Tag Archives: Slocan Lake

Workshop series – Seeds and the Hidden Life of Plants

The seed is a tiny yet powerful symbol of the life force, our own creativity and the power of small

 

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“Seeds and the Hidden Life of Plants” is a project which includes a series of workshops in my studio beginning on October 21st, 2016 to explore ideas around seed diversity and the hidden potential of living things through drawing, geometry, printmaking and textile/fiber arts.

There is a growing awareness globally and locally about the importance of preserving seed diversity and I have noticed several artists around the world engaging in a dialogue about seeds.  Artists like Sophie Munns have been a huge source of inspiration to me. As well as an artist I am a gardener and a beekeeper – I have also collected seeds and seedpods for years and they have often featured in my art. I am so excited to be able to invite members of my community into my studio to participate in a cross pollination of ideas and inspirations through a variety of art materials and techniques.

Through a series of four workshops I would like to expand on these ideas with artists of all ages and experience through observation, drawing, printmaking and the possibility for natural dyed cloth and bound seed shibori. Over several months I will be working on my own response to this dialogue through drawing and mark making on cloth using natural dye, stitch drawing and printmaking. Participants in these workshops will be able to follow and observe my process as an artists engaging with the same subject matter.

I am grateful to the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and Columbia Basin Trust for the funding assistance for this project.

 

Culture Tour in the Kootenays brings visitors to my new art studio

 

001 copy‘Old Age Security Blanket’ project in process

On the 13th and 14th of August I participated in the Columbia Basin Culture Tour. Though this is the 8th year that this tour has occurred it was the first year for me. Having a new studio separate from my home made it possible for me to welcome the public into my space for this event. I had a steady stream of visitors come by on both days and I was amazed at how long they spent engaging in some really thoughtful conversations around ideas in my work – especially the Old Age Security Blanket project. After the two days I was exhausted but also really really inspired and grateful for having made such meaningful connections with some amazing people.

I am an artist who likes to explore a diverse range of media. My new studio is quite a large space for me and I was able to show a range of what I do, including some long term works in progress (like my Old Security Blanket) as well as drawings and small wearable art pieces. Before taking it down I tried to capture in photographs how my studio looked for those of you who could not make it for the tour.

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I had several new large ecoprint silk scarves on the walls, draped on models and in other little spaces. On the left is my sewing machine and wearable art worktable and in the background a door going into a small storage room and library. In the foreground is an installation I have been playing with – see the image below for detail.

020 copyPennies stitched in cloth with plant dyed thread and wooden knitting needles, needle and thread – playing with the idea of pennies being the smallest unit of exchange and ideas of slow work, traditional woman’s work and the value of small simple daily contributions to our lives.

Yes, I have a rocking chair in my studio! Though I seldom get to sit in it – maybe this winter.  The piece hanging on the wall is a work in progress and the piece below it is the first completed piece in my ‘Love Letter’ series ( slow slow work) – see detail shown later.

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024 copyDetail of “Embrace me my Obstacle” (Unfinished)

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“Love Letter to Slocan Lake” – a poem in silk, stitches, pebbles and beads

An ongoing project for me is my “Old Age Security Blanket” – a major work in progress which is close to halfway now – you can read the story about it here: OAS Blanket  It has finally reached a size that I can show it on a bed and I have a dedicated space just for this project (which also serves as a small gallery). When this installation is completed it will be much longer than the bed, reaching several feet along the floor –  an exaggerated security blanket. This work in progress is about my personal journey of inquiry into ideas of security, economics and growth. This project began in 2013 at the time that Canadian pennies were phased out of circulation and so it also explores ideas of  loss and extinction. I am making this ‘blanket’ using found natural dye colour, pennies collected and saved in cloth and contemplation through stitching, words and drawings. An accounting ledger accompanies this piece to preserve a written record of money saved and organic thoughts collected along the way.

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Following are a few more images of little sections and views of my studio. There are many threads of ideas and themes that move through the different projects I do – for example  being able to place life drawings next to draped silk brings attention to these links and little water colours and drawings of seeds show up again in my textile soft jewelry necklaces. Simple shapes and patterns like circles, the almond shape (vesica piscis) and meandering undulating lines appear in most of my work.

