NAKED CRAFT EXHIBITION
Art Gallery of Burlington: June 20 – September 6, 2015
Public Reception: Sunday, June 28, 2-4 pm.
Centre Materia (Quebec City): September 26 – November 28, 2015
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia: January 14 – April 10, 2016
The Naked Craft exhibition strips ideas of craft back down to four sub-themes that bridge the past and the present, Old Scotland and New Scotland, traditional and changing ideas. The following categories are intended to form a creative, open-minded focus on exploring disciplinary, theoretical, conceptual and methodological approaches to the discipline. This project provides a novel and timely approach to issues of production and consumption of craft from a range of historical and contemporary perspectives.
Under the theme of Do-it-Yourself: DIY, objects are related to the long and rich history of small craft and home improvement projects, of makers making with an ethos of self-sufficiency. In Down and Dirty: politics and materials the selected works highlight a personal or communal attachment with place, emphasize a sense of loss or displacement, or highlight renewed engagement or innovative development. Through New Positions; the work of current generations of makers, of all ages, who embrace new methods of craft production, and new terminology such as craftivism, yarn bombing, and sloppy craft are profiled. Finally, Tooling Up: new technologies and economies, contrasting a selection of makers who are exploring their tools and materials from new perspectives, putting into place challenging processes, interpreting new ways to understand their materials, and constructing new approaches and tools for their own purposes.
dO IT YOURSELF
Amanda McCavour (Canada)
McCavour holds a BFA from York University where she studied drawing and installation. Since 2007, she has participated in national and international exhibitions and has recently completed residencies at Harbourfront Centre’s Textile Studio in Toronto (ON), at Maison des Metiers D’art de Quebec in Quebec City (QC), at Struts Gallery in Sackville (NB) and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City (YK). In May of 2014 she completed her MFA in Fibers and Material Studies at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA.
McCavour uses a sewing machine to create thread drawings by tracing drawn lines with stitched lines. She renders solid objects transparent through a technique of sewing into water soluble fabric. In the project titled, Boxes, she recreates the cardboard fruit boxes she used to move from Toronto to Philadelphia and back again. Created on a 1 to 1 scale, these highly decorated moving boxes are made flat and are then assembled into three-dimensional box forms. This piece is about travel, transport and moving, export and economy contrasting stitching and embroidery with the mass produced object.
Amanda McCavour, Apple Box, 2015
Sarah Alford (Canada)
Sarah Alford (Fulbright Canada-US scholarship 2006) graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an MA in Visual and Critical Studies, and an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies. She has exhibited across Canada and in the United States, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Alford taught studio and art history classes at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and is currently a PhD candidate at Queen’s University in Art History, where she is investigating the relationship between pre-Darwinian botanical philosophy and Victorian design reform.
Alford creates pattern-works based on late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century architectural ornament and organicist theories of design. These pieces begin with images from Christopher Dresser’s lectures on art botany at Marlborough House in London between 1854 and 1856. The motifs slowly change as she makes new templates formed by the hot glue’s tendency to create its own lines as she draws. Dresser who was born in Scotland, had an ongoing and significant relationship with the glass firm James Couper and Sons in Glasgow, and designed glassware specifically for their ‘Clutha’ range of art glass, popularly thought to be named for the river Clyde. The vases from this collection exemplify late nineteenth-century industrial and craft processes in which the form, ornament, and material are inseparable—much like hot glue—which, when crafted according to its inherent material qualities, shines in its own vitality.
Sarah Alford, From Lectures on Art Botany No. 4 (detail), 2014-2015
Michael Hosaluk (Canada)
Michael Hosaluk is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts of Canada and a lifetime member of the Saskatchewan Crafts Council and Saskatchewan Woodworkers Guild. He is a founding member of the American Association of Woodturners and The Furniture Society. Hosaluk is the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Innovation in the Arts and Lifetime Achievement; awarded the prestigious Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Craft; and winner of the Premiers Prize for Excellence in Craft for Dimensions sponsored by the Saskatchewan Craft Council. His works can be found in permanent collections belonging to the Boston Museum of Fine Art and Queen Elisabeth II. He remains active in his community as a curator, educator and artist.
