Thursday, December 29, 2011

*Queen Specific

Queen Specific is a window exhibition space displaying site specific art installations. This tall, rectangular vitrine is located on Queen Street West adjacent to and is co-sponsored by Dufflet Pastries. Currently, the work of one of my favorite artists, Toronto-based Jeannie Thib who I had the awesome pleasure of doing a work placement with back when I was in school, has work being featured in the space... Check it out if you get a chance to pass by! 
The work will be up until Jan. 17th 2012.

Column incorporates thirty-six identical waterjet cut polystyrene components that are based on the design of an 18th-century tile from the collection of the Maison Patrimoniale de Barthète in France. The subsequent three-dimensional form is “extruded up” in stacked layers from a plan view of the two-dimensional design. This installation for *QueenSpecific is one of several recent works that use decorative motifs as building blocks in grid based, modular constructions. These works examine relationships between ornament and architecture, original and copy.

Born in North Bay, Ontario, Jeannie Thib studied at York University in Toronto and has exhibited nationally and internationally since the 1980s. Recent exhibitions include B and K Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, NB. She has participated in artist residencies in The Netherlands, France and Australia. Thib’s works are represented in the National Gallery of Canada, the Washington DC Convention Center and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal collections among others and she has created several permanent public art works. 

Jeannie Thib is represented by Katzman Kamen Gallery, Toronto 
and Ferneyhough Contemporary, North Bay, ON 

Here is a look at some of her previous work which I love:

*QueenSpecific is programmed by Toronto based artist Joy Walker.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Julie Moon @ Katzman Kamen Gallery

Before you start to get lost in all of the holiday madness, there are a couple shows currently on that look like they're really worth checking out. I plan on popping by this saturday while people are busy shopping to take in some art. The first show worth noting is an exhibition @ Katzman Kamen Gallery (formerly Leo Kamen Gallery) in the beautiful old bulding that is 
80 Spadina. While I was initially drawn by the work of one of my favorite Toronto ceramic artists, Julie Moon, I am also looking forward to seeing works by Crystal Liu and Rajni Perera.

The exhibition runs till Dec. 22nd, 
Here is a look at some of Julie's work... 

Household Notions opening reception

Finally! its been a while since i've worked in textiles and I am glad to finally have some new work to show... here are a couple pics from the install and the opening of Household Notions at the Telephone Booth Gallery. On until January 28th! If you get a chance, please go check it out!

Friday, December 2, 2011

World of Threads Festival 2012

This looks like its gonna be a good one folks! The calls for submissions are now open for the next World of Threads Festival! Check it out below! Plus a featured artist of the week interview by me, super exciting!

Four Calls for Submissions

2012 World of Threads Festival

The World of Threads Festival is a leading international showcase of contemporary fibre art. It takes place in Oakville & Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We believe that some of the most exciting and compelling artwork being made today is happening in the field of fibre arts. Through our initiatives we have discovered some remarkable artists and brought them to the attention of Canadian and international audiences. Our website has become a central hub for lovers of fibre art with our Weekly Fibre Artist Interviews series. To date we have conducted over 50 interviews, and published 39, with Canadian and international artists.
Common Thread International Exhibitions: We invite artists from around the world to submit. These multiple curated exhibitions feature a large variety of work.
Calls for Submissions:
1)    Artwork and Interior Gallery Installations
2)    Outside Environmental Installations
3)    “Fibre Inspired” exhibition
4)    Proposals for Independent Projects

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Household Notions @ Telephone Booth Gallery

I will be participating in an upcoming textiles exhibition at Telephone Booth Gallery, in the junction. Opening reception is Thurs, Dec 1st 6-9 pm. Here is the postcard and a sneak peak of the show!

LIZZ ASTON – paper burn-out, porcelain
NOELLE HAMLYN – free-motion embroidery
PAM LOBB – mixed media printmaking
DORIE MILLERSON – needle lace
AMANDA PARKER – kiln cast glass

Opening Party & Holiday Cheer:
Thurs, Dec 1st, 6 - 9pm

Also attend the grand opening of ARTiculations (art supplies, workshops, exhibitions).  Same night until 10pm.  (2928 Dundas St West).

