ALBERTA COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN FACULTY ASSOCIATION
EXECUTIVE BOARD 2017-18
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president Natali Rodrigues interim vp/treasurer Justin Waddell ACADFA OFFICE 547 OFFICE HOURS TUES/WEDS 10AM–5 PM THURSDAY 10AM–2PM Phone 403-284-7613 email: firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE http://acadfa.wix.com/acadfa1
secretary Ashley Scarlett professional affairs rep Martina Lantin interim nac chair Justin Waddell grievance advisor Jeff Lennard communications officer Lyndsay Rice
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Alberta College of Art & Design Faculty Association. ©Alberta College of Art + Design Faculty Association and contributors 2017
Ideas and proposals are welcome at any time!
academic council rep Vacant sessional representative Mark Giles board of governors rep Ian Fitzgerald (non-voting)
office manager Patti Dawkins
We sometimes work on items over an extended period.
Front + back cover images
Constructed Histories, Laura Vickerson Duggan House, Medicine Hat, 2017
Guy Parsons, Sessional Instructor Experimental sketchbook image coloured digitally
Ne w F acu lt y Sc h ool of C ritic a l + C re a t i v e S t u d i e s Dr. Suzanne Morrissette, Assistant Professor
Editors Note: Congratulations to Suzanne Morrissette on receiving her Doctorate from York University!
one and the same is an immersive media installation that uses
Max and Kinect to create visual and audio responses from audience movement and participation. This work is currently touring as a part of the group exhibition wnoondwaamin | we hear them, curated by Lisa Myers and organized by Trinity Square Video. It will open at Stride Gallery in September 2018. Lead Developer and Technical Consultant: Kyle Duffield Produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.
Suzanne Morrissette, one and the same (installation shot), 2016, interactive installation with Kinect and MAX.
Visi t i ng A rtis t Sc h ool of C ra f t + E m erg i n g Me d i a Cer a m ics Jessica Brandl, Sessional Instructor
Whatâ€™s been happening
This Fall I was selected as a finalist for the Zanesville Contemporary
Ceramics Award, hosted by Zanesville, Ohio. The piece titled Homunculus received first prize in the category of vessel announced October 7th, the piece is on display until January 13th 2018. Rounding out the year of 2017, I am industriously preparing for a sizeable solo show at Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. The show is due to open February 2nd 2018. On view now is work in a theme show Americano featuring 49 artists from North America, this show is on view at AKAR gallery in Iowa City, IA.
Fac ul t y Sc h ool of C ritic a l + C re a t i v e S t u d i e s Dr. Chris Frey, Associate Professor
Ne w F acu lt y Sc h ool of C ritic a l + C re a t i v e S t u d i e s Tobla Howell MBA, BA Visual Arts, Sessional Instructor
I created and ran a clay studio for seven years. I am passionate about what
business can do for art. “The best way to predict the future is to create it” and that is what I am teaching the students, how to create their own futures. You may have heard that Heritage Canada
is recognizing that creativity
is essential to global competition, and has promised incentives to artist entrepreneurs. Hopefully those incentives are financial.
Here is a link to the speech that outlines:
“Government of Canada’s new vision for putting our creative and cultural policies at the heart of our economic growth.“ https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/creative-canada. html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_ source=canada-ca_creative-canada Latest grant and experiment: With a City of Calgary Experimental Grant, I have been developing a new glazing effect using magnetically aligned iron particles.
www.alamy.com - B49R6G
Photo by Tobla Howell 2016, Calgary AB
Fac ul t y Sc h ool of C o m m unic a t i o n De s i g n Ken Wentz, Sessional Instructor Jeff Lennard Lifetime Achievement Anvil 2017
Jeff never intended to go into advertising. He attended the Alberta College
of Art to learn how to create something – create some act of imagination and craft that could make a difference and quickly was inspired by the Visual Communications program. He liked the idea of a competitive program, that fed his many interests. That was the idea. He ended up taking the best course, as it turns out. Jeff followed his heart. He always did. It’s strange and wonderful that it led to advertising.
