bobbi Denton / Brittany King / Foroozan Taleifard / Gabrielle Moore-Pratt / Kaili Hodacsek / Kimberly Holmes / Renée Poisson
This production incubator shares the work of students in the FIN 230 Sculpture and Integrated Art Practice I / Fine Art and Design program at North Island College.
Students have been navigating the conditions of new learning platforms during of the current Covid 19 pandemic. Through online courses, limited access to the onsite art studios and shops at the college, and carefully orchestrated offsite hands-on learning opportunities, the students produced individual projects and a collaborative group project – a Fluxux Emergency Kit. With the support of Julien Rendell of the MakeItZone, students had the opportunity to explore integrated sculpture technologies. CVAG supported the students’ experiential curriculum learning opportunities through mentorship, access to gallery technology support, and installation + presentation experience in Gather:Place and Window Gallery.
The work presented as part of this past semester’s course bears witness to what is possible in the space between us.
Images: Alun Macunalty
FIN 230 Sculpture and Integrated Art Practice I Class
Fluxux Emergency Kit
2020. Various materials and dimensions
Collaborative student project.
Holding Breath – The Nature of Being
2020. Porcelain, Silver Leaf. Various Dimensions
This installation reflects the beginnings of an exploration into the ephemeral nature of being. These constructs explore the texture of presence, and the fractures of absence.
Awkward collisions, bulging raw with fragmented memory. They live as pauses in time and in place, breaths of elsewhere and otherness. One fragment segues into another, and for a moment holds breath and becomes performance. Being as fragile mantles of promise and possibilities.
Growing up on a farm in N. Ireland, I acquired a love for, and a great connection to the land and all sentient beings. I was the child who carried the ladybug back to her home. Now living in the beautiful Comox Valley, I still carry that sense of wonder and respect for the ancient wisdoms in our lands and all living forms. I am drawn into the mystery, bearing witness and sharing through my art process.
I work in multiple mediums, photography, paint, ceramics, video and sound, choosing to work with those that best convey the concept, and open a conversation. I work from a place of “feeling into”. Most of my work starts in the pit of my stomach, respecting that intuitive sense, that there is something that feels uncomfortable. Giving chance and the lack of control the upper hand, my objective is always to be surprised and arrive at a place I did not know.
Held Together and Apart: The Spaces Between Us
My intention for this container was to make a statement about consumerism and industrialization and to explore their effects on the environment and societal values. I had hoped to do so using post-consumer cardboard collected from recycling bins in my neighbourhood. Due to Covid-19, Health concerns restricted my access to post-consumer material in this way, so the project pivoted to use newly manufactured sheets of cardboard. I became the consumer in my own “anti-consumerism” dialogue.
I was interested in incorporating modularity into the container design. Certain aspects could then be interchangeable and multifunctional within the entire system. By exploring modular design, I felt a chance for interconnectedness within the system, whether through the contained unit, its production processes, or our peer group. Instead, I learned about the challenges and loneliness of designing in isolation for highly individualized parts.
I thought about compartmentalization; I thought about industrial assembly-line conditions or mental processes within the human body “system,” both of which are unhealthy for the persons involved. To intersect the industrial process, I planned to cut each piece of the design by hand. I learned of the time consumption this required, so I pivoted again to work with a laser printer and print the design on masse. I became again engaged in my contradiction.
I’ve needed to let go of a lot of intentions to see this project through to almost-completion. Material, health, and mechanical constraints have altered the course of the timeline and challenged me to the point of redesigning back at step one. Boundaries between artist–craftswoman–product designer–engineer have long ago disappeared. I present a collection of iterative prototypes—a work in progress—evidence of the problem-solving process.
Our New Normal
2020. Plaster, Fabric . 9” x 5” x 3”
When the pandemic started and we had to adapt ourselves to a new normal, some artists started to show our new life in their artworks or on previous art works like Monalisa while wearing a mask. I was thinking I have to be part of this movement. So, I started by researching about different Makes and how effective different kinds are. For instance, I found out there is a kind of mask which has been made for singers. It was interesting for me how innovative we are. I started to think how I can show our new normal life, how the pandemic effected our life, and how it separated us from each other. Suddenly everything has changed. Our new normal life is to keep 6 feet or 2-meter distance from each other and wear masks. We have to see each other virtually (this has been part of my life since I moved to Canada). To present our new way of living, I came up with the idea of making heads and masks. I made two molds for head in profile view, left and right side. The next step was to cast, I tested different material, plaster, Hydrocal and Hydrostone. I end up using plaster as the finish piece is lighter for hanging and it is easier to refine. I made 65 heads and 50 masks by now. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to install them on the window gallery of Comox Valley Art Gallery.
I hope with this project I can indicate how important social distancing and wearing a mask is. Sometimes we have to sacrifice to protect our loved one.
