orientation is this way (hence the upside down ©) :
After exploring this technique for the past two years, i am still thrilled by the dimension and texture created.
I don’t yet have a photo of the whole hanging properly (the top 6″ of this is folded over behind), but am hoping to amend that by seeing it at the exhibition on January 16th–i might just finally show for an artist reception 😉 Measuring the final result with the draw-in and tension, the size is 36″ wide by 43″ height.
(I just realized, the conception, gestation and birth of this one was indeed 9 months……..)
*I don’t normally count the hours, but i was curious myself to see how much time does go into these works. It doesn’t make me any “better” than anyone else who puts time and serious effort into their art, but i had to laugh after seeing an article about a young man who puts THIRTYFIVE HOURS into each piece 😉 HA! There are many of us who put in much more than that!
Except that every time i look at it, i see another spot where a pollen grain could go! Fortunately, i am also a fan of void space on these works, so i THINK i can safely say there are *only* 6 left to do. Maybe 7. 8.12………………STOP!
Off my list by then, i also hope to have this finally finished!
There’s more done on this actually than the above photo from April 2014, but i want it outahere!
I am PRAYING that i have enough of this particular thread to finish! I’ve already gone through a full skein (36 yards) of my favourite Caron Waterlilies “Pebbles” colourway, and have less than a third of one left to finish two bees. I’ve ordered more (the last two in stock from my favourite thread supplier 123Stitch!!!), but if i run out, am also crossing my hoofies that they get here in time!!! The whole thing must be done by Dec end so that i can get it to the show organizer to go to Edmonton!
I always have it in my head too that the faster i stitch, the longer the thread will last, like i can fool it somehow…i don’t know how that works……..of course, it hasn’t actually to date…. 🙂
I love this thread because it goes well with anything iron and brazilwood dyed. Soft but with good colour changes, not too shade breaky, and easy to blend into natural dyeing, looking naturally dyed itself. Believe me, if i could, i’d figure out a way to dye this one……(Note to self: maybe…but not right now.)
My list is getting smaller. All the DNA strands are done, the bees all have antennae, there are only 1 and a half bees left to finish–and then on to the rest of the Countdown List!
The centre of the butterfly egg has really lovely raised texture and height—-partly planned and partly serendipity in attaching the whole.
Four hours yesterday and four today have resulted in most of the bees and pollen grains being done, the centre holes of the butterfly egg attached and the final vision for what this will be is cemented in my head.I had to push through to get enough done to photograph for our next Contextural show at the Alberta Craft Council in January. My eyes are so tired, but my fingers, while sore and pricked, are loving the textures.
No guarantee i’ll get into both of these, but unless you try–and DO THE WORK–you can’t submit, can you? With the group i am in locally (Contextural Fibre Arts Co-operative), there are two possible shows coming up next year, one at the Alberta Craft Council in Edmonton, and one at the Leighton Art Centre, near Millarville, Alberta. The first one is why i have been having periodic binges of stitching with “A Birth of Silence” for a planned “Organic Matters” theme. Admittedly though, i’m not doing so great with enough of the binges though………..A January deadline means get off my ass–or rather, ON my ass since i can’t stitch standing ;)— and “giter done”!
The second one will take place during the summer of 2016, and has us riffing off work we saw by Barbara Leighton, one of the founders of the art centre. (I wrote about that here as two posts.) I’ve been formulating and discarding ideas since that visit, about what i want to do, to portray, and which skills i have to complete the mission, but it wasn’t until yesterday morning at the train station that the lightbulb went on. I’d been thinking about an entirely different, perhaps overly ambitious, project and the pages of my notebook fell open to my Leighton scribbles and sketches, and suddenly, there it all was. (I love it when one’s ideas begin mixing and leaning on each other, fermenting and ripening.)
I’ll be sharing some of those ideas and samplings soon. All may migrate to the blog i have set up for when this one is “full” (approaching very soon, as with that pesky storage issue that all blogs have..) One thing we have also been asked to do with the Leighton show is to have smaller pieces that are reflective of the main gallery work, for sale in the gallery shop. I might start with those as they are also a good way of developing the ideas and approaches! I can then decide too what scale the exhibit pieces can be worked, as i have a diptych or triptych in mind.
And news from a “actual” exhibit: this, from the main SDA blog http://www.surfacedesign.org/newsblog/materialities-exhibition-catalog-showcases-strength-scope-of-sda-members-work
Asked to summarize the experience of reviewing such a wealth of work, Wiggers observed that “Through a range of processes, such as dyeing, weaving, embroidery, quilting and tapestry, the selected works demonstrate how SDA members conjoin surface and structure using textile-based techniques; engage decorative, ornamental and pictorial traditions; examine and critique culture and traditions; and push textiles from material to ephemeral limits through individual and collaborative creative practice.”
There are gallery photos, and though i can’t clearly see mine, i suspect it’s the fifth one over in the first shot on the left in that blog post. Can’t wait to receive my copy of the exhibition catalogue. It’s funny too how as you work a thing, it seems rather large and intensive, and then it gets hung and all of a sudden it’s teeny—-still intensive, but teeny!!!!!!!!