ALBERTA COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN FACULTY ASSOCIATION
NEWSLET TER GUIDELINES
EXECUTIVE BOARD 2015–2016
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Front Cover: Blake Senini A Big Woman ( 2013), steel and lacquer paint, h. 97cm x w. 90 cm x d. 4cm.
M es s age f ro m t h e P resid ent Alex Link
Facul ty School of V i s u a l A r t Chris Cran
V i s i t i n g Aca d e m ic Cu rato r I llin gwor th Ker r Ga l l e r y Lorenzo Fusi Faraway, So Close
I guess the question that you all have is: why are you here? Meaning: why Calgary and the IKG, in particular, of all places. I had exactly the same question asked over and over again when I first moved to Liverpool (in England) almost a decade ago. People could just not understand why anyone coming from Tuscany, allegedly one of the most beautiful and romantic (or romanticised) places in Europe, would be willing to relocate and move to a grim harbour city in the north. Then, as today, I didnâ€™t have a quick answer. I left Italy and Siena, my home town, for two reasons. The first and most important motive is that I did not feel that there were the political conditions for doing a good job in the cultural sector any longer. On a more personal note, I was looking for new challenges and wanted to prove myself professionally elsewhere. This said, the experience in Siena was transformative for me and until it lasted (that is to say, until the same powerful lobbies, that have brought this otherwise incredibly rich community to its knees, decided otherwise) it was the most exciting project of my life. We managed in just under ten years to establish one the most exciting contemporary art programmes in Europe, starting from scratch and against all odds. So when I left, I felt both proud and defeated. When the opportunity to work at the Liverpool Biennial came about, I had no hesitation in accepting. Naturally, I did not know what to expect exactly. As a result of that somewhat impulsive decision, I was given the unique opportunity to contribute to the cityâ€™s renaissance. And trust me: Liverpool, as you experience it nowadays, has nothing to do with the city I first visited almost 15 years ago. It then took me almost 7 hours to reach Liverpool from London by train, a journey that you cover today in 2 hours. Everything in town reflected this sense of disconnection and removal from the rest of the country. I am not going to bore you with the reasons why this detachment had occurred. Enough to say that Margaret Thatcher (yes, the Iron Lady) did not like Liverpool very much, and that the entire industrial plan upon which Liverpoolâ€™s economy was founded had collapsed.
Lorenzo Fusi with Pistoletto “Venus of the Rags”
I met with a dilapidated urban setting and an impoverished community. A very proud and jovial community mind you, notorious for their sense of humour and hospitality, but also a very bitter and somewhat hopeless people. Two main factors in my opinion contributed to the cityâ€™s regeneration and radical change over the years: culture and education. Milestones being: the establishment of Tate Liverpool on the Docklands (1988), followed by the designation of this mercantile city as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO (2004), the creation of the Liverpool Biennial (1999) and the title of European Capital of Culture (2008). All these events amplified the achievements of the local grassroots initiatives and fostered the new class of professional art organisations disseminated across the city. At the same time, Liverpoolâ€™s three universities had developed their offer so as to meet the growing demand in the very competitive market of higher education. Liverpool managed to fill a gap in the market by becoming a liveable, entertaining and affordable student city. Students from the UK and abroad brought to the city new life. All these factors contributed to positive change. Liverpool today is one of the most visited destinations in the UK outside London. During my time I witnessed many transformations, including entire streets been refurbished and revitalised: from no-man land, to desirable housing and profitable business space. Do not get me wrong; it is not all blue skies. And there are still many open questions around the true motives behind, and actual consequences of this gentrification. Coming to today and my presence here. The first thing I heard upon my arrival in Calgary was that the oil price was down and therefore the city was facing a recession. I had never lived in a community whose economy depends on the price of natural resources before, however, I know what it means to operate in a place that has to reinvent itself, because political and economical circumstances have changed. I still believe that, in these instances, culture and education are viable responses. And a place such as the IKG positioned within the ACAD community seems to be a perfect place where to nurture this dream. Introductory speech February 4, 2016 Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta College of Art + Design
New Fa cu l t y School of Craf t + E me rgin g Me d i a , G l a ss Jill Allen Hello! I am from Vancouver Island and graduated from the glass department at ACAD in 1999. Since that time I have worked for other artists and for myself, making and promoting my designs. I completed my MFA in 2013 at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. After grad school I taught glass for a year at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa. It is great to be teaching in Canada and I am really excited to be here at ACAD as a sessional instructor in the glass area.