Jeff is quick to remind everyone that he always worked in Calgary. Though
many of his client work took him around the world. He never left to find greener pastures. He didn’t have to. He was part of that formative group of Calgary creatives and entrepenuers, a designer at heart, looking for better ways, helping clients understand the power of creative to affect change.
You’ve probably come face to face with Jeff’s work without realizing it.
Remember imagining the freedom of winning the lotto 6/49? Signing up for the Olympic Torch Relay? or a bottle of Molson Canadian catch your eye in the liquor store? Perhaps you’ve been inspired to take a trip down to the Calgary Stampede or found yourself humming moo moo moo moo cow. Or been online and landed at kelloggs.com, wonderville.ca or vendemmia.ca. They’re all part of the Jeff Lennard portfolio that won countless advertising and design awards and, more importantly, success in the marketplace for his clients.
Jeff has always had that deep interest in people. His practical
optimism. His wicked sense of humor about the dark side of human nature. And Jeff’s, “Hell, we can do that,” sense of confidence.
Jeff Lennard Illustration by Silas Kaufman, Sessional Instructor
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment is more interesting than the work ( I
can’t believe I said that) and more relevant to this honour.
That willingness to collaborate also made him a great teacher. In 1998 he
started teaching as a sessional instructor and become a permanent faculty and Advertising lead at his alma mater ACAD where he lead the introduction of the creation of the Advertising stream. And not surprising was recognized last year with the ACAD Teaching Excellence Award. He was also invited by the One Club as the only Canadian advertising teacher to the global advertising conference, the Creative Leaders Retreat in San Diego.
His industry relevant assignments and critiques in the classroom are
memorable for their brutal honesty, dead-on accuracy and inspiration. Not surprisingly, whenever his former pupils are interviewed, they never fail to thank Jeff for helping them achieve their many successes. Where many of his graduates have gone on to become art and creative directors, agency owners and award winners. Jeff is quick to remind us that the Lifetime Achievement Award does not mean that he’s retiring or finished. https://vimeo.com/216519361 The Ad Rodeo Association is the celebration of creative excellence in the Prairie provinces. Each year, Ad Rodeo provides creative professionals the opportunity to meet, talk, learn, mentor and celebrate what they do through several events that culminate in the Anvil Awards. The Anvil Awards represents the special talent and effort it takes to be recognized by your peers for creating the very best.
Ne w F acu lt y Sc h ool of Vis ua l Art, S c u l p t u re Ryan Smitham, Sessional Instructor
I am pleased to have joined the sculpture department as a sessional instructor
this fall. I am thankful to so many of you who have helped me to find my footing within our school and am inspired to work amongst such diverse creative colleagues.
Lately I have been working primarily in wood and metal to construct objects
that are about stuff… Alright, more specifically recent themes include life cycles and geologic time, resource extraction, violent conflict and the material history within found objects. Truthfully this last year has seen most of my time spent renovating a house alongside my fiancée Katey and giant dog Winston.
With a major studio upgrade almost complete and lots on the go 2018
looks to be an exciting year.
My new/recent sculptures will be exhibited
alongside those of Brooklyn based Yasunari Isaki in a two person show at Lethbridge’s CASA Gallery (Accumulation of Memory, opening January 13th) as well as in a one person show at the OAG in the town of Okotoks (Time Is A Flat Circle, opening June 8th). I will spend next July at the Gushal Studio residency in the Crowsnest Pass working on something awesome!
Ne w F acu lt y Sc h ool of Vis ua l Arts , Sc u l p t u re Lisa Lipton, Sessional Instructor
Lisa Lipton has a practice that spans a diversity of mediums. Her projects
explore the potential for crossing genres of film, mixed media installation, performance, theatre and music. Her visions are reflective of an interest in directorial and curatorial practices, collaboration and social interaction, as well as working within non-traditional contexts in order to explore the boundaries of performance and filmic production.
