The best news of all about last Fall was that I met with faculty and advisors and we have come up with a plan for me to graduate in two more semesters! The changing curriculum and my slow pace with only taking classes in the fall so I can travel in winter made it a challenge. After reviewing my transcripts for previous education I was given credit for more courses which means I will only need to take primarily studio courses - wonderful!
I took three classes last Fall.
Fibre 327 was a directed studio. In this class we were able to focus on concepts and techniques of interest to us. I chose to take the time to do some research about the use of the body within contemporary art and to create pieces relating to the body. I also wanted to push my felt making expertise and experiment with techniques I hadn't tried. I learned a lot completing these four pieces.
The first one, Off Balance was a huge technical challenge of creating a hollow form using a resist, stuffing it, supporting it with an armature and incorporating a base.
Every so often, life pulls us ahead in all sorts of confusing directions into an unpredictable future. It unbalances us. Should we resist moving forward? Which path should we take? Off-balance is about that instant when we are faced with a challenging or confusing future. Everyone can be thrown off centre, It’s how we proceed that defines not only who we are but who we will become. The fibres on the base and incorporated into the body represent the paths that we have taken, the potential paths in the future and how they are integral to who we are.
|It's What's on the Inside|
Over and over again we hear that it is what’s on the inside that counts. But in our visually-focused reality, how do we let our personality and inner-self shine through – and by doing so, do we risk losing something of who we are?
|Suspension of Disbelief|
Suspension of Disbelief is a representation of our ability to temporarily accept as credible something that we know to be incredible. Whether we are willingly able to suspend our disbelief as suggested by S.T. Coleridge or whether we are able to create imaginary worlds which operate under different logical rules as advocated by J.R.R. Tolkien, we overcome the pragmatism of reality and experience a host of emotions and unreal realities that make our lives richer. But with this can come a sense of absence or loss when we return to the reality of day-to-day life.
The suspended felt head armour (or chanfron and criniere) of a unicorn are intended to represent the beauty and wonder of the mythical while conveying its absence in the present reality. Positioning of the piece at head height with top lighting is intended to support the notion of a body being absent.
This piece was definitely my favourite but was also very tricky and involved creating and integrating seven prefects into the final piece. I submitted it to the Priddis and Millarville Fair this summer and it won the Award of Excellence for the Fibre. It can be worn as well so I'm thinking it may have another future.
Like many other people, I was finding the political environment very disturbing last Fall which inspired the last piece.
It is human nature and comfortable for us to align ourselves with a belief system that makes sense to us, to associate with people who share the same views, and to seek out information that validates our beliefs. This tendency to polarize is being exacerbated within today’s political and social environment: the media clearly take polarized positions and seem to focus on fueling emotions rather than presenting information; families and friends are being divided by political dissention; and politicians tend to demonize those with different views rather than engage in knowledgeable debate.
Yup - that's bee's wax on felt.
Painting 300 was a 3rd year studio class. From the get go, I asked my instructor to critique my work from a painter's perspective and to push me in ways I might not have thought of. One of the most important things that I got from this class was creating samples and trying to understand and explain the similarities and differences between blending colour with fibre versus paint. It is one of the things that has got me very interested in creating complex colours in felt.
Lots of experimentation with fibre, paint, fabric paint, and dying.
I have to admit that I put off taking PPRL 202 as long as I could. The issue was that a good part of the mark and effort involved group work which I was not looking forward to based on my experience at the school. In most circumstances I enjoy working in groups, but in school there are lot of dynamics which have the potential to go sideways. Suffice it to say that it was every bit as bad as I feared but I made it through and did well in the class. Despite the negatives of the group project, the rest of the course was extremely valuable. I learned a great deal about how contemporary art operates as a profession.