A while back, MyTarpit and I had an idea that has since been gently brewing.
I am often struck by how much grief and turmoil is poured into artwork by artists. I understand that this is all part of life - I've had my fair share of suffering. But I'm beginning to get worn down, when walking into a gallery, by being confronted by 'tortured souls, relationship breakdowns and grief heaped upon grief'. If I want to see this, I can watch the news or read the press. I'm not saying it shouldn't exist, just that all to often in life, we seem to forget to harness the deep joy and happiness that can pour forth from us so easily if we just let it. We are not sure if this is the first show of its kind, but already, it's beginning to expand into a big ball of hope and joy for everyone involved.
The Elementals Birds show launches on 23rd October.I'd like to share the idea with you in advance.
ELEMENTALS’: Is a very special experiment to see if artists, printmakers and craftspeople can physically embody feelings of peace, harmony and goodwill in their artwork and tangibly affect the environment in which it’s shown.
Definition: ‘Elementals’ - thoughts that once created, become attached to their creator and are fed by further thoughts and actions. Often referred to as an air of positivity or negativity; confidence or its lack; peace or disharmony.
Only professional artists with artistic integrity known and trusted by the creators of the project have been invited to participate, sending artwork from all over the world.
Before they begin working on each piece, each and every time, our artists are asked sit quietly for 5 minutes, contemplating the peace, harmony and goodwill that they want to be embodied. Then they imagine those feelings coming down their arms and out of their fingers into the piece as they design and make it, releasing it to reside in the finished article.
‘Elementals’ will kick off with a pre-show printmaking week. Andy (MyTarPit) and Inga (Rockpool Candy) will be artists in residence to work alongside some of the US printmakers taking part in the experiment.
Over 200 constructed Elemental birds will be installed in the gallery for the show. Andy and Inga will also each build a giant, scaled-up version of their own ‘Elementals’ sculptures in situ. Students in all areas of study will be invited to create ‘Elementals’ with paper, salt etch, ceramics, and textiles to be left around campus and the local towns. The aim is to creating a sculptural virus of well being around St Lawrence University.
Currently, restoration work is taking place on this very exciting building. And we are proud to say that ‘Elementals’ will travel to this newly-refurbished, state of the art, 4-storey centre for excellence in crafts and art in 2012.
Excitedly, it can also be announced that the show will go to NZ. This centre for excellence in nontoxic printing, owned by printmaker Mark Graver has a lovely gallery surrounded by extensive sub-tropical gardens for any pieces that might like to sit outside.
Shh. Don't tell fibre, but I have a new beau.... ceramics. We meet often, spend time being creative and surprising each other.
It's led me to meet with other ceramics nuts in scrapyards.
The kind that know how to bodge a kiln together out of a shopping trolley and a steel drum.
And fire it to a temperature of 800 degrees C!
And then raku smoked in an old ammunitions box filled with woodchips donated from our woodturner mate's workshop floor.
Mmmmm cherrywood smoke.
It's like Christmas opening the box after half an hour to see what comes out.
The smoke deepens the crackle glaze cracks' colour beautifully.
Not a bad couple of hours' fun. (In case you're wondering what we do whilst we wait, we bbq at the same time - but not in the kiln.) None of the pots are mine. They belong to the throwers - a skill I'm trying to acquire.
But I am working on some porcelain birds for raku firing.
A whole flock in fact. They are for my Elementals Birds project - which I'll tell you all about next week.
I've been asked to create a piece to sit, rug-like around The Society's stunning Steinway piano for the event. Now you know me, I'm Mrs Colour, so working just in black was a real challenge. But the more I looked, the more shades of black I came across.
I've embroidered black linen with wool and crocheted cabling into urchins. Dyed yarns and created porcelain scales.
Irish-crocheted ribbon and dyed silk cocoons to encrust astrakan.
Press moulded porcelain bones, grogged them with graffiti ink, and built one of my bone nests.
Crocheted video tape onto leatherette and used vintage haberdashery.
And finally added decadent ostrich feathers, satin and (mock) snake skin. I'm hoping this will reflect the piano's ultra-shiny surface.
Here's the final piece. I hope that it fits under the piano - working to the Steinway plans to create a piece on a different continent, then flying out and hoping it fits two nights before the opening is really rather nerve-wracking!
Inga Hamilton is proud to say that diversified technology company 3M support her art and community work by providing 3M 4251 Maintenance Free Gas/Vapour and Particulate Respirators for those involved in her projects.