Sunday, 27 November 2016

Furoshiki workshop at NSCCD

Cotton with Indigo  
This weekend I taught a two day workshop to make furoshiki Japanese wrapping cloths. Working with cotton and indigo dye we experimented with different shibori (resist dying techniques) to create beautiful fabrics that can be used as an alternative for wrapping paper.

Both beautiful and functional they can be used as a lunch bag alternative, a eco-wrapping technique, and even a clothing garment. The fabulous thing about furoshiki is that the fabric can be as special as the gift inside and it can be reused many times.

The end result is a gift that keeps on giving.

Some of the wrapped fabric drying after being dipped in Indigo

I received some great feedback about the course:

"Thank you Kate. I really enjoyed your workshop & I am hooked. I think I could easily spend a LOT of time doing shibori! It is really fun & inspiring, gets my creative juices flowing.

I am anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the rest of my designs tomorrow & will send photos." - Lynda 

For more information: 

Pinterest board for shibori designs - a collection of ideas and techniques 

Facebook page - A place where workshop participants share images of their creation

Furoshiki - fabulous site on ways to fold and wrap your present using cloth 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Erosion 1.6 : the most beautiful is the object that does not exist

It seems that as soon as I take a breath after my MFA thesis exhibition came down, I turned around and installed a new work in the annual group NSCAD MFA show 'MIXMASTERS'.

The MFA group was divided into four topics: 


I chose to be part of Experiences of Rules, Systems & Frameworks, together with 3 other artists we spoke about how our art practice fits into this category. 

This reminded me of a poem by Zbigniew Herbert called Study of the Object.

“Mark the place
where stood the object
which does not exist
with a black square
it will be
a simple dirge
for the beautiful absence
in a quadrangle”

Erosion 1.6 started from the idea that when a digital file is repeatedly opened, saved and closed that the quality of the information is reduced. This is known as generation loss, where file size increased and the introduction of artefacts increases entropy of data through each generation. 

I can see connections between the loss of memory in a digital file and to that within human memory.

I started to think about how we store our memories and that everything these days is being digitally archived – yet the digital storage is not always that reliable or effective, as technology constantly improves and changes.

This has become particularly obvious when I attempted this project using an old (although once state of the art technology). Files saved on DVD are becoming obsolete, as is the software to capture it. Burning, or transfering the movie file became an important part of the project as I struggled to do something seemingly straightforward. Many computers no longer have DVD drives and even software to burn these files can be difficult to obtain.

Museums these days are displaying their artefacts on screens and we no long have the physical object as reference. The artefacts themselves are becoming obsolete as they are replaced by a digital representation.

A frame work in technological terms is the implementation of a standard structure of an application for a specific operating system.

My current method for the 222 Grips for a Stone series (in which this project continues to explore oblivion and liminality). Inspired by 10 Rules for Teachers and Students that was popularised by John Cage, some of the rules I set for myself include:
  • collecting found objects
  • working only with these objects to create an assemblage
  • work intuitively
  • repetition working on the same idea
  • which is the grip.
  • Embrace uncertainty
  • consider everything an experiment
  • mistakes are where the exciting things happen   
  • be self disciplined
  • All rules are meant to be broken

I find that within this method of working that setting parameters makes it easier to work within a guideline and the constraints themselves enable and enhance creativity.  

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Beech St Children's Centre response to MFA exhibition Erratic

Beech St Children's Centre's creative response to my MFA exhibition Erratic

I received a lovely message from Justin West who works at the Beech St Children's centre

" Beech Street Children's Centre visit your exhibit At the Anna Leonowens gallery They were inspired to create their own work in response to your work This is done with string, modelling clay, and instead of nails we found old marker caps Our children responded to your materials They also laid down underneath your work and walked around it a few times - getting all angles of it They walked away and wanted to thank you for sharing your work with us and the public - this was the first time these children went to a gallery and we will be back for sure"

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Erratic - the opening night

Erratic is a philosophical investigation about stone and its relationship to the development of the human mind. The term is used to describe stones that have been moved by geological forces or to describe unpredictable behaviour. This concept is explored using found objects combined with clay that are subjected to a series of traumatic yet transformative events, which often result in unpredictable outcomes. The metamorphic process that distorts the object is a metaphor for the human condition reminding us that change is inevitable, and the dissolution of order creates a fluid, malleable situation where one’s sense of identity dissolves, bringing about disorientation and the possibility of new perspectives.

After 2.5 years of dedicated hard work my MFA Thesis Exhibit opened on Monday 31 October at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax. 

The hanging objects (made from clay and found objects) were suspended from the ceiling with a meter between each object. I was hoping that this method of display would encourage the audience to engage with each object, as each one piece of work was unique, with traces of fingerprints that gripped the clay along with the found object that became another grip of the clay object. 

To my delight everyone walked through the installation, and as a result the hanging objects would sway slightly, moved by the displaced air. 

The exhibition is receiving positive feedback, including the above sketch by of the MFA crew sitting amongst the installation whilst I talked about the work.


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