Jill Allen “Plates” Jill Allen “Flying Carpet Bowl”
Jill Allen “Mammal Bubbles” 2008
Jill Allen “Plates”
Jill Allen “Shot Glasses”
Ret i r i ng Fa cu l t y School of V i s u a l A r ts , Sc u l pt u re Blake Senini
The Blake Senini Stories Told By: Walter May - a recently retired faculty member of the ACAD sculpture department, hired at a time when the college was not it’s own entity, but rather a department of the institute across the tracks, a time before ACAD had acknowledged the D and was simply ACA, and a time when diplomas would suffice and degrees were barely dreamt of. I begin by mentioning my history with this place because within a few days of my appointment, Blake Senini was also added to the college faculty. As a result, with the exception of the last three years, we travelled together through this institution, sharing offices, meetings, classes of students, and waves of administration. We also collaborated on a few exhibitions, divided a studio space between us for a couple of years, occasionally travelled together and shared many meals. The point being I have had plenty of time to observe the man who I consider to be, among other things, an exemplary colleague, an exceptional artist and a friend. But perhaps the most important thing I gathered from our time together was that it is wise to keep an eye on him, and even better to listen closely to what he has to say. For in my opinion, one of Blake’s defining characteristics is that he is above all a compulsive storyteller. Now all of us have stories of our experiences to relate, but few of us are gifted with Blake’s natural ability and aptitude to do so. When Blake starts in, people listen, are generally greatly amused and in most cases they are wide-eyed by the time he finishes. With students, it is no exception. They are willingly captivated by a first-class story, which is one of the things that makes Blake such a good teacher, because once the students are engaged and listening one can slip in all kinds of other things that they need to know. Blake’s stories inform not only his teaching, but also his art and in a round about way his life. The life Blake leads is of course not a story, but it becomes the story when he brings it back, and somehow through the telling he has the ability to make what he experienced seem larger than life. Unfortunately, it is this very point where doubt and skepticism can arise. For many of his stories are based on personal experience, and because those circumstances are somewhat, shall we say, dramatic, people may assume that Blake is prone to embellishment.
Blake Senini in his studio Photo by Walter May
Emily Promise Allison â€œPortrait of the Artist as Another Artistâ€? 2015 Performance as digital photograph
However, I am here to attest that embellishment and exaggeration have nothing to do with it. Even though some of the stories may seem fantastic, I am convinced they are absolutely based in reality. So in order to provide some evidence of the veracity of Blake’s stories, I have provided a few abridged examples of half a dozen or so memorable anecdotes and incidents to which I have added an indication of how authentication can be obtained. I am hoping that this will demonstrate to the incredulous among us that Blake is indeed, a credible narrator. On his first day of classes on route to his BSC degree in biology at the University of Victoria, Blake transferred to a BFA sculpture major because lots of serious looking students with heavy, expensive books and white lab coats were in the biology line and very few casually dressed people that were smiling and laughing and were carrying no books whatsoever were in the sculpture line. (authenticated by Univ. of Victoria incoming BFA sculpture majors: class of 1971) On his initial trip to Europe, Blake accompanied by his friend Jack P. visited Michelangelo’s statue of David in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, Italy. Overcome by the solemnity of the onlookers, impressed by the aura of the statue and perhaps egged on by his impertinent companion, Blake pushed through a crowd of onlookers and some stanchions, and climbed on to the base of the plinth in order to touch the sculpture. He was attempting to determine whether David’s ankles were cracked as had been reported in the press. This caused a predictable disturbance resulting in Blake’s ejection from the room by angry museum attendants. (May 9, 1978: witnessed by his travelling companion.) Blake is fond of the simpler things in life, and vehicles are no exception. A former prized possession kept in immaculate condition inside and out, was a 1960 red Plymouth Valiant convertible. One crisp morning on his way to college, Blake hopped in the Valiant and pulled away from the front of his house only to come to an abrupt stop when he noticed that his black and white checkered seat covers were missing. They seem to have been replaced by a curious odor of cigarette smoke and humanity. Glancing behind him, Blake discovered the back seat occupied by a slumbering individual using the seat covers as a blanket. There followed a rude awakening, and a quick exit by the sleeper who somehow managed to run off still clutching all of the seat covers. (there were no direct witnesses to this event other than the parties involved, however the missing seat covers provided circumstantial evidence).
