Saturday, April 4, 2009

ACAD - with Arlee

Check our Arlee's thorough and excellent review with her thoughts on the student exhibition we went to on Thursday night at ACAD - the Alberta College of Art and Design.

The exhibition felt like a student group's body of work, with exciting pieces that one just willed the artist to develop... they are after all just starting out (says the old and wise one :-)) but there were pieces in the silent auction that were more advanced, since they included past students and friends of ACAD's work. Little pieces priced at $15-100 which quickly rose to 150, 200 or more, money was donated to furthering the textile department... very nice.

I had a shocking migraine and so wasn't thorough with my note taking but I do believe I got the impression that the course does a better job, than I was exposed to, of preparing the students for an artistic life where they will need to make money... even the tiniest of piece in the auction was thoughtfully displayed, in a marketing sense.

One piece (by a past student, (alumni in US speak) sorry no name) was an egg wrapped in a single strand of cotton (?DMC) was this reference to Easter... and clever marketing.... Afraid it did nothing for me. But the teddy creature by Siri warmed my heart.

I went to the talk, primarily to hear Joanne Staniszkis and was not disappointed. She has been a prolific artist for many years working in Linen (Polish) then silk (mostly the coccoons which were home grown) and is now successfully running a small store selling her work, which includes clothing and jewellery. Not a terribly exciting or stimulating speaker, but it had interesting content about the history of Polish Linen mills and the silk train that ran across Canada in the 20's.

The thrust of her technique is to photograph the fabric of her choice (linen or silk) in swirls of the textiles in monotone - then screen print this onto the same fabric (linen or silk) and create huge, planar repeat patterned wall hangings or screens, or create large sculptural forms with the surfaces held on armatures (eg., coccoon shapes made of plastic nets).

She concentrates on her theme - drawing anything and everything together... eg., silk coccoons as fixings for her armatures, or the shapes of the mulberry leaves as a language for printing onto clothing.... and this was the message she wanted to share with us... Have a strong source idea and develop it throughout the exhibition, this is what makes a successful show.

Do check out Arlee's blog for more wonderful detail.


arlee said...

You "saw" and "heard" things i didn't so have posted a link back to you.

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