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Patterns and Geometry in Nature Arts Project

Earth Art - Slocan Lake

Over this winter, from October 2012  to the end of January 2013 I facilitated a series of art workshops with a small group of home students in my community. You may remember that I worked with these same students on another art project titled the ABC’s of Community. After the completion of this project we held an exhibit at the Hidden Garden Gallery in New Denver. As well, the gelatin plate monoprints which we did during this project, are presently on exhibit until August 13th 2013 at the ArtStarts Gallery in Vancouver in a show of student work titled Botanimalogy. The Pattern and Geometry in Nature Arts Project provided an opportunity for a small group of Distributed Learning students from kindergarten through Grade 6 to explore their community and environment through art and the alphabet. This project was funded by ArtStarts in Schools and Arrow Lakes Distributed Learning School.

Morgen Brdati demonstrates printmakingMorgen demonstrates gelatin plate printmaking.

This project aimed to provide these young students with an opportunity to explore patterns and growth in nature through a variety of visual arts media, including printmaking, painting, drawing, earth art and fibre art. I guided students through a range of geometric drawing explorations and visual art experiences. Students explored patterns in nature as well as geometric design in a journey through the circle. The focus that these young students gave to learning the tools of the geometer: the compass and straightedge, was rewarded by their new ability to create the vesica piscis, triangle, square, six pointed star and polygons out of the circle. They were able to grasp basic concepts of geometry, recognize recurring patterns and shapes in nature and integrate them into their art.

fibonacci spiralGolden rectangle and growing a spiral

This is some of the amazing artwork accomplished by these students:

We made explorations of patterns in natural objects using brush and ink:

pattern exploration

Gelatin Plate mono printing using found natural objects and geometric stencils made by students:

Gelatin plate prints

Some of the painted and block printed mandalas:

Fiona' s mandalaShanna's mandalaCedar's mandalaDrawings from nature and geometric designs:

DrawingsEarth art explorations down at Slocan Lake (on a cold and windy day):

making a mandala

Nature mandalaHand dyed folded paper and marbling:

Dyed paper and marblingHand dye painted cushions which students sewed themselves:

dyed cushionsCushions and mandalas on exhibit at the Hidden garden Gallery:

cushions and mandalasOur final project was hand painted 3D fabric sculptures. Students began with drawing designs in their sketch book and measuring and cutting out strips of fabric. These pieces of fabric were painted with vibrant coloured textile dyes and then sewn into ‘tubes’ and assembled into 3 dimensional fabric sculptures. It required a lot of patience and persistence for these young people to learn how stitch these tubes together, leaving a channel for wire which they inserted before stuffing the shapes with fill. They had to hand stitch the stuffed pieces together. Quite an accomplishment!

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Fiona

Juniper's fish

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gallery of student artI feel honoured to have had another opportunity to work with these amazing young people. I am grateful to their parents and to Scott Kipke, the DL teacher, for inviting me once again, as well as to Lucerne School for providing the classroom space and the Hidden Garden Gallery for the use of their beautiful exhibit space.

Arts by the Lake in the Kohan Reflection Garden

On Saturday, September 1st, 2012, I participated in one of my favourite community art events. Arts by the Lake has become a much anticipated annual event held in the exquisite Kohan Gardens in New Denver, BC. Visitors are delighted by artists, music, workshops and garden tours as they meander through  this beautiful and inspiring landscaped garden. This Japanese style garden was designed and is maintained by a group of volunteers in honour of the Japanese Canadians who were interned in New Denver, BC during World War II. It is one of the most special places to visit any time of the year in the village as the garden is designed to change with the seasons.

Dianne Carter spinning wool which she weaves into rugs and blankets

Arts by the Lake in the Kohan Garden, New Denver, BC with my booth in the foreground

Orea Brown-Dahl is a young painter inspired by the beautiful environment we live in and her love for the mountains.

Tsuneko Kokobo – ‘Koko’ – painting joyfully

My booth – Morgen Bardati at Art by the Lake in the Kohan Garden

Art by the Lake in the Kohan Garden with Andrea, one of the event co-ordinators.

Artist Barbara Maye with her paintings

Donna Hicks presenting her watercolour workshop to a captivated audience.

Arts by the Lake was presented by The Slocan Lake Gallery and Garden Societies.