During a guided tour of the extensive Panza Collection of Modern and Contemporary art in Varese Italy, Blake had the unexpected and exceedingly rare opportunity to meet the Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo in person. The Count at one point asked Blake what he thought of his collection. Blake replied that it was strange that the Count had obtained examples of exceptional sculpture by almost all of the major figures in late twentieth century post-modern art but was missing work by Anish Kapoor. The Count smiled and replied, “I can only satisfy my taste, not yours.” Despite this dismissive remark, the Count took a shine to Blake and later invited him for a meal, to which Blake replied, “Sorry Count, we’re kinda busy.” A rare occasion when Blake did not take advantage of an invitation to lunch. (not appreciated by the witness Marcia Senini) On another more recent occasion while on his way to the college, Blake ran afoul of a traffic policeman who charged him with reckless driving, performing an illegal U-turn, and endangering pedestrians for which he was fined $416.00. He was riding his Electra cruiser bicycle at the time. (Blake showed me the citation.) While visiting New York City, Blake and I were able to obtain tickets for a late night Violent Femmes concert. The first set was to begin well after midnight, and while we were waiting, Blake decided he could use a drink, and he decided upon a glass of milk, which he tried to buy from the club bar using a twenty-dollar American Express traveler’s cheque. Negotiations went on for some time however, in the end he obtained the milk and if I recall correctly, some change. Twenty minutes later several patrons who had observed the transaction were spotted sipping glasses of milk at the bar. (yrs. truly) Now you must understand that these few samplings pale in comparison to the real thing but I hope in this article I will have accomplished at least two things. First of all I hope to set the record straight regarding any accusations of embellishment, elaboration or even embroidery when it comes to Blake’s Tales. Secondly I would like to remind you that it won’t be long before running into Blake in the hallway with a chance to revisit one of his stories or to hear the latest will be history. Take advantage while you can.
Shape of the Light (1996) , polyester resin (fiberglass), 232 x 232 x 23 cm Photo by M. N. Hutchinson
Stolen Birds and Many Doubts,( part seven) ( 2013), laminated wood, silver leaf and enamel paint, 102 x 94 x 20 cm
The last few words will come from Blake. They are about his studio and his practice. Not about the story in particular, but a part of the story nonetheless. W. When it comes to making objects do you have a favourite tool? B. Yes, a pencil. Lately, I have been using various hand grinders and sanders but they are loud and fast where the pencil has its own speed depending on the mood. W. I always enjoy the opportunity to visit you in your studio. In there you have images, photos, drawings, plans and tools hung on the walls, sculptures in progress, often more than one at a time, and a general feeling of something in the works. How important is a studio space to you and does working in the studio generate new ideas, or does that happen elsewhere? B. I built my studio in 1989, actually I converted an old garage in my backyard into a larger space that I could work in. This space has always been important to me as I can spend as much time there as I want. This studio is all I need at the moment as my ideas always seem to end up there, one way or another. Carroll Taylor-Lindoe once told me that your studio is like the inside of your head, like your mind or your thoughts. I would have to agree with her on this. W.: â€œDo you think it is true that the origin of your sculpture is based on stories, and perhaps even personal experience translated into narrative? B: I would like to think that the sculptures originate from some event or sequence of events that I have actually experienced or wish I had. Like the stories and events themselves, the sculptures go through many changes in the process of making them, and the end result is always quite different than the beginning.
