Sunday, March 17, 2019

Articulation Textile Group Prepares for Portals Gallery March 2019

ARTICULATION TEXTILE GROUP 
PORTALS GALLERY
MARCH 26th-APRIL 18, 2019
COWICHAN VALLEY ARTS COUNCIL
ISLAND SAVINGS CENTRE
2687 JAMES ST, DUNCAN BC

Articulation’s show at Portals Gallery in Duncan BC is fast approaching. Members' works are arriving on the Island in various containers, designing surface trails by land and sea and hopefully, nothing is lost in the between. 

Parcels on Lesley’s doorstep

Unwrapping the parcels is always a delight as we discover something new about our colleagues, their response to a shared experience within an environment and their expression of some of the concepts and ideas inspired by that specific place. 


                                           Sidney by the Sea, October 2018

Each one of us has created works in textiles and the tangents I find are in themselves inspiring. Wendy Klotz has spent some time examining our impact on oceans, developing this series of jellyfish using drinking straws and plastic bags. It will be one of the works on display during Articulation's exhibition at Portals Gallery entitled "Forest and Sea and the Place Between".
The show opens March 26th at the Island Savings Centre, 2687 James Street, Duncan. Pencil it in if you are in the area up to and including April 18th.


The human impact on our environment is something we hear about often but sometimes it is easy to dismiss those events as happening somewhere else to somebody else and not affecting our little piece of the world. I took some time to look into environmental villains generally and the drinking straw specifically. The pieces, "Flotsam and Jetsam", use dye painted raw canvas to create a landscape background upon which a fence woven with drinking straws and hand painted cotton and silk charmeuse respectively, refers to the notion of good fences making good neighbours. In reality, however, ocean currents do not distinguish between my garbage and yours and so our rose coloured glasses are not able to counteract the tide of plastic waste that is affecting bodies of water and fragile ecosystems everywhere.



Flotsam detail, by Amanda Onchulenko
Ingrid Lincoln another Manitoban among our group shares an image of her piece "Verdant" below. While each of us has completed our physical works there is still much to do as we collate our thoughts and try to encapsulate our process, ideas, and resultant works in 200-250 words. No easy task.


Verdant by Ingrid Lincoln

Sometimes we get to work on our projects together but most of our recent show preparation has been undertaken in our studios, on our kitchen tables and between the daily events and activities of our everyday lives. We hope you will stop by to see some of these works in person during the run of the show. Three of six members will be at the Portals Gallery for an Artist Reception on Saturday, April 13th between 3 and 5 pm. We hope you might join us.


lesleyturner.blogspot.com

wendyklotz.blogspot.com

donnaclement.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 9, 2019

'Forest and Sea and the Place Between' Articulation's Next Exhibition

West Coast Vancouver Island sunset

Articulation Textile group is on the exhibition trail once again. This time we are headed to Portals Gallery, one of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council's galleries. 

Find the Portals Gallery in the Island Savings Centre,
2687 James Street, Duncan BC (250) 746 1633


The gallery is open Monday to Friday 11am- 5pm, Saturday noon- 3pm.
It is closed on Sundays and holidays.

Image result for island savings centre

Articulation’s exhibition 'Forest and Sea and the Place Between' opens on Tuesday, March 27th at 11am  and closes April 18th at 5pm, 2019.

An artist reception will be held Saturday, April 13th from 3-5pm with three of the artists in attendance giving talks. We hope you will join us.  



Donna Clement leads an artist tour during the 'WAR: A Personal Response' exhibition in Sidney Museum.

Our days spent searching shorelines for inspiration are long behind us and the revelations we have come to personally have evolved into art expressed in textiles. 



Wendy Klotz on Glass Beach, Sidney

The Salish Sea inspired our reverence and interaction. Sidney Spit welcomed us at low tide and we all had the opportunity to breathe in the luxury of salted air and sunshine on our creative journey of discovery. Each of us experienced learning, examining, ruminating and filtering of our thoughts and reflections through our uniquely individual perspectives. 


View of Sidney Spit as we started our ferry ride over to the island

The forest surrounded us in backyards like this one on the Saanich Peninsula. It took us on walks and led us along rugged trails where we roamed, dwarfed by monumental green and hoped the bear patty we recently passed was not a fresh one.



Prairie dwellers among our group may not have been fully prepared for the enormity of the west coast’s timber cathedrals, their extreme verticality and the overwhelming saturation of green. 



