Ligaments and Ligatures

 Posted by on September 7, 2013
Sep 072013
 

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Heart Attack

This summer, my friend Karina, a multidisciplinary artist, had a solo show at the Ottawa City Hall gallery entitled Ligaments and Ligatures. Although the show has ended, I wanted to share some photos of her work. I’ve known her for a while now, starting when she introduced her collective art project at a Spins & Needles event in 2006. Her studio is a place full of wonderful, colourful textiles. Last time I went I think she was experimenting with flocking. It’s been so great to see her work develop over the years.

A catalogue excerpt from Ligaments and Ligatures: “In highlighting failures and crises, Bergmans highlights the fragility of those connective tissues, of their immanent potential for slippage, and the damage that occurs thereby. She must know of this intimately, for it is embedded in her process: what is thread, after all, if not a ligature?”

With this exhibition, you can see her skill and vision in reinterpreting reclaimed textiles, starting with the thread and texture of the fabric, all the way to the construction of a biological system. My favourite piece was Lungsconstructed from wire, foam, rope and a reclaimed wedding dress for the membrane.

You can see photos of the exhibition here and behind-the-scenes in making some of the pieces.

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Lungs

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Colon cancer

Larger than Life

 Posted by on May 12, 2013
May 122013
 

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A couple weeks ago, I checked out the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) as part of Swarm, a one-night gallery crawl where you can view the works on display at each of the different galleries in the Capital region.

Swarm was part of Northern Scene, a festival that the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa puts on every couple of years to highlight the work of different artists from across Canada. This time around Canada’s north (the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) were being featured as part of Northern Scene.

One thing I found that was different with this Scene is that it featured many artists who are emerging, and whose work I think really resonates with a younger generation. It might be because the population up north is generally younger. But basically there is some really fresh stuff going on up north.

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At OAG, I was very excited to see pieces by Joseph Tisiga, Sonja Ahlers and Rosemary Scanlon, the last two whose work I had been introduced to during my visit to Whitehorse a couple years ago for work. I had the chance to hear Sonja speak about her practice during a Pecha Kucha I organized at the MacBride Museum, and I purchased a print of one Rosemary’s pieces (above) at the first pop-up shop north of 60.

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A highlight for me at OAG was Veronica Verkley’s “documentary”, The Working Cat’s Guide to the Klondikewhich looks at the “nearly forgotten” practice of cat sledding in Dawson City. Lots of people kept asking is it real or not? Kittens in harnesseses? Judge for yourself.

Although Northern Scene has ended, many of the galleries are still showing the works of Northern artists.

For those of you in Ottawa, have you been able to check out any of the shows? What were highlights for you?

Creative Mornings Photobooth

 Posted by on March 31, 2013
Mar 312013
 

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This past Friday, I teamed up with Zara from Ottawa Velo Vogue, a wonderful local blog on fashion and bikes, with help from Jessica, to host an Easter-themed photobooth at Creative Mornings Ottawa.

Designing photobooths has been something I wanted to explore again. One of my faves is this one I put together for a Spins & Needles event at the Canadian War Museum a few years ago. (Tanks and fighter jets make an awesome backdrop.)

Zara and I have been talking about a photobooth collabo for a while now, but the CM Ottawa booth was a last minute project, so we weren’t quite sure how it was going to turn out. . . but we were super happy with the results! People really got into posing with our props, like the black bunny masks and filling in the chalkboard speech bubbles with sayings like “Extra Good Friday”. The photos will be posted to the CM Ottawa Flickr page.

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Our Easter-themed photobooth backdrop and props were relatively easy to put together.  Crepe paper streamers are lined up in a row and adhered to the wall using green painter’s tape.

For props, I cut out speech bubbles like Creative Mornings’ logo from thick cardboard, and painted them over with black chalkboard paint (about three coats). I also cut out rabbit masks from black bristol board, and attached a wooden dowel to the back with a glue gun.

I was especially happy with the way it went since I only had one evening to design the theme and props, and gather the materials. With such a tight timeline, it forced me to be resourceful and think about what kind of materials I already had in the house. Chalkboard paint was and still is my best friend!  Fittingly, the theme for the Creative Mornings talk this month was “reuse”.

Out Like a Lion

 Posted by on March 30, 2013
Mar 302013
 

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March came in like a lion and is leaving like a lion.

We just got back from Miami last Monday after spending four days there, and then this week jumped into hosting Curated Castoffs,  a large art + home decor swap event and designing an Easter-themed photobooth at our local Creative Mornings.

In the meantime, here’s some shots from last week. I’ll be posting more on my trip to Miami, including the architecture I fell in love with, our nights out, thrifting, and the food. I’ll also post a short recap on the photobooth tomorrow, which you can easily put together if you’re hosting a gathering this holiday weekend.

For photos and how to host your own art + decor swap event, I’ll be posting over on Spins & Needles blog.

Snow Days

 Posted by on February 27, 2013
Feb 272013
 

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This winter has definitely been a quintessential Canadian winter. It’s snowed pretty much twice per week since December, ranging from light, feathery flakes to a couple really bad storms. Every time I look out my office window, it’s like I’m watching a huge snow globe on replay. We’ve had some really gorgeous sunny days that are -20 degrees celsius but some days are just a grey bleh.

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To cope, I’ve been keeping warm in my apartment working on projects or meeting up with friends for coffees or at events. Watching the fireplace channel also helps too.

But on one bright Saturday afternoon post-storm, I bundled up and took a walk around the city to experiment with my new DSLR and take some shots of landmarks in the snow. Plus get some much needed sun and exercise.

The first shot is of the Rideau Canal. In the winter, it freezes over and transforms into the world’s largest skating rink. It’s funny because I have never actually skated down it yet, only walked. They have little rest stops along the way with fire pits to warm yourself up and pastries called Beavertails. Making them at home is on my list, and I’ll probably use this recipe.

The second is the National Gallery of Canada, with Louise Bourgeois’ work Maman guarding the building. You’ve probably seen Maman before, but I’m not sure she is permanently in any location that gets this much snow on the ground.

The third landmark is Parliament Hill, where  our government sits. This is the back of it; you can’t see it but behind it is a really magnificent view of a frozen Ottawa River.

We’ve still got about a full month of winter to go. Before it ends, I’m hoping to try snowshoeing or even ice fishing! How are you coping with the last few weeks of winter?