Whether inspired by a character in a contemporary novel or by the ability of thread to link elements together, a narrative quality runs through each of the works in Household Notions.   Textiles have a rich history that speaks to women and craft.   These multi-layered sculptures explore domestic textiles, (including needlework and crochet) as well as the personal relationships, memories, and attachments that are formed with handmade objects, and the narratives that can be created with them.   Alternative mediums such as glass, paper and porcelain expand upon our expectations of conventional textile patterns and constructions.   Just as fabrics can degrade and fade with time, some textile references have been deconstructed, leaving residual impressions that reflect upon the absence of the object.   Overall themes of exploration in this exhibition include fragility, intimacy, strength and tension.
*Notions are small items for household use such as needles, buttons and thread.  A notion can also be a belief, an idea or a whim.  Here’s a household notion for you:  Call your mother.

Tues by appt.
Wednesday - Friday  11am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
3148 Dundas Street West - Toronto - Ontario - M6P 2A1
(The Junction, Dundas at St. John's Rd.)
T 647 270 7903 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            647 270 7903      end_of_the_skype_highlighting -

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fabricate: Natural dyes and white-work embroidery.

Last spring I began working on a series of samples for a project with my studio mate Jen Kneulman from Freshly Printed, taking a break from our usual work. We were interested in sampling natural dyes using discarded threads from the end process of our work, and also sampling polychromatic screen printing using natural dyes.

The time we spent playing with dyes, and paper and linen fibres inspired the beginning of our collaboration for Fabricate, a joint exhibition at Meredith Keith Gallery and Freedom Clothing Collective. Here is our statement from the show and  some images from the project:

White-work embroidery samplers:

Inspired by the intimacy and intricacies of embroidery techniques and textile handwork, this collaboration between Lizz Aston and Jen Kneulman explores the notion of the embroidery ‘sampler’ on a much larger scale than tradition dictates.Using natural dyes and linen and paper threads, each artist begins by weaving an inter-connected series of threads off the wall, creating a grid like base for the techniques explored. Naturally dyed threads are then used to bind, twist, stitch and affect form and pattern, thus creating a play of negative and positive spaces, light and shadow.
This collaboration is an exploration of the common techniques encompassed within the artists’ respective practices. Taking reference from pulled-thread work and white-work embroidery techniques, as well as traditional dyestuffs, this installation is used to create a visual dialogue that addresses the intimacy found within traditional textile work and how it is affected by scale, material and context.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heir/Looms @ Studio Beluga, Montreal

Back in August, I had the opportunity to travel and take part in the exhibition: Heir/looms, at Studio Beluga, in Montreal. Although it was such a brief exhibition, I was really impressed by the scope of textile work in the show. I wanted to share with you an excerpt from the Catalogue put together by curator Nicole Dawkins, as well as some images from the exhibiton:

Threads of Attachment

Nicole Dawkins

The last decade has seen a quiet proliferation of handmade fibre-based work within the contemporary art world. Some have argued that the resurgence of craft practice in visual art- as well as the rise of the braoder DIY craft movement- are rooted in a detachment from and longing for material experience.
Making things with our hands promises to link us to an imagined past of more meaningful creative production and "connect us to what modernity seems to wrench away" (Glenn Adamson).
And yet at the same time, the material and creative legacies that haunt these works are often downplayed or positioned discursively as ruptures from or subversions of tradition- for example in the popular media refrain "This ain't your granny's craft fair/ embroidery/ quilting bee/ etc.".
This reflects, on one level, an implicit challenge to the binaries (individual vs. collective, sudden vs. slow, progressive vs. conservative, original vs. traditional) that continue to mark the (now permeable) boundary between "art" and "craft". In order to be accorded the status of art, craft objects need to be "transformed into autonomous artistic creations detached from traditional contexts" (Karin Peterson).
The original concept for HEIR/LOOMS grew out of what I saw in my academic work and my creative practice as a tension between the yeraning to reconnect with traditions of making, and conflicting desire to cut those threads. What would it be like, I wondered, to have contemporary artists who work with craft materials and techniques to present their work alongside familial or cultural heirlooms that they had inherited? The intention was not to critique these points of rupture or disconnect, nor to weave together an artificial narrative of creative continuity, but rather confront the complexity  and ambivalence and techniques of our respective heritages.
Drawing from the qualities of textiles- fluid, flexible, and interwoven- the works we decided to include in the exhibit tell a far richer and more compelling story than the simple juxtaposition of new works and old crafts. Instead, these twelve artists engage in distinct ways with the notions of "heirloom"- emulating or appropriating specific linguistic and creative traditions; revisiting nostalgic signifiers of family and home; incorporating hand-me-down and discarded materials; and collaborating on and with things left behind by mothers, grandparents, and anonymous strangers.
Disrupting the boundaries between hobby craft and art object, past and present, "traditional" and "contemporary", works that make up HEIR/LOOMS explore how we use textiles to remember, preserve, and construct the past as well as frame ourselves for future remembrance.