Recent showcases of her work are as follows:
• THE IMPOSSIBLE BLUE ROSE – CHAPTER IX: THE END, Union Gallery, Queen’s University, September 9 – November 10, 2017 (Solo Exhibition).
• Cover of Espace Magazine Fall Issue 2017 https://espaceartactuel.com/en/
• Residency: Hospitalfield House, Arbroath Scotland (November 2017) working on component of new multi-disciplinary Sci-Fi project and radio play – Soon All Your Memories Will Be With Me.
• Soon All Your Memories Will Be With Me, Illingworth Kerr Gallery, ACAD, February 1 – March 10, 2018 – with inclusion of opening and closing performances (Solo exhibition).
• Release of the radio play portion within the project on CJSW (University of Calgary) is aimed for Spring/Summer of 2018
Fac ul t y Sc h ool of C ritic a l + C re a t i v e S t u d i e s Mireille Perron
Excellence in Time of Duress: Notes on the Inaugural Canadian Craft Biennial, Aaksokgowamoski (Making relations), The Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC) Annual Congress
While ACAD’s Administration and Governance managed to put the College,
yet again, in crisis management mode, I kept sane by taking an active part in/ or attending events where ACAD Faculty and Alumni sustain excellence on the wider professional scene.
Can Craft? Craft Can! The Inaugural Canadian Craft Biennial Residency dates – September 4 – 15 Canadian Craft Biennial Exhibitions – Aug 19 – Oct 29 Canadian Craft Symposium – Sept 16 & 17
This fall, I had the privilege to take an organizational part in Can Craft?
Craft Can!, The Inaugural Canadian Craft Biennial, and the University Art Association of Canada Annual Congress, as well as attending Aaksokgowamoski (Making relations).
Can Craft? Craft Can! Was the title of The First Canadian Craft Biennial
(CCB.) The Biennial was organized by Denis Longchamps, chief curator at the Art Gallery of Burlington, and Emma Quin, then CEO of Craft Ontario, now with the Textiles Museum. The Biennial’s title acknowledged Craft’s agency by
Mia Riley at Tim Laurin printmaking workshop (photo by Mia Riley)
Andrew Rabyniuk with Burlington Fibre Arts Guild members (photo by Mia Riley)
Mireille Perron - cont’d
first querying, then demonstrating through its events that “Craft Can” teach, decolonize, drive discourse, innovate and collaborate, among many others.
The Biennial was an ambitious event comprising four exhibitions, two
residencies (writers and makers), a ceramics workshop, three community projects and a two-day symposium held in Burlington and Toronto. I had the honour of being on the advisory board of CCB for the past two years, as well as attending the symposium where I chaired the panel Craft’s Collaboration. Over 250 participants, a success by any Canadian Craft account, took part in the Symposium and heard over 50 professional artists, scholars, curators and other craft professionals sharing their craft-based research. The depth and breadth of the presentations were remarkable. I witnessed Craft scholarship and practice at their best.
Here are a few of my selected highlights that display the range of activities:
Craft historians, Dr. Sandra Alfodly (NSCAD) and our own Dr. Jennifer
Salahub’s brought down the house, yet again, while presenting their recent research projects. Sandra closed the symposium with an hilarious presentation titled The Kindness of Craft that critically revealed many dubious marketing abuses by various corporations of the “artisan” and the “artisanal” as a misleading selling device. Jennifer, with her habitual gusto for keeping her tongue firmly in cheek, explained why Sloyd was eventually “unfriended” following the Great War. Jennifer does not only write and rewrite the early history of Craft at ACAD but the general History of Art in Canada with its erasure of Craft practice and women as contributors.