I was born and grew up in Tehran, Iran. I moved to Canada in 2014. Since 2017, I have been a resident of Comox Valley. I am full time student of Fine Arts at NIC and working in Vancouver Opera since 2015, as Assistant of Head of Costume. As a child, I started to learn how to sew from my mother. Art and craft have been significant part of my life from my childhood. I really love to use my hands and create something beautiful. I have a special passion for 3D forms like sculptures, even my paintings are somehow 3D. I try to make a sculpture which tells a story or has a message or meaning behind it.
Gabrielle Moore – Pratt
2020. Nylon, Poly-fil, Thread, Video, Pencil Rod Soft Sculptures – Varying Dimensions, Video – 9: 25 minutes, Metal – 58” x 27”
NOODZ, is comprised of a soft sculpture installation, photo documentation in a slideshow, and a wearable metal sculpture made of steel pencil rod. The tactile quality of the soft sculpture components is that of flesh. With their long shape they are reminiscent of noodles and thus comes the connection between the colloquial “nudes”, meaning naked, and “noodles” to form NOODZ. The photo documentation of me interacting with these forms is playful, posed and sometimes unintentional. Looking at these shots one is reminded of the act of taking and sending a nude photo to someone else. These photos are usually meant to be private, shared with only a few seconds before the photo disappears forever. I set out to explore the spaces in between that bodies can occupy, whether physically, or as digital information. In NOODZ, the bodies are oblong, with slender curves that beg to be caressed. Part of the physical nature of these NOODZ, is not translatable with just a photo. You can look, but not touch. Playfully composed in a jumbled heap, NOODZ offer visual stimulation no matter what your preference is. They are comprised of body parts, but do not share much with your traditional idea of what a body is. NOODZ is meant to act as a mirror to the viewer, reflecting what a person would inherently want to see. Perhaps this is a commentary on desire, and not being able to obtain it. The narcissism of always wanting, expecting, and believing that you deserve more. And yet, it is also a celebration of every part of the body. Bodies are squishy, soft and have wobbly bits. They leak fluids, release smells and can be confusing places to inhabit. Bodies are important, they carry us through life. Any body can be sexualized, or fetishized, but to me these soft, nylon forms represent the importance, worth and celebration of a person’s body, and you, as a person in it.
Gabrielle Moore – Pratt is a printmaker and installation-based artist. Much of Moore – Pratt’s art is inspired from an innate curiosity of how things are and the environments they exist in.
Making the Invisible Visible
2020. Video – 2:57 minutes “but… you don’t look sick”
2020. Porcelain, Reclaimed Wood, Ballpoint Pen. 13.5” x 6” x 18”
“but… you don’t look sick” and Making the Invisible Visible are part of an exploration around chronic illness and the thematic of making the invisible visible. The title “but… you don’t look sick” is a common phrase that individuals who are suffering from chronic but invisible illness are often dismissed with. When people cannot see physical evidence of an individual being sick that individual is often disregarded. When really, they are dealing with a host of symptoms that are not apparent to others. These pieces are an exploration of making all those experiences that these individuals face visible by giving them space and recognizing that they are present. The piece “but… you don’t look sick” is representative of the body and what is required to keep it functioning at a tolerable level and the side effects of that process experienced by these individuals. To further represent the body the side effects of medications, symptoms, and experiences of these individuals are written on the piece in a way to mimic veins and arteries.
“In creating this piece, I wanted to use my experiences living with an invisible illness to validate what people who are in the invisible illness community go through every day. Living with an invisible can be challenging at the best of times. We are often a group that is dismissed for not appearing sick enough and in working with this piece I wanted to claim space for all that we go through. Through the claiming of this space, I hope to make visible the challenges of the invisible illness community to those who are not a part of it.”
Born in Kamloops, Kaili moved to Comox Valley in 2010, at the age of fourteen, and started pursuing a career in art in 2019. Currently a second-year fine art student, Kaili experiments with a variety of mediums and art practices. In her art exploration she has been working with sculpture, printmaking, photography, and the integration these art practices. She has always been a creative individual and has developed a passion for sculpture and 3-Dimensional work in her studies. Her work focuses on social issues, environmental issues, mental health, and her personal experiences around living with a chronic illness. In her recent work she has been exploring the theme of Making the Invisible Visible which has been an exploration of illness that is experienced by the individual, but is not obvious to others.
My house is not a home
2020. Video – 1:57 minutes
My house is not a home is a 3D and video combo, exploring the ideas of home and what home means. A home is not merely a building, but requires inhabitants and a friendly atmosphere. Is home a place, or a feeling?