Thea Haines: The Fruit Cellar of Miss H...
Mason jars, fabric, thread. 2011

Amanda McCavour: Stand in for home
Thread, 2009 - 2010

Cross stitched: Aida cloth, floss 2011

Tara Bursey: Crossed stitches, 2011

Lizz Aston: Antiquated Notions - Drop Stitch
Paper, free-motion embroidery, thread, burn-out.

Sarah Gotowka: Embroidery Sampler for 2011
Cloth, embroidery, floss.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Studies in Porcelain

Since i haven't updated my website in a while, I wanted to use this space to share with you a bunch of images that came out of the neat little material samples and studies I made leading up to the Studio Remix exhibition... I have a couple new projects lined up in the meantime including an exhibition at the Telephone Booth Gallery which is coming up on Nov. 30th, and includes the incredible work of Dorie Millerson, Pam Lobb and Amanda Parker.. so hopefully I will get a chance to dive back into working in porcelain again sometime in the new year and make some awesome new stuff for you to check out! hope you enjoy!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Studio Remix @ the Ontario Crafts Council

Just a quick heads up! this is the last weekend you have to check out the exhibition Studio Remix at the Ontario Crafts Council gallery, queen and ossington. 

The exhibition took over a year in the making, from the first conversation I had with curator Monica Chow when she visited me at the Artist Project in March 2010, to the final opening reception for the exhibition on August 4th.
The project was a huge undertaking, as each of us as we stepped out of our comfortable and familar studio practices to both teach and engage in the making of work in new materials.

Participating artists in the show include: Aneela Dias D’Sousa, Shuyu Lu, Benjamin Kikkert, Rose Angeli Ringor, Lizz Aston, Sylvia Nan Cheng, Micah Adams and Niko Dimitrijevic. Here is a look at some of the work:

Shuyu Lu, Assimilation (detail), 2011.
Textile hoops, stoneware clay, silkscreened underglaze, glaze

Micah Adams, Homemade Geology, 2011.
Fused and carved glass

Niko Dimitrijevic, Clouds, 2011.
Copper, brass

Lizz Aston, Porcelain 'wall paper', 2011. 
Paper, free-motion embroidery, burn-out, porcelain.

Exhibition catalogues are available at the Ontario Crafts Council, 
Here is an overview of what the show is about:
Ontario Crafts Council Gallery
990 Queen Street West
There are many factors that contribute to an individual’s decision to pursue a life of craft.  Nostalgia and personal history, cultural identity and community or family relationships, can deeply inform the aesthetics and theme of an artist’s work, as well as the material and techniques that are employed to achieve the desired effects.  These ideas and concepts can be expressed in other artistic and visual ways, so what compels someone to work with craft media?  The unifying trait of all craftspeople could be described as an innate understanding of material: they possess an intuitive knowledge of process – a natural aptitude that is honed through continued education, practice and exposure, and the ability to manipulate material to translate their ideas and concepts into multi-dimensional form.
Studio Remix presents an opportunity to transcend a particular material and confront, or embrace, a different set of material challenges.  Eight Toronto craftspeople who work in one of the four primary craft media (ceramics, fibre, glass and metal) have been partnered with one another, forming four collaborative pairs of artists who work in two different materials.  Each participant has been tasked with teaching their partner the processes and techniques of their own material to the extent that each member of the pair will be able to conceive and produce work using the material they have just learned.
By removing these craftspeople from their comfort zone and presenting them with a whole new set of material challenges, Studio Remix puts form to the underlying forces that drive creative processes.  Correlations between different craft media are revealed, and new materials operate to effect change in established bodies of work.  After all, a change of scenery always presents a whole new way of looking at the things you see every day.