Sunday, April 3, 2016

Swept up by a new project!

Hello! Despite my lack of news here on the blog, I have been quite busy with various jewellery projects since the beginning of 2016.  The trouble is that the most exciting projects are often ones I'm not allowed to share with you because they are being submitted to juries for consideration for exhibitions and such.  It is a conundrum - I'd be thrilled to share images of what I'm working on with my readers, but I don't want to jeopardize my eligibility for my work to be selected by a jury.

As I mentioned in my last post, I did submit a sculpture to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council for their call for proposals to create the awards for their annual awards show.  I really enjoyed making the piece and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  Unfortunately my submission was not selected by the jury.  I would share it with you now except that I plan to submit it to the Craft Council's Annual Member's Exhibit!  Sorry!  But I will share this sneak peak with you.  The overall sculpture is approximately 4"x 4 1/2"x 3".  Familiar imagery for me to be sure, but this sculpture is curved - and I see great potential for taking this idea further.

I also submitted a set of brooches to the Metal Arts Guild of Canada's 70th Anniversary exhibition, Innovation to be held in Toronto, hosted by 18 Karat Gallery.  Again, I can't share images with you of the finished pieces, pending my acceptance/rejection for the exhibition.  I can tell you I decided to make work that incorporates 3M reflective fabric, with the thought that when you dress up to go out on the town, you might also wish to choose classy adornments for your coat that have the added bonus of being reflective at night.  No need to resort to the less than classy arm bands or *gasp* vests!

The images I will share with you now are from my current project.  Salmonier Nature Park is celebrating their 40th Anniversary with brand new facilities that will open to the public this spring.  The exhibition, Spirits Sheltered, will be a fundraiser for the Park.  It's a very exciting project to be involved with, and I will keep you updated as the preparation for it continues.

We (the participating artists) were invited out to the Park a month or so ago for a tour of the new buildings, and a comprehensive presentation on all the rehabilitative, educational, and tourism-focused programming they do there.  We visited the animals currently in residence, and were invited to come back in our own time to do further research as necessary for our artwork.  This is what I did over Easter weekend.

The Park is not yet open to the public, and the staff onsite is the skeleton crew necessary for animal care and administrative work.  There was a cabin available for me to stay in, and I had the freedom to wander the trails at my leisure observing the animals.  I accompanied Karen, the animal care-person, on her rounds one morning as she distributed food and water to the animals.  That was fantastic!  

Based on my initial visit to the Park, I decided I wanted to do a print and a piece of jewellery based on one of the white animals.  I'm still pondering this whole idea of "home", and how we feel "at home".  My plan is to make an embossed print of a mostly white animal, on white paper, with just enough ink to highlight the dark areas of the animal: its eyes, nose, and any dark markings on its coat.  Once I've printed the edition I will turn the printing plate into a brooch.

Based on this idea, the animals that were the main focus of my sketches and photographs were the snowy owls, the caribou, and the taxidermied ptarmigan and least weasels they have on display.  I had thought before I went out for my 3 day stay, that the snowy owl would be my primary focus, but because of his elusive nature I wasn't able to study him as well as I'd hoped.  The caribou, on the other hand, were incredibly engaging.  There are three; a mom, her yearling son, and an older male.  He became a resident of Salmonier Nature Park after becoming a nuisance animal in a community.  Because of this he is exceptionally friendly, even playful.  I must admit I was little smitten by the time I had to leave.  So he has become the focus of my primary sketch for the print.  I may well go on to do a series of these using the other white animals, as I really like the idea.
Hope you enjoy the photos!