Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Puter Poop Outs

The computer decided to die a mean death in one of the most exciting weeks I have had in ages.

Three people are now working in the studio to give me a hand with the new shows. Marie Ferguson, Hilary Young and Cara Manning. All are working hard and are being productive and helpful.

This weekend and parts of last week were spent helping pull together a guest talk at Public Dreams Society for the National Taiwan Craft Research Institute on Tuesday night. Five of the Institutes Artists have been here with work to celebrate the Lunar Festival.

I had such pre-conceived ideas about what these people might be like and I could not have been more wrong. They are highly dedicated to community building, environmental art practice and developing traditional craft methods while looking forward to contemporary and unique mehtods and application. They put most craft scenes to shame with their forward thinking and world view.

The group included Roby Swana, who is a member of one of the indigenous groups from Taiwan.
She is a delightful woman. Her work involves community collaberation. She uses logs that come in from the monsoons. She changes them and fills them with things like beach glass, burns designs on them, stands them up in the sand like a new forest and lets them be returned to the tides. Some of them are enormous lanterns. She sings and uses the beautiful beaches of Taiwan like I use my garden. They belong to her and other members of the Amis tribe.

Another member of this travelling troupe is Shu-Yen Chen. Lovely, thoughtful and talented. She makes enormous lanterns that have internal rooms. The lanterns are at least 10 feet high. They are made from hand made paper that is coated in waxes and becomes impervious to the rain. She lines the insides with beautiful natural dyed cloths that are transfered with images that are meaningful to her. The work has little sucker like openings to the ground and a way for light to escape for the spirits.

Shu Wen and Roby both crawled through my studio and asked textile artists questions about my process and my work.

The other artists who came from Taiwan are also remarkable and I will write more about them later. All I know is that I would like to go to Taiwan and meet them at home.

We get to meet them tomorrow night at the Public Dreams Society Office at 6:30-9:00. Address is 141-2050 Scotia Street Vancouver (private entrance is in the alley by the recycling bins)they tehn jump on a plane and travel back home at midnight. Come tomorrow night if you are in Vancouver. They really want to know other artists. Bring your information and images for them to bring home.

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