One of my new discoveries, was historian Nicola Pezolet, Assistant
Professor in the Art History Department at Concordia. Pezolet reframed the history of modernism in Quebec by using Public Glass Projects by Jean-Paul Mousseau, known for being a member of the Automatistes.
Another inspiring encounter was Vancouver artist Lexie Owen. Owen
articulates a New Genre of Craft and Public Art in projects that reframe craft’s labour, and the meaning of making through public art collaboration.
serendipity has it, when I voiced to Lyndsay Rice, ACAD recent Jewellery and Metals colleague, my admiration for this emerging artist, Lyndsay did not only agreed with me, but introduced me to Lexie after her talk. These two inspiring artists/minds happen to be good friends.
Another nice surprise was Robert Steven, President and CEO of the
Burlington Art Gallery. Steven not only introduced our sessions, he remained in attendance for both days. His intellectual curiousity and administrative savvy are rare gifts when combined together.
ACAD alumnae were participants in both the writers and makers residencies
respectively with Julia Krueger and Mia Riley. Mia Riley (ACAD Ceramics alumna) reports in her blog:
“As one of the first to participate in the CCB Residency I am looking
forward to seeing the Biennial expand and grow. Often in discipline-specific conferences, the ideas gravitate towards making techniques and materials. The Biennial, in its inclusivity of all craft, forces us to connect to ideas outside specific technical processes and is the perfect incubator for critical dialogue.
The National exhibition, Can Craft? Craft Can! made public new works
by 64 artists working in wood, ceramics, metal, fibre and glass exploring the
Mireille Perron - cont’d
three sub-themes of Identity, Sustainability and Materiality. ACAD was also well represented in this inaugural exhibition with the following former faculty:
Greg Payce’s new installation Brothers and Sisters, made of his signature
multiple and striped vessels, revealed children’s heads in the negative spaces. Barbara Tipton’s Adrift in Jetsam, offered a richly textured and coloured teacup or was it a fantastic geological formation? Robin Dupont contributed a wall display commenting on ceramic’s concept vs function. Anne Drew Potter’s large figurative sculpture Affluence and Effluence portrayed through distortions of human anatomy, issues of contemporary identity. Finally, Shona Rae made an impression with her jewellery sculptures from the collection FairyTales, Folklore and Mythcommunication. Not to mention that many of the other artists in the Biennial have passed through ACAD doors as visiting artists in our Craft programs.
I had a very fruitful conversation with Dutch ceramist Anton Reijnders, who
was not only the symposium keynote speaker, but as well the International Exhibition Artist. His superb site–specific installation Descartes Error 2 blurs the boundaries between sculpture and everyday objects. Spatial production through every day objects happened to be not only Reijnders’ particular interest but also of importance to our four second year MFACM students: Anton Cu Unjieng, Rob Froese, Axel Bernal Bladh and Bogdan Cheta. Consequently, I did my best to relay the content of these encounters in an informal seminar at my return.