We have been working the details out across the west as our group has developed their individual ideas, in colour, in fabric, in paint, and in dye. I would not be surprised to see some felt or a quilt and you can definitely expect to see some intricate handwork, all gathered from the same experience yet interpreted and expressed very differently. 
Mounting a show is not limited to creating the work. There are many details to follow up on and much head scratching to engage before the doors can open to the public. Members now are busy behind the scenes writing up information documents about their work. Editing, proofing, rewriting and editing some more. 
We would love to hear your comments on our commentary once you have seen the show. As an artist, we often face the dilemma of wondering how much information is enough and what is too much. Does the work benefit by context or is it better to leave discovery as an open-ended term for both the creator and the viewer? As I said, there is so much to consider even as we put the finishing touches on our work and package it up to ship out. Stay tuned for our next post as we share some snippets of our process. 




Friday, March 8, 2019

Articulation, "WAR: A Personal Response", Processing Poppies

 Articulation Textile Group has had a busy year of production and exhibition that was highlighted by the Sidney Museum Show entitled, "WAR: A Personal Response". The show was a successful 6 weeks of exhibition time in the company of Peter Garnham, Executive Director, and dynamo Alyssa Gerwing, Assistant Director of the Sidney Museum, who helped to facilitate the display of our very personal works into effective installations.

Over 500 visitors made their way into the gallery and museum to take in our show and we are very grateful for all the positive feedback the show has received.
Our group of Canadian fibre artists worked under the initial premise of researching our family histories to learn how war has impacted future generations of our respective families. The process was enlightening and emotional and the final works were produced using techniques that included: quilting, deconstruction of clothing, hand and machine stitching, reprographic processes, soft sculpture, installations in fabric, paper, and assembled objects and 3D embroidery.

Victoria local, Lesley Turner created an installation representing her grandmother's PTSD state of mind by combining a variety of domestic arts: stitch, knitting, embroidery, and deconstruction to illuminate the personal trauma triggers that were a constant in her grandmother's world. These daily reminders of her circumstances as a war widow, unsupported after her husband's suicide, achingly illuminates the vulnerability of a generation, literally coming apart at the seams.

Wendy Klotz's work focused on a grandfather killed in action who left behind an infant son. The family became the centre of her explorations in felt, fabric, and paper, many inspired by a single oversized portrait of the former serviceman whose diminished presence is amplified in felted, "As Time Goes By". Eighteen poppies commemorate the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren he never knew in Wendy's blanket of poppies, made to distinguish his grave from the many military graves surrounding his, at rest, in Belgium.

Donna Clement of Calgary displayed work that focused on the industry of the immigrant displaced by war and political upheaval. Donna's installation of the canning cabinet illuminates the resourcefulness of a people displaced, surviving and thriving and holding onto their history through food and the contribution of women. Eco dying as well as hand and machine quilting and paper constructions were also included in Donna's installation. 


Saskatchewan quilter and book artist, Leann Clifford, stitched her family story into fabric. The Dresden plate pattern showcasing examples of domestic linens and handkerchiefs reflects the desire of women in general and Leann's family in particular, to tend to personal details even in adversity. Her industrious quilted contribution keeps us mindful of the way this poignant theme continued to inspire us all to create just one more piece, over and over again.

Winnipeg fibre artist, Ingrid Lincoln, was born in Ukraine. Her family experienced the Russian Revolution and World Wars I and II. "Remember the Children" shows her as a young child labelled as a refugee with a tag pinned to her coat. In the tragedy and upheaval of wartime Ingrid's mother held onto her memory of the beautiful cherry orchard she recalled from her homeland which Ingrid beautifully recreated sculpturally with machine embroidery and wire. Her work reminds us there is light, even in darkness.

Amanda Onchulenko has family connections to wartime in England through her mother who was born in Sheffield in 1942 as well as to a Canadian medic, her father in law, who landed on Juno Beach on D Day. Her works were inspired by the poppy which she paints frequently in her painting practice and enjoys for their cheeky personification of shape and personality. A single poppy gifted her by Tony Bates, her current dSheffieldeld connection who gathered the commemorative piece below as a schoolboy, was the first inert object he had known to fall from the sky. It reminds Amanda of the resilience of children who find simple pleasures despite the adversity of their circumstances.  A family trip to Juno Beach in Normandy in the spring of 2018 inspired awe and gratitude for the contribution of those who came before us whose sacrifices allow us to live and travel peacefully today.

The war project provided a new way to approach fibre arts production for our Articulation group. Working in community on a common theme became more and more personal as each member dove deeper into their personal histories. We learnt a lot about ourselves and each other and supported each others revelations and products. The resulting works when displayed inspired our visitors to discuss and discover their own connection to the subject and to appreciate with new eyes the sacrifices made in the past that make our present and future so precious.