Walter May observing “Portrait of the Artist as Another Artist” 2015 at Barbara Edwards Contemporary’s HAND PIC’D exhibition opening
In Memo ri u m Fa cult y School of Craf t + E me rgin g Me d i a , G l a ss Jim Norton
Jim was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and studied art and glassblowing at the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) in Calgary and the Pilchuk Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Later, he became an instructor at ACAD in the Glass Program in 1983 and at Red Deer College in 1986. He assisted in developing Skookum Glass in the 1980’s and opened the Double Struggle Studio in 1985 with Marty Kaufman and continued running the studio with Barry Fairbairn. Jim was a significant part of Canada’s Glass Community for decades and was recognized in various publications like Canadian Glassworks, A Treasury of Canadian Craft and The Survey of Glass of the World. He exhibited throughout North America and his artwork sold worldwide. Jim was incredibly kind, generous, loving and inspiring. A unique soul, he possessed a creative mind and was intensely passionate about glass. We live with the assurance that Jim’s sound and inspired teaching will carry his legacy forward in the brilliance of his students and his surviving artwork. Fond memories of Jim include his dry wit, dedication and passion. His self-deprecating humour held kindness, chagrin and humility. His joking got people to gather, reheat and just give glassblowing one more try. Jim loved spending time with nature and especially going out for a walk with his dog Icy. He always came home with a long-lost treasure in his pocket like a rock with a pattern he liked, a stick that needed to be carved, or a chunk of wood that could be incorporated into an art piece. A beautiful view, a nice breeze, holding hands, sleeping in, reading a good western, feeding the birds, or hanging out with his Dad and family... These are things Jim cherished the most. Above all he will be remembered for his profound love for his wife, Carol. He enriched her life in many ways and accepted her whole-heartedly, without judgement and was her tender, loving friend, partner and husband for 11 years. He was always thoughtful and generous and Carol will always remember him for his wit and remarkable artistry that was apparent in every aspect of his life.
Jim Norton “Art Glass Floor Lamp 1”
Jim Norton “UniCreature 3”
I first encountered Jim, at 12 or 13 years of age, as a summer student. He had taken a summer class in ceramics that was part of a “one time only” summer program run by SAIT back then. Over the years, I’d forgotten his name, but I certainly remembered this kid’s selfdetermined project, which was to create self-firing ceramic glazes. I suspect the real aim was to make rocket fuel out of the glaze materials, but at least he tried to put it within the context of a ceramics class. In the end he showed me some coloured puddles of glassy material fused to the sidewalk, as well as many seriously scorched black patches of concrete. I didn’t connect the Jim I came to know in later years with that kid, and he probably never would have told me, except one day, about 30 years later, Jim decided to tease me about something else pertinent to that long ago class. It took me by complete surprise that he knew things about me back then, and Jim took as much delight in my reaction as I did in finding out he’d been that little pyromaniac. I know Jim’s life will be celebrated by those who loved him, and those whose lives he touched deeply in a way that only Jim could. Norman Faulkner Retired Faculty, Glass
Jim was a gleeful pool shark and an avid whittler. Sarcastic and dry witted, he would wait and time his responses for that perfect moment. You’d hear it, not certain if you’d heard it correctly, and inevitably ask for him to repeat what he had said. With sparkling eyes and a smirk, he’d repeat himself a bit louder. The resulting burst of laughter, or better yet, spitting out of your drink was his particular joy. Joker, prankster, punk. Jim was a brat. He was also one of the kindest men I have ever known. Checking in with you. Seeing if he could help. Always willing to let you try something at the bench that was far beyond your skill level. He would encourage you just to try it and see what would happened, and help dissect the inevitable failures. Jim’s dog Isis was an enthusiastic texter of images to my cat Francis. Isis was worried that as a house cat, Francis didn’t get enough outside stuff—like the best log to mark, a beautiful sunset, or the best spot in the hotshop for a nap. Francis would respond with images of her favourite perches