Greg Payce, Brothers and Sisters, porcelain with slips and glazes, 2017, Can Craft? Craft Can! Art Gallery of Burlington
Anne Steves and Carolyn Young at Amanda McCavour workshop (photo by Mia Riley)
Sarah Swan at Amanda McCavour workshop (photo by Mia Riley)
Scott Barnim and Andrew Rabyniuk at Scottâ€™s studio (photo by Mia Riley)
Maya Padrov at Scott Barnim lustureware workshop (photo by Mia Riley)
Mireille Perron - cont’d
Aaksokgowamoski (Making relations) October 4 – 5 Illingworth Kerr Gallery
Aaksokgowamoski (Making relations) presented “Indigenous artists,
curators, and scholars in discussions about the ways they locate their own practices within local, national, and international narratives of history, place, and belonging.” The brainchild of Suzanne Morrissette, Cree-Metis artist, curator, and new colleague in SCCS, this symposium judiciously supported and expanded the content of the following two major exhibitions. The Writing on the Wall: The Work of Dr. Joane Cardinal Schubert at the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries, a major retrospective of the artist curated by Lindsey Sharman. Future Memories (Present Tense), curated by Lorenzo Fusi for the IKG, a group exhibition of six Indigenous artists from various parts of Canada who construct scenarios for possible futures. The list of symposium participants was remarkable. Four exhibition artists: Sonny Assu, Mark Igloliorte, Rolande Soulière, and Adrian Stimson (the other two being Peter Morin and Meryl McMaster) were joined by Bruno Canadien, Dayna Danger, David Garneau, Tanya Harnett, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Lisa Myers, Lindsay Nixon, Jessie Short, and Cowboy Smithx. Among many others, Aaksokgowamoski (Making relations) extended making relations to one of my classes during the symposium. Lindsey Sharman also made a special tour of The Writing on the Wall: The Work of Dr. Joane Cardinal Schubert for my first year students. As well Lorenzo Fuzi toured Future Memories (Present Tense) with two other classes raising crucial critical discussions. In short Aaksokgowamoski (Making relations) in conjunction with these major exhibitions animated critically and contributed significantly to course content at ACAD, as well as with a wider audience. As I,
Ashley Scarlett, panel moderator, with artists: Adrian Stimson, Mark Igloliorte, Rolande SouliĂ¨re, and Sonny Assu, photo by Elyse Bouvier for Illingworth Kerr Gallery
Mireille Perron - cont’d
and many others, have recognized, this is the ACAD/UCAL event that shaped moving progressively into the future this Fall semester. I asked Suzanne to add her voice to my short response. She cordially replied:
“Although seemingly inert, the act of locating oneself as an Indigenous
person is a part of much larger history of artistic representation which resists the characterizations and framing of Indigenous peoples within Western thought, while claiming space for Indigenous thought where it had once been wholly unwelcome. In the critical context of national celebrations, where ideas of commemoration have tended to overshadow the experiences of Indigenous peoples within the settler state, it is important to take note of the ways in which Indigenous artists have taken charge of their own representation. As someone who is new to Calgary, it felt especially pressing to be asking these types of questions within the context of Treaty 7, and in the year marked by (this land now known as) Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration. By providing this space for Indigenous voices to participate in acts of location, both as an act of reflection on the past and imaginings for the future, ACAD has been written into this important conversation in a new way. Performance artist James Luna is famously regarded for having asked in 1992, in response to the increased attention to Indigenous artists received in the year marking the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas: “but will you call me in ’93?”1 I see Aaksogowamoksi (Making relations) as an installation in what is a much larger commitment within the institution to creating critical forums for Indigenous peoples at ACAD moving into the future.” 1 Smith, Paul Chaat. 2009. “Luna Remembers.” In Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong,95. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Suzanne Morrissette photo by Elyse Bouvier for Illingworth Kerr Gallery
Mireille Perron - cont’d
The Universities Art Association of Canada Annual Congress October 12-15 Banff Centre
It is momentous for ACAD to have a voice at UAAC. It is laudable that SCCS
faculty, Benedict Fullalove, is UAAC Vice President, and was for his second time Conference Organizer. Ben, to everyone’s delight choose again the Banff Centre as UAAC 50th anniversary location. UAAC is the national voice of its membership, composed of university and college faculty, independent scholars, artists, designers, curators and other art professionals. The Annual Congress offers members the opportunity to network and present their research/practice. In addition UAAC supports a regular newsletter, and a scholarly journal (RACAR, Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review), all peer-reviewed. The UAAC belongs to the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada and is affiliated with the Comité international d’histoire de l’art (CIHA).
The UAAC Congress is truly one of my favourite events since I graduated
from University (quite a while ago!) I have rarely missed attending, presenting, as well as fulfilling various functions within its mandate, recently I am on RACAR advisory Board. This year, UAAC brought yet again, everyone together in a space that encouraged social and intellectual interaction.