Thank you to all involved for your many contributions. A special thank you to Lesley Turner who took the wheel in hand and drove this puppy through its development and home. Gathering on the island to install the show was a further reinforcement of the community this group of fibre artists has successfully woven. Stay tuned at the end of each month for future news of our combined creations.








Monday, February 25, 2019

Welcome to 2019!

The New Year was quickly upon us and January blew in fiercely, especially for those on the prairies who have been managing through extreme cold. Out west on Vancouver Island, Lesley spent days without power after some crazy storms. Annually we all realize we cannot combat the weather and so head to our studios and work spaces to get a jump on our respective projects after a busy holiday season.

Family was the common theme of our combined end of year focus: twins were born in Leann Clifford’s family and everybody is healthy and growing. Congratulations to another first-time grandmother.

Weddings and international travel consumed time for New Zealander and Vancouver Islander Lesley Turner who, as well as teaching her colour workshop to lucky participants, spent time visiting with her growing grandson.

Donna Clement has been spending the gift of time celebrating a milestone birthday with family and continuing her travels with family and friends, while Wendy Klotz has been inspiring the creative juices in her extended family. Marie Kondo’s mantra of “what brings me joy” has been infiltrating her work space and presenting some challenging decisions for a creative with supplies for potential use in future projects. Wendy has also rediscovered drawing as the Sudoku for artists.

Ingrid Lincoln has been hunkering down working to avoid the harsh winter weather on the prairies with a focus on the many projects under the Articulation heading in what will be a heavy year of exhibitions in 2019.

I (Amanda Onchulenko), am grateful to be back at work in my new smaller and decidedly warmer space and am enjoying my time experimenting on silk and canvas with dye. January’s focus beyond the flu was the very exciting launch of my first book, “Wisdom at the Crossroads”. It is available for online order through McNally Robinson Booksellers, Winnipeg.

Small pieces in modular units combine to create a single statement in this pair from “Communities of Colour” by Amanda Onchulenko 

Our first show for 2019 will be “Forest and Sea and the Place Between”, showing at the Portals Gallery in Duncan, BC. Its dates are March 26th - April 18th, 2019.

Now is when our time spent collegially doing site-specific research gives way to independent exploration and experimentation as we try to articulate our thoughts and intentions using our preferred individual processes.

Each exhibition space is unique and offers inherent challenges. How to best use the space to show the work most effectively is our first concern.

Processes such as dying, painting, felting, stitching, printing, assemblage, and collage are in use as members are working through their inspiration and expressing them in fibre. Additionally, we are working towards confining our descriptions of process and intention to accessible sound bites and statements of 100, 50 and 25 words or less.

 Sometimes a plan for a single piece evolves into several versions of a theme. This work in progress was part of what was hoped to be a single intensively quilted project more than 4 square feet. Instead of being bound after quilting it was sliced into three sections and the auditioning of new compositional additions is evolving above. Sometimes we just need some time to think more deeply in our spaces.

Tangents I feel are one of the biggest parts of the creative process. Through experimentation, we can sometimes find ourselves in a new and exciting territory and also a little further from our theme and foundation intentions. These works can be more challenging to encapsulate with brevity partly because of the enthusiasm these discoveries inspire. We do try though and hope you will enjoy our creative responses to the diverse yet fragile environment of the Salish Sea and the West Coast when you see the show.

 Working on a project sometimes involves collaboration, discussion and investigating a site in multiple situations.
Thoughts and ideas evolve. Here is an example of a tangent evolving as I wrestled with an environmental villain and textiles.

Follow the links below to check out other members projects:
Lesley Turner blog
Lesley Turner website

Wendy Klotz blog

Ingrid Lincoln website

Dnona Clement blog
Donna Clement website


Gathering ideas on group expeditions evolves into independent work for group exhibitions.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Articulation had Another Great Year in 2018


                                                            AN END TO A GREAT YEAR

Articulation Textile Group has had a busy year of production and exhibition that was highlighted by the Sidney Museum show entitled, "WAR: A Personal Response". The show was a successful 6 weeks of exhibition time in the company of  Peter Garnham, Executive Director, and dynamo Alyssa Gerwing, Assistant Director of the Sidney Museum, who helped to facilitate the display of our very personal works into effective installations.