and views, from which she ruled the world. He loved making things. He helped all of us love making things. He wasn’t a saint… but in his kindness, compassion, and sheer exuberant creativity … he kind of felt like one to me. I will fill the Jim sized hole in my heart with all the wonderful, dangerous, and beautiful things he left behind in story, object, and memory. Natali Rodrigues Faculty, School of Craft + Emerging Media, Glass u I first met Jim when we were college students. During that time we shared many of the experiences necessary in the attempt to gain our chops, developing our talents into something that would ultimately propel us [together for a time] through the turbulent waters of the artist’s fledgling professional life. The college life was fraught with the usual insecurities of the process of growth as an artist and as a person. But, Jim was the dependable character through that time period, not inclined to fits of anger at the frustration the hot shop could provide, as some of our peers were inclined to exhibit. Through this student friendship I came to realize that Jim with his tuff “shoulders back” type of exterior was a sensitive guy with a strong sense of loyalty to his friends and family. These attributes made it easy to develop a relationship that would span decades of sharing some and witnessing some of the other’s pivotal moments in life.
One of these times was the construction and operation of Double Struggle Glass Studio that was a significant point of departure for our careers. I have no idea how this place would have happened without Jim’s partnership and his superior abilities to construct and fabricate. Our partnership in building and operating the studio was an understood division of labour that was never challenged. I remember Jim telling someone, to my surprise, that it was his perfect marriage. Although I had to [grudgingly] relinquish that august title when Carol entered his life. The only thing daunting about Jim was working with him or observing him in the hot shop. What a tower of strength! He could make more production work, I use the term production loosely as all the work was distinctive, on his own than most could do as a team. This was only exceeded by his abilities to make his art with hot glass. He was an example and mentor to many through the commitment to his practice and his teaching career. There is no doubt in his abilities to make or in his significant place in the development of glass as an art movement in this country. But, to me what stands out about Jim’s character was his eye for the incongruous and the appreciation of the absurd. I believe that this trait is evident in much of the work he made. Somehow his integration of the somewhat disparate forms combined with the application of an individually distinctive colour palette resulted in creating a curious visual harmony. Also, with this trait came humour both in the work and in his life. Like the goblets he made with the square bowls, which had a story of an engineer who returned them to the studio because he couldn’t figure out how to drink out of them without spilling. For Jim that return only added to the quality of the experience in making them. In life, Jim wasn’t one to belly laugh, but could on the right occasion laugh until he literally would cry. This could take place when he would see the melding of the ironic and the absurd, as happened one night when years ago Jim and I were at the Republic on 17th Ave. We were there to see a band called Southern Culture on the Skids. At the end of the show, we were some of the first ones out the door. As we were walking down the street at the corner I slipped on a banana peel, I literally slipped on a banana peel. I didn’t “hit the deck” but I’m sure I made a move that resembled an albatross trying to take flight. Well Jim thought this was hilarious, “who slips on a banana peel”, “never have I seen anyone do such a thing” “unbelievable” were his comments and I could do nothing but agree, even if not somewhat perplexed by the incident. Jim would continue to bring this up to me off and on as the years went by with the same friendly ridicule regarding my amazing abilities to entertain. I will miss this reminiscing with him and many other things that Jim added to my life’s experience. I will remember him, with his ubiquitous cap on, looking very much like the little boy that his spirit exemplified. Marty Kaufman Faculty, School of Craft + Emerging Media, Glass
New Fa cu l t y School of Craf t + E me rgin g Me d i a , C e ra m i c s Juliana Rempel