The works selected by the panel reflect the concept of this gathering of two countries in many media to experiment with collaboration that in turn will lead to friendship and connections globally. Bowl of Strange and Unusual Fruit is about how we are all in the same boat together yet we are so different from each other but our common interest is very similar. Movement of the objects in the vessel are like the changes that will occur on a daily basis through interaction, play and making. Birds of A Feather has a similar concept where our common interest migrate us together to interact, share and exchange knowledge, friendship and develop patterns of growth. The stitching reflects the division, yet obstacles can be overcome in many ways.
Michael Hosaluk, Bowl of Strange and Unusual Objects, 2013
Kevin Morris (Scotland)
Kevin Andrew Morris(b. Aberdeen, UK) graduated with BA Hons in Ceramic Design in 2010 from The Glasgow School of Art. He has gone on to exhibit his work nationally and internationally as well as curate and work with a range of artists, institutions and various public projects. He was selected for the Glasgow Life Visual Arts and Crafts Mentoring award (2014), and his work was featured as part of the Tallinn Applied Art Triennial The Art of Collecting in Estonia (2013). He has undertaken residencies at The Scottish Sculpture Workshop (2012), and with Djim Bergner in Eindhoven (2011).
Hunting for the Lost is directly based around his own family heritage, the work produced concerns his grandfather who was a fishing ghillie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Exploring objects from his collection, site visits and stories, Morris feels like he has achieved a connection with a man that he has never met. As well as furthering his understanding of his own practice-making work that engages with object, material and environment. The opportunity to discover the traditional crafts associated within fishingcommunities and how they interacted within their environment was captivating as was the challenge to translate this into his own practice.
Kevin Morris, Hunting for the Lost, 2015
Martin Campbell (Scotland)
Martin Campbell is a Glasgow-based designer maker. He grew up on the Hebridean island of Beinn nam Fadhla (Benbecula) among a community for which pragmatic resourcefulness and co-operation was everyday. These early experiences have strongly shaped his interests in creativity and making. After graduating from the Edinburgh College of Art in 2011, he established ‘The Rag and Bone Workshop’ which initiates creative collaborations, community based skill-sharing and provides a platform for hisown design work to be showcased. “Two key elements shape my creative practice: a hands-on approach to designing and making, and a focus on collaborative making. Through my practice, I endeavour to make objects with an element of surprise and delight.”
This bench is made from all natural materials: Scottish hardwoods and Hebridean sheep wool woven through a peg loom. The hollowed out seats are hand carved and their positioning suggests how two people might interact with the bench. The design is stripped back and functional, with even the decorative parts having served a function. For example, the visible marks of the maker’s chisel and the woven fabric act as both simple-yet-pleasing decoration, and evidence of human interaction. This suggestion of a previous encounter gives the bench a poetic narrative.
Martin Campbell, Weave Sat Together, 2015
Jennifer Cantwell (Scotland)
Jennifer Cantwell is a designer, maker, cutter, stitcher, conceptual knitter, scribbler of lines. Fascinated by the daily bombardment of images, concepts + information and how it interacts with the natural world, Cantwell uses traditional handskills and combines them with unrelated materials and methods to make collage based installations, wall pieces and objects. Her current work concentrates on turning nature into a product, real and virtual, working with knit and sound technology.
Cantwell places an emphasis on colour, surface texture and detail. She uses heritage craft in a contemporary way, and believes that heritage craft should embrace new technology and design concepts so it has relevance today and so it can be a living tradition that reflects the times it lives in as well as its history and origins. Cantwell uses many unusual materials in her work including metal, wood, plastic, salmon skin and rubber. She is currently developing a way of embedding information into her work with links to sound, film and information about that individual piece that will exist online and be accessed through scannable codes. She sees this as a way of bringing a digital interactive element to a traditionally made piece of craft, giving it an online presence that exists beyond its own physical boundaries.