Selected highlights include David Garneau’s keynote presentation, Indian
Agents: Indigenous Artists as Non-State Actors. Garneau provided a crucial opportunity for a critical reading of Canada’s systemic genocide of Indigenous people. Among others, Garneau distinguishes Indigeneity, Aboriginality and Tribal Identity; this critical division generated very constructive follow-up discussions.
A great registrationÂ turn out at UAAC 5Oth anniversary! photo by Ben Fullalove
Mireille Perron - cont’d
I co-chaired a panel on Craft’s Performativity with University of Regina’s
colleague Ruth Chambers. One of my panelist was Nicole Tritter, an ACAD alumna and soon to be graduate of the MFA at the University of Calgary. Nicole, who is from mixed indigenous and settler’s descent, articulates her research along this heritage/identity. Nicole is, like so many, a great admirer of Garneau’s work. As David attended our session, I could feel Nicole’s anxious appreciation when David, as usual, offered generous constructive comments.
Other ACAD participants as sessions Chairs or Presenters included present
and former faculty and alumni Julia Krueger, Rebecca Bourgault, Gerry Kisil, Alan Dunning, Mark Clintberg, David Garneau, (Yes, we let David get away to U of R!), Keith Bresnahan (also on RACAR advisory Board) and Anthea Black (I apologize if I missed anyone, which is most likely.) I must mention that Ben, who not only organized the event, but also found time to benefit from it to its maximum by chairing an open session on the Pre-Modern, and presenting in another. Ben’s paper was titled The Buffalo Nation’s Luxton Museum: Reconciling an Unreconstructed Museum in the Context of Banff National Park, which is a continuation of his ongoing research on landscape, place and identity.
To conclude, I asked Ben to share his impressions of this year’s Congress “First, I must thank Mireille for her work in communicating the above activities of various ACAD faculty, alumni and students. My only additions are to note that the UAAC Conference in Banff attracted more than 300 participants from across Canada and around the world, and that this number was only just short of the numbers of delegates recorded at our most recent conferences in Montreal and Toronto. This is a good indicator that, despite many challenges, there is a larger community of art historians, designers and artists willing to find the time and resources to participate in this important national association. I encourage all interested faculty members (and graduate students) to keep their eyes open for the calls for session and paper proposals early in the new year for next year’s conference, which will take place at the University of Waterloo.”
Constructed Histories, Laura Vickerson Duggan House, Medicine Hat, 2017
Ne w F acu lt y Sc h ool of Vis ua l Arts , P h o t o Andreas Rutkausus, Sessional Instructor
Andreas Rutkauskas, Cutline V, 2011, Selenium toned silver gelatin print, 51 x 61 cm, Collection of the artist
The third exhibition at PhotoLab, the Canadian Photography Institute’s experimental space, features the work of young Canadian photographer Andreas Rutkauskas. For several years he has travelled, often on foot with camera in hand, along the border separating Canada and the United States. Given carte blanche for this exhibition, Rutkauskas used the 1976 NFB book Between Friends/Entre Amis as a starting point for his exploration of this frontier territory, over 8,891 km long.