Arriving on the Island with bodies of work
Over 500 visitors made their way into the gallery and museum to take in our show and we are very grateful for all the positive feedback the show has received.
Our group of Canadian fibre artists worked under the initial premise of researching our family histories to learn how war has impacted future generations of our respective families. The process was enlightening and emotional and the final works were produced using techniques that included: quilting, deconstruction of clothing, hand and machine stitching, reprographic processes, soft sculpture, installations in fabric, paper, assembled objects, and 3D embroidery.
Victoria local, Lesley Turner created an installation representing her grandmother's PTSD state of mind by combining a variety of domestic arts: stitch, knitting, embroidery, and deconstruction to illuminate the personal trauma triggers that were a constant in her grandmother's world. These daily reminders of her circumstances as a war widow, unsupported after her husband's suicide, achingly illuminates the vulnerability of a generation, literally coming apart at the seams.
Wendy Klotz's work focused on a grandfather killed in action who left behind an infant son. The family became the centre of her explorations in felt, fabric, and paper, many inspired by a single oversized portrait of the former serviceman whose diminished presence is amplified in felted, "As Time Goes By". Eighteen poppies commemorate the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren he never knew in Wendy's blanket of poppies, made to distinguish his grave from the many military graves surrounding his, at rest, in Belgium.
Donna Clement of Calgary displayed work that focused on the industry of the immigrant displaced by war and political upheaval. Donna's installation of the canning cabinet illuminates the resourcefulness of a people displaced, surviving and thriving and holding onto their history through food and the contribution of women. Eco dying as well as hand and machine quilting and paper constructions were also included in Donna's installation. 
Saskatchewan quilter and book artist, Leann Clifford, stitched her family story into fabric. The Dresden plate pattern showcasing examples of domestic linens and handkerchiefs reflects the desire of women in general and Leann's family in particular, to tend to personal details even in adversity. Her industrious quilted contribution keeps us mindful of the way this poignant theme continued to inspire us all to create just one more piece, over and over again.
Winnipeg fibre artist, Ingrid Lincoln, was born in Ukraine. Her family experienced the Russian Revolution and World Wars I and II. "Remember the Children" shows her as a young child labelled as a refugee with a tag around her neck. In the tragedy and upheaval of wartime Ingrid's mother held onto her memory of the beautiful cherry orchard she recalled from her homeland which Ingrid beautifully recreated sculpturally with machine embroidery and wire. Her work reminds us there is light, even in darkness.
Amanda Onchulenko has family connections to wartime in England through her mother who was born in Sheffield in 1942 as well as to a Canadian medic, her father in law, who landed on Juno Beach on D Day. Her works were inspired by the poppy which she paints frequently in her painting practice and enjoys their cheeky personification of shape and personality. A single poppy gifted to her by Tony Bates, her current day Sheffield connection, gathered the commemorative piece as a schoolboy (see the last image below). This fabric poppy was the first inert object he had known to fall from the sky. It reminds Amanda of the resilience of children who find simple pleasures despite the adversity of their circumstances.  A family trip to Juno Beach in Normandy in the spring of 2018 inspired awe and gratitude for the contribution of those who came before them and whose sacrifices have allowed them to live and travel peacefully today.

The War Project provided a new way to approach fibre arts production for the Articulation group. Working in a community on a common theme became more and more personal as each member dove deeper into their personal histories. We learned a lot about ourselves and each other and supported each other's revelations and products. The resulting works when displayed inspired our visitors to discuss and discover their own connection to the subject and to appreciate with new eyes the sacrifices made in the past that make our present and future so precious.
Taking a breather by the sea, Sidney BC
Thank you to all involved for your many contributions. A special thank you to Lesley Turner who took the wheel in hand and drove this puppy through its development and home. Gathering on the island to install the show was a further reinforcement of the community this group of fibre artists has successfully woven. I think I speak for all of us when I extend our very best wishes for a happy and healthy, fibre filled New Year for 2019. Stay tuned at the end of each month for future news of our combined creations.

http://www.lesleyturner.blogspot.com





Wednesday, October 10, 2018

War: A Personal Response, "Connection" by Amanda Onchulenko



Articulation's exhibit "War: A Personal Response" at The Sidney Museum is fast approaching and members are finalizing projects and organizing shipping. The art making process takes precedence for many of us but the logistics of transportation and presentation are also a factor in assembling a show. I am grateful for friends with recent large Ikea purchases and engineers in my lineage that made the manipulation of "Connection", "Rain", "Protection" and parts of "Soft Landing”, into an Air Canada friendly container, manageable, despite it feeling like wrestling a crocodile into a cake tin. 


How to wrestle a crocodile into a cake tin...shipping artwork


While we get final preparations underway feel free to check out member’s musings on particular projects like my “Connection” below.


"Connection": 62"x 20" by Amanda Onchulenko 2018
16" dye sublimated fabric panels, Lake Winnipeg drift wood and lucky rocks.