Juliana Rempel is a graduate of Emily Carr University in Vancouver where she received her Bachelor in Visual Arts degree. Following this, she attended Cardiff School of Art and Design in Wales, UK where she completed her Master of Arts in Ceramics. Juliana has had the opportunity to attend art residencies such as the International Ceramic Studio in Hungary, Fourwinds Arts Residency in France as well as here in Canada at Medalta International Ceramic Residency in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. Most recently, her work has been shown at the Dade Art and Design Lab (Calgary, AB), Art Souterrain (Montreal, QC), The Gardiner Museum (Toronto, ON) as part of “Connections: Canadian and British Ceramics” and in November of 2015 at the Art Gallery of St. Albert. My practice involves two streams of work, functional and sculptural, that often pull inspiration from one another. I create functional sets that are reminiscent of my own cupboard, full of pottery that I’ve collected over the years. An eclectic mix of forms and surfaces, each piece differing from the next. My passion for making pottery stems from my belief that we remember instances through the details that surround them and we experience life through the objects that honor it. I create ceramic sculptures influenced by everyday objects. Exploring the relationship between familiarity and ambiguity these silent objects look to find a voice within their frame. Inspired by the ability of the everyday to renew in us an act of knowledge, my groupings create new platforms for these objects to exist. Striving to honor the silent bystanders of our day, the compositions allow objects to emerge from the shadows, posed and poised. This framing of the everyday reintroduces the familiar by separating our understanding from function, ultimately representing these objects for their symbolic values. There is a beauty found in the shapes and colors that compose the settings of our day. Within the soft and muted colours of the mundane, there is a silence. Through the silence, vivid colours and shapes emerge to create a disturbance among the stillness.
Juliana Rempel “Still” (2015), Ceramic, 250 x 250 x 250 cm
Juliana Rempel “In the Corner” (2015), Ceramic, 80 x 80 x 60cm
Fa c ul t y School of C r i ti ca l a n d Creat ive Stu d i es derek beaulieu
“A: A Novel” page 1, 2 and 3…
Facul t y School of C r i ti ca l + C reat i ve S t u d i e s Diana Sherlock, Curator “. . . Excer pts F ro m N ew Ma ps of Pa ra d i s e E ric Moscho p e d i s + M i a R u shton ” The following text is an excerpt from my introduction to the New Maps of Paradise Field Guide that accompanies Eric + Mia’s first solo museum show, which is on view at the Nickle Galleries at the University of Calgary until 2 April, 2016. The two-part, full-colour publication was designed by the artists and is available in a limited run from the Nickle for $10. Introduction New Maps of Paradise charts, in an intentionally ambiguous fashion, the creative practices of Calgary artists Eric Moschopedis and Mia Rushton. Eric + Mia, as they are more commonly known, have worked in the Calgary arts community singularly, since the early 2000s, and collaboratively since 2007. Eric’s practice emerges from theatre and he was an organizing force with Bubonic Tourist and the Mutton Busting Festival. Mia focuses on drawing and contemporary craft practices, particularly textiles. Their recent socially engaged projects animate specific communities and engage participants as collaborators and citizens in playful politics. New Maps of Paradise meanders through their ongoing collaborative research into urbanism, absurdity, theatre and performance, contemporary craft-based practices and the professionalization and economics of the art industries. New Maps of Paradise is Eric Moschopedis and Mia Rushton’s first major solo museum show. It has been a pleasurable challenge to consider how to present their contextspecific, socially engaged, performative practice at Nickle Galleries as part of the relaunch of SERIES. Given the conventionalized display and ritualized behaviours of the museum, at times, I wondered even if I should. New Maps of Paradise loosely borrows its curatorial tactics from cultural geography and ethnology, which are prevalent throughout the artists’ working processes as well. Its design references Situationist provocateur Guy Debord’s famous imaginary map for The Naked City (1957). A map that reimagined Paris divided into nineteen interrelated sections that could be traversed or performed by politically engaged citizens in unconventional ways. The Situationists eployed the dérive (drifting) and détournment (detour) as tactics used for disrupting and reimaging society and the city outside of capitalism’s dominant paradigm.