Jennifer Cantwell, Copper Sporran, n.d
DOWN AND DIRTY
Teresa Burrows (Canada)
2 Teresa Burrows is a Fine Arts graduate from University of Manitoba (1984), with a printmaking/drawing background. However after moving 750km north to Thompson, Manitoba in 1981, Burrows has worked as a program coordinator, cultural programmer, probation officer, addictions counselor, school librarian, mother, artist and activist. Foraging in both the fine art and craft worlds, Burrows’ work combines mixed media sculpture, textiles, photography, painting, drawing and beadwork to create chimeras of art, mythology and historical events. Inspired by the realities she collages, she realizes imaginative and complex works that cross numerous boundaries. Burrows works as an exhibition artist. She has been generously supported by grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.
“...he stretched out his hands toward me, and in piteous tones begged to be kind to a poor, helpless, abandoned wretch, who was not of the sex I supposed, but an unfortunate Orkney girl, pregnant, and actually in childbirth. In saying this she opened her jacket, and displayed a pair of beautiful, round , white breasts; . . .in about an hour she was safely delivered a fine boy, and that same day she was conveyedhome in my cariole, where she soon recovered” – Alexander Henry, December 29, 1807, HBC. Isobel Gunn worked for the HBC in Fort Albany 1806- 1807 as a labourer John Fubbister. She convinced everyone she was a man “worked at anything and well like the rest of the men”, but was discovered when she gave birth to a child. As a white woman requiring support with a child, she was no longer considered an asset to the HBC, and after some work as a washerwoman, was returned to the Orkneys in September 1809. She apparently died a vagrant.
Teresa Burrows, She’s Come Undone: Our Lady of the Trapline, 2014-2015
Susan Collett (Canada)
Susan Collett was born in Toronto and received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art: Major in Printmaking, Minor in Ceramics. Collett was elected to the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) in 2007, and to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (RCA) in 2008. Since 1993 she maintains a full-time studio in Toronto. Her portfolio focus is large-scale sculpture and printmaking. Public and private gallery exhibitions and commissions sustain her full-time practice. Recent projects include The GICB Korean Biennale, SOFA Chicago, Toronto International Art Fair, works collected at Canada House, Sevres Porcelain Museum, The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Taiwan Biennale and Rideau Hall.
Investigating the land clearances of the early 1700’s from agriculture to sheep farming, uprooted rural Scottish families experienced forced emigration to cities and beyond (Canada & Australia). Collett realized that she too had been “displaced” from the familiarity of her studio in urban Toronto to a rural northern Scottish landscape. Ironically, the landscape did feel familiar and “wherever you go, there you are” resounded. What had she brought with her? What was she about to gather? Drawing trace sediments of root patterns with clay slip and layering impressions of landscape and history into a crystalized structure, she pushed fragility to its limits. The resulting “Racine”, left floating on a pool of black glass and steel, signifies the remains of a relationship to place and a collective of cultural identities.
Susan Collett, Maze Rococo 1, 2014
Kari Woo (Canada)
Since graduating from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2003 with a BFA Honours in Jewellery and Metalsmithing, Woo has been engaged in her studio practice full-time. She makes her living as a jewellery designer/maker characterized by intense periods of design and production, bookended with custom projects for clients. However, she prefers to identify herself as a mixed media artist due to her many avenues of interest within the creative arena and her curiosity around the intersection of materials and ideas. Increasingly, other areas of artistic interest are bidding for Woo’s time such as her ongoing series of mixed media assemblage work, public art projects and creative placemaking activities.