Exhibition PhotoLab 3: Between Friends Friday, November 3, 2017 to Friday, February 16, 2018 Location National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Photography Institute Galleries PhotoLab 380 Sussex Drive Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4 Canada
Between friends / An invitation to Andreas Rutkauskas Measuring 8,891 kilometres, the United States–Canada border is often referred to as undefended. However, this frontier is monitored with surveillance technologies. For several years Canadian photographer Andreas Rutkauskas has travelled along this border, most often on foot and with a camera in his hand. His photographs establish a pastoral landscape that is typical of this frontier: they stand in contrast to our collective imagination surrounding the term “border,” which conjures up imagery of more heavily militarized zones of separation such as the border between the United States and Mexico. For this exhibition, Rutkauskas has used the book Between Friends / Entre Amis (1976) as a starting point for his exploration of this frontier territory. Rutkauskas was born in Winnipeg and currently lives in Calgary, where he teaches photography at the Alberta College of Art + Design. His work has been shown at the Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto), Museo de la Cancillería (Mexico City), and Gallery 400 (Chicago). Between Friends / Entre Amis reproduces hundreds of colour photographs taken on both sides of the American-Canadian border by a group of twentysix Canadian photographers commissioned by the National Film Board of Canada. On the occasion of the American bicentennial, it was presented as “an enduring expression of friendship of Canadians for the people of the United States.” Learn more about the project: http://www.andreasrutkauskas.com/borderline https://www.gallery.ca/whats-on/exhibitions-and-galleries/photolab-3-between-friends
International Peace Garden
Fac ul t y Sc h ool of C ra f t + E m erg i n g Me d i a Laura Vickerson
Medalta Residency and Exhibition
Medalta is an historic site, a once thriving ceramic factory comprising now a museum, contemporary art gallery, artist studios and residencies. Myself and Penelope Stewart (from Toronto) were invited to participate in the International Artist in Residence program during the months of June/July to build a collaborative in situ exhibition in one of the now dormant beehive kilns. We have both worked extensively with historic site locations. During a site visit we were inspired by the industrial kilns, and machinery, the extensive collection of moulds, the archives and general detritus of the moribund factory history.
house life, refers to the agency and historic manufacture of the domestic
objects and the large beehive kilns at Medalta. We began the collaboration with conversations that explored the convergence and overlap of our individual practiceâ€™s. Re-current themes address notions of feminism, cultural memory, time and space with an interest in the symbolic nature of objects, domestic and postindustrial architecture and landscapes. We were interested in finding places to intervene, inhabit while activating the objects and the site.
For myself the beehive conjured up ideas of the home as a centre of activity:
a domain, historically, controlled by the female members of the household. Within the beehive, the activities centre on the matriarch: the queen bee. The
house life, Laura Vickerson + Penelope Stewart, Medalta 2017.
Laura Vickerson - cont’d
focus of house life became the relationship of a female presence in conjunction with the architecture of both the beehive and the kiln.
Upon entering the site honeycomb components constructed from multiple
hexagons of quilting fabric, old embroideries with floral imagery and dried flowers from my garden float just below the brick dome of the kiln. They appear as fragments, delicate and ephemeral, and suggest both home and the cycles of nature. Each hexagon has been dipped in beeswax creating a sculptural structure reminiscent of the honeycomb quilts created from scraps of fabric by the thrifty, industrious women of the household while the fragrance filling the kiln of beeswax laden pieces become sensory arrangements adding the sweet smell of honey to the environment.
In the work I was also making reference to the history of these kilns as
both locations of industriousness and temporary homes for those that rode the rails during the Great Depression of the 1930’s and who sought refuge in the warmth of these giant kilns.
Penelope’s fascination with the contents and context of the post-industrial
site became her initial point of departure. Her inspiration came from the original site visit where she began to imagine the use of the factory detritus as building blocks and incorporating a selection of the 1000’s of artifact moulds in some sort of installation in the kiln.
Penelope set about creating a collection of beeswax and unfired clay cast
objects inspired by the domestic moulds from the Medalta archive. These iterations became integrated into sculptural compositions, small monuments and still lifes alongside constellations of found objects placed on columns of
house life, Laura Vickerson + Penelope Stewart, Medalta 2017
plaster moulds. The stacked moulds play a central role and become elements of display highlighting their sculptural attributes, and modularity while transforming them into building blocks to create architectural constructions of horizontal and vertical spaces. The accumulated altered somatic objects are showcased as inhabitants of the space.
The delicate floating forms I created envelope the space in an ephemeral
gesture while Penelopeâ€™s heavy columns and arrangements suggest a material movement, a potential transformation, a liminal moment. The collaboration is both a reminder of the kilns previous life and the creation of a new topography.