Relinquish Control Of Your Offerings

Container Art- Forgotten Knowledge-2

Having my work on display at the PNE for the last few weeks has been an interesting experience with having art in a public space. There was so much destruction to my show after opening weekend of the PNE that I was ready to pack things in and take it down. Thousands of people went through the container and a large number of those were handling my work carelessly and breaking things. I had to remove three of the books after that first weekend because the objects were gone, and I had to do repairs to many others with partial damage. I was flabbergasted that people would be so disrespectful and careless.

It’s disheartening to watch so much of my hard work of the last few months get wiped out in a shorter time than it took me to make it all. At this point I’ve resigned myself to only being able to salvage some of this work for future use. It’s become a “sacrificial” art work for the sake of sharing my work with a larger audience of people.

On that note, Free Will Astrology had a very appropriate horoscope for me today:

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The Clash was a leftwing punk band that launched its career in 1976. With its dissident lyrics and experimental music, it aspired to make an impact on political attitudes. But then one of its songs, “Rock the Casbah,” got so popular that college fraternity parties were playing it as feel-good dance music. That peeved the Clash’s lead singer Joe Strummer, born under the sign of Leo. He didn’t want his revolutionary anthems to be used as vulgar entertainment by bourgeois kids. I sympathize with his purity, but I don’t advocate that approach for you. For now, relinquish control of your offerings. Let people use them the way they want to.

The Container Art Show at the PNE

This week I’ve spent every day onsite at the PNE working on my installation for the Container Art show. I wasn’t expecting to be there so much but I had a few technical difficulties with the hanging on Monday and then I’ve been back a few times to tweak different things. Everything else I needed to do has gone by the wayside this week because nothing is more important than getting this show exactly right before the PNE opens.

It’s been a great experience so far and the staff at the PNE have been supportive and helpful. I’ve met some of the other artists also showing at Container Art and it’s wonderful to see the different types of work and how each person has chosen to make use of their shipping container gallery space. I don’t have photos yet of anyone else’s work because everyone is still in the process of installing.

The Container Art Show

The Container Art Show-2

This is what the Container Art Gallery space looks like from the outside, to give you an idea of what to look for. It’s big and hard to miss. There will be video projections and light displays on the outside during the evening hours of the PNE. On the inside there will be art, including paintings, altered books, and wild installations I’m not sure how to describe. You’ll just have to go and see it for yourselves.

Container Art- Forgotten Knowledge

Container Art- Forgotten Knowledge-4

In my container the twenty-five encyclopedias float along the side and back walls, and the multitude of paper flowers I was working on last week hang from the ceiling. The final touch was to add a few arrangements of driftwood, pine cones, sticks, rocks and wildflowers along the bottom wall and corners. These were a last minute addition I decided was needed because the space along the lower part of the walls looked stark and empty.

Container Art- Forgotten Knowledge-7

Container Art- Forgotten Knowledge-3

Container Art- Forgotten Knowledge-2

The work will be on display for the two week run of the PNE and access to the Container Art show is included with the price of admission. Check it out if you get the chance and please do social share about the show on twitter, facebook, flickr, etc.

Container Art- Forgotten Knowledge-9

Paper Flowers

Paper Flowers

Earlier this week I decided the installation I’ve been putting together for Container Art needed “something more”, and so I started making paper flowers. These are made from five pieces of paper and then attached together with glue. I have made about fifty of them using pages cut from one of the left over encyclopedia volumes. You’ll have to wait and see what I’m going to do with them as part of the display.

Paper Flowers

Paper Flowers

The paper flower design is taken from Playing With Books by Jason Thompson, which I purchased from RubyDog’s Art House.

[A big thank you to Ariane for coming over earlier this week to hang out and help me make a few of the flowers.]

Forgotten Knowledge: The Completed Set

I finished the last book in the Forgotten Knowledge series last Friday morning and felt a mix of relief, satisfaction and sadness at finally getting them all done. I arranged them on the dinning room table in a circle to take a look at them for the first time as a set. They look amazing.

Forgotten Knowledge, the completed set of 25

Forgotten Knowledge, the completed set of 25

While there are about a million ways for these to be displayed, for the purposes of the Container Art space they will be hung on the wall fully open. I hope you can drop by the PNE and visit the show. More photos to come once this work is installed.

Forgotten Knowledge: Second Progress Report

Forgotten Knowledge

I was away on Quadra Island with Boris’ family last week which was a vacation but it also meant a long break from working on this project. Monday I resumed cutting up encyclopedias and as of today I have twenty-one of the twenty-five books completed. I love it when hard work pays off and things go smoothly. When all the books are done I can get started on some of the other ideas I have in mind to pull together for the installation. I have about two weeks left before this gets installed in the Container. I’m excited.

Forgotten Knowledge - details of acorn caps and camomile

Forgotten Knowledge - detail of deer bones

Forgotten Knowledge - detail of driftwood

The books featured in these photos contain seaweed, deer vertebrae, some form of fungus, chamomile, acorn caps, and drift wood. I had to rehydrate the seaweed in order to work with it because it was too dry and brittle to put in a book after sitting in my studio for weeks. I was amazed at how well it revived. It will dry out again over time, as will the chamomile flowers, but I’m okay with that.

Previous posts about this project (which will be on display in the Container Art show at the PNE): [1] [2] [3]

Forgotten Knowledge: Progress Report

Forgotten Knowledge

This week I’ve been working away at the individual altered books that will be assembled into the installation for the Container Art show. I set a goal to complete ten of these by the end of this week and as of yesterday afternoon I finished number eight. I’m very pleased with how this project is slowly coming together. Once all the books are finished I need to do further planning on how these will be displayed. My idea has evolved a bit since I wrote up the proposal over a month ago.

Forgotten Knowledge-4

Forgotten Knowledge-3

Forgotten Knowledge-2

These details shots feature an oyster shell, a barnacle covered rock, and two dried oyster mushrooms. Everything was collected on my last trip to Bowen Island.

Good News: Container Art & The Eastside Culture Crawl

The last few weeks I’ve been stressing over the mail because two important items I’d sent off in June were taking a REALLY long time to show up at their intended destination. I hate things like this because there is absolutely nothing I can do about lost mail. One of these items was a cheque covering my registration fee in the East Side Culture crawl and it’s failure to reach the organizers in a timely fashion meant having to pay an additional fifty dollars. The increased cost had me reconsidering taking part in this event because money is tight right now. But much to my relief the cheque finally arrived after a two week trip around Vancouver. Apparently part of the mailing address contact information on the Crawl’s web site was incorrect, and many notes on the envelope later my cheque found itself at the correct address. Phew!

On the very same day the cheque arrived I had another piece of good news I’d been waiting for. I received an email from the organizers of the Container Art show letting me know I’d been chosen as one of the twelve participating artists. What is the Container Art show you might ask? It’s a bit of a traveling art show which uses empty shipping containers as the venue for artists to create site specific work in a variety of mediums. There have been Container Art shows in Rome, New York, Jerusalem, Milano, etc., and this is the second year this will be done on site at the PNE grounds.

Forgotten Knowledge

Forgotten Knowledge-2

The project I am putting together for this show is book based. As mentioned in my monthly newsletter, and a previous blog post, I’ll be working with twenty-five volumes of a set of encyclopedias and combining these with found objects. At the moment I only have five of the twenty-five completed and about a month left until the date of installation, but I am so excited to be in this show. It’s an incredible opportunity for me and it’s been just the right motivation I needed to try something on a larger scale than my previous work.

Stay tuned as I work my way through to the end of this project, and please do come and see it at the PNE in August.