In Canada our cultural geography is just as vast and diverse as our physical landscape. It is within this geography that Woo’s current work is positioned. Deeply informed by her cultural heritage, both in thesubject matter it addresses and aesthetically, she employs personal narrative as a vehicle to address issues of sense of place, appropriation, memory and cultural identity. This is achieved through the (re)interpretation and manipulation of family photographs in conjunction with the use, and appropriation of, cultural and historical family artifacts, and culturally significant materials and symbols. Jewellery objects are often camouflaged inside the compositions layering personal meaning and memory with questions about how cultural identity is or can be inherited, translated, (mis)represented, romanticized, imagined, lost, created and recreated. Though thoroughly personal in content, she believes that this work speaks to a greater experience that is very distinctly Canadian.
Kari Woo, Long Life, 2015
Beth Legg (Scotland)
Beth Legg is an artist from the Highlands of Scotland. Her practice is concerned with landscape, memory and the language of materials. Legg has exhibited, taught and lectured throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Her work as a precious metalsmith has been included in numerous international publications and is held in the permanent collection of the V&A Museum, London. She completed a practice-led PhD in 2012, which culminated in a presentation of her work at the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. Legg’s career has included periods where research, writing, and curating have dominated, but making has always remained a constant.
Legg’s work is rooted in a delight in the poetic nature of her materials - in both surface and content. Fallen trees, tangled seaweed and lichen-covered stone; the Scottish coastline and hinterlands strongly influence the work she produces. Working instinctively, her practice is process-driven and material-led. The traditional hand tool methods she utilises help to reveal the intrinsic potential of each material, whether precious metal, stone or wood. Legg’s work is a moving dialogue – each piece a reflection of the beautifully bleak and shifting nature of the Scottish landscape.
Beth Legg, Inverted Trees Triptych, 2012
Jen Deschenes (Scotland)
Jennifer Deschenes is an artist specialising mainly in hand screen printing and embroidery techniques.Her work always has a narrative at its core and is steeped in Shetland and personal family traditions. This history is realised in making things that tell those stories. The entire body of her work is in the re-creation of intimate and nostalgic objects. Her work also illustrates and realises a contemporary personal story and a strong desire to promote and carry on into the future the ways of the past.
Deschenes has created a trio of sixareens, ‘vessels’; she comes from a fishing background and was brought up on a small Shetland island. She decided to create ‘vessels’, to ‘ensure a safe journey’. At the Shetland ‘haaf’ fishing they fished in vessels called ‘sixareens’. ‘Haaf’ is Norse for open sea. Like ‘laying on an aamos’, Deschenes has created wishes which respect the past, but the sixareens alsoact as a connector to all who have gone and go to sea seeking new lives, like the many who were exiledor chose to travel to Canada and other far lands. Her bronze figures are to become like chess or game pieces, a game of passing time. They are representative of superstitions and the idea of objects used to protect; ‘to keep him safe.’ The ‘votive objects’ are the physical embodiments of prayers, their form representing the content of the prayer. The boats have sails with narratives done in haute couture embroidery and are representative of shifting place - the movement between places and development of identity through that.
Jen Deschenes, Sixareen 1, 2, 3, n.d.
John Little (Canada)
John Little is a full-time blacksmith/sculptor in East Dover, Nova Scotia. For over 45 years he has been forging steel into decorative and sculptural forms. His commitment to the exploration of form,
6 technique, and innovation has consistently led him in new and exciting directions. Inspired by his lifelong involvement with percussion, he has discovered some very interesting acoustic possibilities related to forged sculptural objects. His sound sculptures have been used in a variety of new music genres from orchestral to dance to jazz. He was twice a finalist for the Portia White Prize and the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award.
Although Little’s work rarely focuses on social or political activism, it is certainly about 'engaged creativity'. Little is a blacksmith, and as a blacksmith he heats metal and hammers it into shapes and forms that exist only in his mind. He has sought to find creative solutions to aesthetic and/or functional problems. By so doing, he hopes to increase awareness of the profound importance of a 'creative' attitude in approaching all ideas about design, including the design of our lives in general. But, quite simply, his life is about being a creative blacksmith (and human being) in Nova Scotia, full stop.