Follow the links below to check out other members projects:




                                                                                       "CONNECTION"
"It’s hard to imagine where our individual paths might take us when we are young and unattached but looking back with a little hindsight often illuminates the threads of connection that have led us to where we are in the present.


Standing on Juno Beach in Normandy earlier this year as part of our 25th-anniversary celebrations, in the twilight of a lovely spring evening, I marvelled at my two grown daughters as they took in the calm expanse of ocean alongside their dad.
Steve Onchulenko leaves home to serve.

The four of us were alone with our thoughts where 70+ years earlier Steve Onchulenko, grandfather, father, and father-in-law, had landed in a tin U boat alongside thousands of Canadian soldiers and embarked on a very different journey to the one we were enjoying.

Steve was a strapping, barely of age, prairie boy with an affinity for languages, who trained as a medic before finding himself on this very shoreline at much the same age as my children are today. He was not a tourist and much later in his life declined an invitation to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the D Day landings, claiming he had been there once and had, absolutely, no desire to return.

He didn't talk about his experiences often but on what was possibly my first Thanksgiving weekend visit to my then boyfriend's family, Steve went into his dresser and came back to the kitchen table where his family was casually gathered.
Opening a keepsake box full of trinkets and coins he sat down and calmly began to describe some of the events and people that were connected to the objects in his possession. He shared snippets of a past unspoken life to a room grown silent. I later discovered the reverence of the subject matter had his children listening with wide eyes and open mouths, to war stories they too were hearing for the first time. When he was finished with what I thought was a family tale, he packed up his little box and returned to establish a game of cards.
Sam in 2014 found Grandpa's plaque at the D Day memorial 


 What inspired a long silent veteran to share tales of his wartime service? Did my foreign status inspire a long-buried memory of his own being far from home or was I just lucky to have discovered a familiarity in the spirit of a man who would fling me expertly around the dance floor at my wedding to his youngest son and become the advocate of our daughters, his youngest grandchildren?

Grandpa as I knew him, supervising his garden


vEvery family has legendary stories that inform the young of the antics of the old and Articulation’s war project has inspired me to take the time to revise them. Grandpa was known to have some speedy wheels on his return to Canada after the war, not to mention a family connection to a renowned still during prohibition. On that Normandy beach, I remembered the gentle grandpa who grew raspberries, warm with summer sunshine, and shared them peacefully with his grandchildren under the shade of his beloved birch tree. I was grateful for the events that had brought my family to this spot on the earth and for the family connections that keep us close to those who have come before us.

Remembering...

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Inspiration Station 1: "WAR: A Personal Response", Sidney Museum 2018


Poppies assembled.
Amanda Onchulenko writes...

"Rain" 

In 1990 I remember being on a city bus in Sheffield, England, with my grandmother en route to visit another relative when I asked why there were gaps in the rows of terrace houses? My grandmother casually responded, "They were bombed in't war Dook".

One such home belonged to Nan's friend Mabel across the street, who, on hearing the air raid sirens sounding yet again, refused to join her family and neighbours. Instead, she took a poorly timed gamble to take cover under her own kitchen table.

A babies silver cup.










Yesterday while photographing my final piece, "Rain", for Articulation's upcoming show "WAR: A Personal Response", the enormity of those young mothers' emotions rained down on me. Having spent the last couple of weeks hand sewing poppies in silk, tulle, polyester, and even white ticking. Red, for first aid and remembrance, the white ticking representative of the legend of my great grandparents' mattress blown clear out of a second story window and safely intact in a boulevard tree after a particularly destructive evening campaign.






"Rain" by Amanda Onchulenko 2018




Between takes I watched the bone handled, made in Sheffield knives as they dangled from their lines. The cutlery is representative of my great grandfather's profession as a silver piercer while silverware such as the babies cup is representative of my mother, a toddler at the time. These articles strung together with poppies floated gently under the bright lights. The lines that last weekend were tangled into a frustratingly indecipherable hot mess in my kitchen, disappeared, and all I could see and feel were symbolic implements floating aloft on the currents of air.





I imagined home and contents exploding into oblivion. Where one moment a young mother held onto her hearth alone, and the next she was gone. I thought of my grandfather's sister walking three miles with a toddler and babe in her arms, not knowing if her family had survived the night. And my dear grandmother, with my own mother in her arms, emerging from the damp confines of the shelter to discover the gap in the row of terrace houses across the street, where hours ago her friend had gone.



Photography by Rob  Barrow, Winnipeg.
Home and contents aloft.