What Is Home (Paper Cuts)
2020. Various Dimensions
I wanted to do a personal project that made me look deep at myself and create a project in relationship to the ideas that I found. I took something simple. A paper house. The whole process was a chaotic cathartic process for me. at every step I would consider, “what is home?” and “what dose home mean to me?” I found myself constantly shifting and changing my ideas. until finally settling into placing my traumas, struggles and joys into my art work. This became a way to understand that home is fragile, it is warm and it is not a place, but instead it is me.
Kimberly Holmes (born 1998) is a Canadian born artist. Though her usual medium is paint, she has begun branching out into 3D, in attempts to further her understanding of what makes art, art. Her love of art was fostered at a young age, as she was encouraged to pursue and explore artistic endeavors of all kinds. With little formal training, Kim is in her second year of Fine Arts Diploma at North island collage, looking to pursue a career more fully submersed in the artistic world.
2020. Stoneware. Various Dimensions
When I started this project over a year ago it arose from my looking at endings, my practice of falling as a metaphor for dying, followed by a desire to experience ways of getting up. My vision was of shapes floating in the sea, gradually disappearing over the horizon.
I discovered the possible buoyancy of hollow clay shapes by putting my series of stoneware clay cubes into the Tsolum River. As a baby puts everything into its mouth, I am impelled to put my work into the landscape I live in, testing its reality, relevance. The juxtaposition of stoneware clay and buoyancy intrigued me. I recalled stories of messages in glass bottles travelling the ocean randomly in time and space.
I glimpsed expanding possibilities for discovering ways to describe my experience of loss and impermanence. Everything sooner or later disappears or dies. I don’t know if this is vivid for me because of my age or because of the precarious state of the human planet. My first fleet of floats bore impressions of motherboards from broken digital cameras–technology we are now using, until it becomes obsolete and historical.
Learning that many birds are becoming extinct, I constructed my next fleet to carry visual interpretations of birdsong in this forest where I live. I used the digital images of a sonogram application to make my own notation of the sounds that I could then inscribe into the clay.
My original vision of the floats simply drifting away has been corrected by my observation of what really happens when I put these into the nearby Salish Sea. Sometimes they clump together and sometimes they spread apart. Affected by the tide they come inshore or head away if the tide is going out. I think about those Japanese glass floats that for many years washed up on west coast beaches long after the fisherman were gone. I am intrigued by the relationships in the groupings of these floating stoneware message boards. I see the drifting apart and the coming together, the unexpected changes of direction, steady flows and back eddies as showing me my own relationships with friends and family over time and space.
Other possibilities of drift emerge. My current work in the clay reflects our global preoccupation with the COVID – 19 virus. I see the virus as a colonization. We are the colonies. It is spreading into us, diminishing us, changing us. We will grow from it and out of it in unknown ways. I built and inscribed this new fleet with graphs of the progress of the virus here in Canada and also in other countries. And then I used images of the virus itself, some of which have become iconic, and some showing a more intricate look at the colonization process. These are in the kiln waiting to float. They will drift like the virus.
With my newest floats drying in the shelves at college, I’m looking at beginnings out of endings. As the virus spread to colonize, so can plant seeds. I’m working with tree seed forms. Forests being the lungs of the planet for us humans I see is one of the most powerful positive life forms. Our planet can reforest itself if just given the space protected from destruction. I have symbolically represented our conifer forest reproduction cycle, inscribing the shapes of pollen grains and the complexity of the fertilization process. Another float bears shapes of the resulting fertile seeds, honouring the vitality of growth into tree and forest.
Most recently built and still moist is the fleet of endangered languages now being revived and relearned. Representing sound in clay I am again using the intermediary of digital sonograms to give me a visible shape of the spoken words.
One float represents some of our coastal first languages Kwak”wala, Salish, Hlgaagilda Xaayda Kil, 2 from the north Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, and Anishnaabe from the centre.
On another float Indigenous people on Easter island, in South America, in the Amazon, in Europe are represented. Drift is an ongoing project. I have found/made a tool for research and expression. I regard the extent of the results of colonization in the cycle of life, change, decay, growth, disintegration, regrowth. Nothing stays the same. Nothing is stable or forever. Not even roots are permanent This may be an endless project. Because I am exploring, I don’t know where it will take me.
As a multi-faceted artist, my practice has been rooted in independent and collaborative projects involving sculpture, performance, drawing, video, installations, soundscapes. Over the past six decades, until recently my education has been intensely self-directed. Meeting the Ground (2016), installed at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, used falling as a metaphor for death and included sculpture, video and performances. Artist residencies in Quebec and Switzerland and grants awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council have deepened my art practice. In the past 2 years I have considered the possibility of balance, extending my skills with steel welding. My investigation of rising up after falling down has led me to experiment with buoyancy. Hand built, stoneware clay structures are made to float in the sea, bearing messages of our past and future. Currently collaborating in ravel an E-pub in CVAG’s Space Between Us project during the present COVID restrictions, I live and work in the forest in Merville, BC.