John Little, Salvador’s Slipstock Anchor, 2015
Nicola Mainville (Canada)
Wood worker, glass-maker and sculptor, Mainville has been creating sculptural and professional musical instruments for the past 12 years. Recognize as one of the most innovative craftsman in Quebec, he has received numerous prizes and grants for his research and creation. His work has been displayed internationally, notably at SOFA Chicago, Palm Beach, New York and South Korea at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in 2009. He participated in several joint and individual exhibitions provincially and nationally.
Mainville’s art pieces bring forth a new position by fusing two traditional crafts – woodworking and glass making – in a new way, each enhancing the beauty of the other. Furthermore, they stand alone as musical instruments and works of art, but really come alive when considered as a whole, creating a new relationship between music and art. The piece Akou, could be compared to a Haiku (short Japanese poem). Its poetic essence evokes the balance between delicacy and solidity, and reveals the idea of beauty and passion as could be seen if everyone truly paid attention to the magical beauty that lies in everyday details.
Nicola Mainville, Akou, 2014
Jilli Blackwood (Scotland)
Jilli Blackwood received her art training at the world renowned Glasgow School of Art from 1982-86, where she specialised in embroidered and woven textiles, graduating with First Class Honours in Art and Design. Jilli’s recent global achievements include designing the parade uniforms for the Scottish Teamfor the 2014 Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland. In 2010, she was the Director of Costume for the Flag Handover Ceremony in Delhi where she dressed 350 Scots men and women for the eight minute performance at the Closing Ceremony. Her textile art can be found in many corporate, museum and private collections worldwide. Collections include St. Andrews House, Edinburgh; the Consulate of the United States, Edinburgh; Biocon, Bangalore; The National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
‘The Argyle’ The word ‘naked’ means without clothes, defenseless, unconcealed. The very nature of exhibiting a work which has grown from the soul to be judged by others as good or bad, intensifies the feeling of naked vulnerability. The process of making ‘The Argyle’ evolved in stages. Blackwood embroidered the red silk with black cotton muslin and blue silk. These fabrics were then cut away, peeled back and unstitched to reveal the red silk. The base surface was now scared by the sharp needle and tensioned threads that punctured the smooth original silk. Blackwood embroidered the waistcoat again leaving some areas exposed to the memory of stitch which once decorated the surface. The tendrils grow downward organically, displaying a sense of coverage.
Jilli Blackwood, The Argyle (Art to Wear Collection), 2015
Caroline Dear (Scotland)
Caroline Dear studied botany in Dublin before switching and qualifying as an architect. She worked as an architect and landscape architect in Dublin, Holland, Oslo, London and Paris before moving to the Isle of Skye, Scotland to work. Dear has developed her artistic practice in response to being in this particular landscape; developing work through reinterpreting ancient skills with using local plants. In 2015 she will be exhibiting in Scotland, England, Finland, Norway and Canada, and she will pursue research into historical structural uses of plants (funded through award from ATLAS / Creative Scotland). Dear speaks French fluently and has been learning Gaelic. In 2013 Dear received a Certificate in Field Botany from the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.
From an understanding of the balance and flow within nature, Dear is exploring our changing relationship with the natural world and the subtle connections that exist between our inner selves andthe outer physical landscape. Dear is interested in creating work which causes us to look at the plants around is in a new way; learning about the deep bond which has developed over thousands of years and to understand our mutual interdependence. She likes to take simple ancient traditional craft skills and make contemporary and relevant work with this as the core. She uses plants which are local to her on Skye, grow in abundance and have been traditionally used.
Caroline Dear, Shawl / Beannag, 2014
Joanne Kaar (Scotland)
Joanne B. Kaar has been self-employed for more than 20 years since graduating with an MA in textiles from Manchester Metropolitan University. As both participant and instigator of arts and heritage projects and collaborations, she has exhibited and worked in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Iceland, USA,Germany, Australia, Sweden and Finland. Her artwork takes inspiration from her heritage and she is quite at home in a museum environment. Keen to learn traditional skills, research local stories, learn about conservation and care of objects, Kaar enjoys finding inventive ways to attract new audiences while adding new information to museum artefacts of which little is known.