Eric Moscopedis + Mia Rushton “New Maps of Paradise” Installation view, Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary Photo by M. N. Hutchinson
The exhibition too, follows circuitous routes to thematically map the artists’ interdisciplinary collaborative practice through their communities and narrative networks. New Maps of Paradise comprises print and video archival material, past works, performance ephemera, incomplete ideas and two new works: the resemblance is undeniable/footnote to everything, a two-channel video installation featuring interviews with Eric and Mia’s grandmothers, and eight quilted banners reading we knew the future/before disappearing all together. In many ways the collection of performance ephemera and documentation references, rather than represents, their earlier performances. The gallery is divided into sections the archive (mezzanine), the collection (main gallery) and storage (behind the main wall) using idiosyncratic display strategies that mimic the playfulness of Eric + Mia’s urban performances, while recognizing the impossibility of understanding them fully in a museum context. In the spirit of the ethnographer and cultural geographer, this publication follows the logic of the curatorial intent and exists between an art catalogue and an ethnographic field guide. This first booklet is primarily an interview conducted with the artists over email for the past several weeks. The questions and conversations follow, at least to a great extent, many of the key ideas we discussed during our weekly planning sessions at Eric + Mia’s Sunnyside home/studio. The second booklet contains context shots from the performances, installation shots of the exhibition and field entries for each work that can be used to decipher the various ephemera in both the collection and archive. Eric + Mia wrote most of the extended labels in the gallery, while I wrote the field notes to reflect on the artworks, the artists, my relationship with the artists and the curatorial process itself. We sometimes disagree, but it was very important to me that all three of our voices were heard here. . . .
Eric Moscopedis â€œNew Maps of Paradiseâ€? Installation view, Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary Photo by M. N. Hutchinson
Facul ty School of C r i ti ca l + C reat i ve S t u d i e s Mireille Perron Mireille visits the Hub. During my four months sabbatical leave (fall 2015), I conducted research under the working title of The Anatomy of a Glass Menagerie. I spent time in London, Cardiff and Dublin. In London, largely at the Wellcome Trust Library and collections, I nurtured my interest for medical illustration/imagery, and the body. I expounded, as well the unique connection between this interest and my more recent curiousity in Blascska’s glass invertebrates. This main research was seconded by fruitful visits to the V & A, the British Library and a few other contemporary galleries. In Cardiff and Dublin, I mainly studied other excellent Blaschka’s collections, both in their National Natural History Museums. Again seconded with fruitful visits to other National Museums, libraries and contemporary galleries. I cleverly avoided having to explain my attraction for glass invertebrates each time I visited an Irish a pub, by attending U2’s remarkable concert in their hometown. I also worked for a week at Medalta doing cyanotypes of their glass collection. One of the main expected outcomes will be an exhibition curated by Jenna Stratton, in 2017 at the Gallery of the Medalta Historical Clay District where they are working on a future display of AltaGlass. Not coming back to school in the fall also meant that I could organize my summer quite differently. I spent the whole month of August as an invited artist at the International Festival of Contemporary art de Baie-St-Paul, doing a Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics collaborative project with the region’s citizens. In July, I conducted a one-week research trip in Corning, New York, at their absolutely fabulous glass museum. The Museum was very generous in supervising my research and providing me with two authorized art handlers to access artefacts in their vast collection. I selected this image to summarize my sabbatical experience. I am in Cardiff at the Roald Dahl Plass, named after the famous Cardiff-born author. This area of Cardiff Bay plays home to the secret location of The Hub, Torchwood’s headquarters, in the eponymous science fiction TV series. Undeniably my disappearance from ACAD, for four months in pursuit of other projects, did somewhat feel like going underground into another universe! I am grateful to ACAD for the opportunity, as well as all the organizations mentioned in this text for their support. And just in case someone wonders how to conduct research on a reduced salary, during the neo-liberal era in education, I paid most of my European hotels with four years of accumulated air miles.
Blake Senini â€œWe Are Surroundedâ€? (2013), laminated wood, silver leaf and enamel paint, 160 cm x 160 x 23 cm