Journeys over land, sea and through time. A centuries old technique re-emerged in the hands of Angus MacPhee, a crofter from South Uist in the Western Isles of Scotland. Angus spent almost 50 years in Craig Dunain psychiatric hospital in Inverness. During this time he chose not to speak - instead he made a series of incredible costumes out of grass.Angus died in 1997. Kaar ‘unlocked’ the techniques Angus used, and constructed full size replicas which are now, along with Angus’s original grass garments, in the collection at Glasgow Museum. Angus combined the rope making skills he would have learnt as a crofter, with a technique which had long since died out with the Vikings – looping and nalbinding, which pre-dates knitting. This series of socks explore contemporary ‘weavings’ inspired by Angus and use a variety of nalbinding techniques, all made from Juncus effusus (soft rush) which grows in abundance in my own field on Dunnet Head, Caithness, Scotland.
Joanne Kaar, Combed Soft Rush Socks, 2014
Jeanette Sendler (Scotland)
Jeanette Sendler is a hat maker, costume designer and fibre artist. Her interest in costume design developed into performance art featuring large-scale installations, rendered in knit/felt or paper. She worked in the costume departments of various theatres, including Comic Opera, Berlin and co-founded Metacorpus, a company that aimed to increase the appreciation of costume art through performance art productions. She has been involved in numerous textile residencies, working with remote Scottish communities. Her most recent was in Fife, where she has established a Textile Centre, as well as a Millinery Studio in the city of Perth. Her work is rooted in narrative and the more intimate aspects of the social history around her. She is constantly rescuing and re-inventing textiles, memories and fragments from the past.
‘Moder Dy’ or ‘mother-wave’ is the name for a powerful wave off the Shetland Isles used traditionally by fishermen to navigate their way homeward. At home, the fishermen’s wives estimated when their husbands would return by the quantity of yarn knitted in their absence. The large scale knitted installation machine knitted from Shetland wool, is inspired by these traditions, and is informed by Sendler’s evolving relationship with island traditions. The body is a blank canvas onto which we put ‘marks’ in the form of clothing. In the developed world, largely due to reasons of comfort and cost, clothing has become generic and bland. Sendler’s work presents a landscape of ‘pattern cutting madness’, a reaction against the god of mass production and a celebration of a renewed passion for individuality based on elements of tailoring from the past.
Jeanette Sendler, Finding Your Way Home, 2014
Aaron Nelson (Canada)
Currently Nelson is the Associate Director at Medalta in Medicine Hat, Alberta. This position has allowed him to develop relationships with a regional, national and international community of makers, and thuscontextualize the diversity of contemporary approaches to ceramic practice. In addition to his work as an arts administrator, consultant and technical educator, Nelson also maintains an active studio practice. He recently has received grants from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to pursue his research focusing on the intersection of digital technology and traditional ceramic practice.
Naked Craft as an activity exists as a paradox to Craft as an object. In Hapticstance, the finial of a hybrid 19th style urn is replaced with a digital device that plays a loop of the finial being created on the potters’ wheel. Here is where the paradoxes mash up; clay/ceramic, digital/analog, 2D/3D, motion/stasis and fact/fiction. Here is where the nakedness of craft as a practice exists simultaneously with craft as an object and where technology acts not to clothe the nakedness of the object, but rather as a tool to expose and celebrate the nakedness that is craft.
Aaron Nelson, Hapticstance, 2013
Amélie Proulx (Canada)
Amélie Proulx is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Québec City. She is interested in the possible shifts of meanings in language and in the perception of natural phenomena. She received a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal (2006), and a MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax (2010). Her artwork has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Australia and France. In 2013, she received the RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. She has participated in several residencies, notably at the Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium) in 2006, the Centre for Art Tapes (Halifax) in 2010, and the European Ceramic Work Centre (The Netherlands) in 2014. She teaches ceramics and visual arts at the Maison des métiers d’art de Québec and at Cégep Sainte-Foy.
The time-based sculpture Paysage sismographique 3 deals with the idea of slippage and of one thing collapsing into another. For this series of sculptures, press moulds were created using different kinds of packing material. These moulds were then used to print texture onto porcelain shapes that refer to flowers. These porcelain flowers were then assembled on a pivoting structure that rocks subtly when triggered at different intervals by a microcontroller. The activation of the structure evokes a piece of landscape being set in motion by a series of natural phenomena. The flowers, sometimes moving and sometimes inert for long, unpredictable moments, gradually fall into each other, conveying a precarious state that is perpetually shifting and slipping.
Amélie Proulx, Paysage sismographique 3, 2015
Clint Neufeld (Canada)
Clint Neufeld was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and grew up in a small town just outside of the city. Shortly after completing high school, Neufeld, who was a reservist with the Canadian military, moved to Calgary before being sent to the former Yugoslavia where he completed a sixth month tour under the United Nations with the army. Upon his return, he moved to Winnipeg and began pursuing a career in firefighting, while at the same time attending his first year of art school at the University of Manitoba. Neufeld completed his BFA at the University of Saskatchewan and received his MFA from Concordia University in Montreal. Neufeld lives and work on an acreage outside of Saskatoon.
Artists' statements tend to be disingenuous at best. At their worst, they completely over-determine the viewers' experience of the work. As someone who has always been interested in the materiality and craft of objects, Neufeld has struggled with articulating his practice in words --mostly for fear of misrepresenting what it is that he does, or pointing viewers to a specific understanding that privileges his experience of the objects over their own. Neufeld wants viewers of his work to experience it on their own terms, bringing their own histories, perspectives, and interpretations to it. He wants his work to be more than he can anticipate.
Clint Neufeld, This God Dam Thing Never Worked the Way It Was Supposed To, 2014
Claudio Pino (Canada)
Claudio Pino is world-renowned for his unique sculptural and kinetic rings. His works have been exhibited in prestigious museums and galleries, namely the Aaron Faber Gallery and the Forbes Galleries, New York; Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Decorative Arts, Santiago; and the Museum of Vancouver, British Columbia. He also received several recognitions including the 2015 NICHE Award Finalist; 2013 Israel Pearl Competition Award; 2009 Steel Trophy, Metal Arts Guild of Canada; and 2005 Special Award, Cheongju International Craft Biennale South Korea. Moreover, several of his pieces were selected to appear in the film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Since 1995, Pino has been dedicated exclusively to the design of one-of-a-kind pieces of contemporary jewelry. Making jewelry is a way to express emotions, ideas, narratives, and share them with others. It is also a way to stimulate our senses. Sometimes he adds meticulous mechanisms to give the gemstone set the freedom to follow the owner’s movements, reflecting the wearer in many intricate ways. Whether exploring systems in motion, metamorphosis of insects or the pace of urban life, his passion awakens first in the transformation of the raw material into precious and portable works of art.
Claudio Pino, Miroir Interactif, 2012.
Amanda Simmons (Scotland)
Amanda Simmons has worked with glass for the past 12 years, graduating from Central St Martin’s School of Art & Design in London with distinction for her Postgraduate Certificate in Glass & Architecture, before re-locating to Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland in 2005. Past exhibits include Collect (Crafts Council), Contemporary Applied Arts, London Glassblowing, Bullseye Gallery, Portland and SOFA Chicago.
Amanda Simmons considers our fragile relationship with birds and mourns the many dead found in the rural land. She also incorporates a sense of hope that is reflected by the returning migrants that breed in her workshop. To these themes she thinks about the displacement of people and the recent Scottish independence vote.
Amanda Simmons, Nest Egg, n.d.