13 Aug 2015

Catch Up 3: Naked Craft on tour in Canada

Naked Craft

Touring craft exhibition in Canada and Scotland 2015-2016

First opening at the Art Gallery of Burlington in Canada 

June 20 – September 6, 2015

Location: Lee-Chin Family Gallery

Curators: Sandra Alfoldy (NSCAD), Denis Longchamps (Art Gallery of Burlington), Juliette MacDonald (Edinburgh College of Art), Emma Quin (Craft Ontario), Arno Verhoeven (Edinburgh College of Art)
This international project brings together the best of contemporary Canadian and Scottish crafts. Makers from these two countries are united in this exhibition to celebrate the shared sense of northern resilience as both of them rest to the north of a southern powerhouse. People in Scotland and Canada have a tendency to identify themselves by what they are not; Not English, Not American, and our countries appear to struggle to retain our freedom from those southern neighbors. Contemporary craft builds upon traditions and heritage that are place holders that aid in defining our identity and cultures.

The Naked Craft exhibition strips ideas of craft back down to four sub-themes that bridge the past and the present, Old Scotland and New Scotland, traditional and changing ideas. The following categories are intended to form a creative, open-minded focus on exploring disciplinary, theoretical, conceptual and methodological approaches to the discipline. This project provides a novel and timely approach to issues of production and consumption of craft from a range of historical and contemporary perspectives.  

Under the theme of Do-it-Yourself: DIY, objects are related to the long and rich history of small craft and home improvement projects, of makers making with an ethos of self-sufficiency. In Down and Dirty: politics and materials the selected works highlight a personal or communal attachment with place, emphasize a sense of loss or displacement, or highlight renewed engagement or innovative development. Through New Positions; the work of current generations of makers, of all ages, who embrace new methods of craft production, and new terminology such as craftivism, yarn bombing, and sloppy craft are profiled. Finally, Tooling Up: new technologies and economies, contrasting a selection of makers who are exploring their tools and materials from new perspectives, putting into place challenging processes, interpreting new ways to understand their materials, and constructing new approaches and tools for their own purposes.

'Amanda Simmons considers our fragile relationship with birds and mourns the many dead found in the rural land. She also incorporates a sense of hope that is reflected by the returning migrants that breed in her workshop. To these themes she thinks about the displacement of people and the recent Scottish independence vote.' 
From the Naked Craft Catalogue

Art Gallery of Burlington (image by Christine Saly at AGB)

Nest Egg - Amanda Simmons

After the AGB, the exhibition will be touring to Centre Materia in Quebec (September 26 – November 28, 2015) and then the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax (January 14 – April 10, 2016). The exhibition opening for Centre Materia will be Saturday September 26, 2015 from 5pm-7pm. This will then tour in Scotland with venues and dates to be confirmed at time of writing.

My work continued with my Bird and Bone theme using very lightweight powdered glass vessels to mourn the many deaths of birds around the rural regions of Scotland.....a memorial to those beautiful wee birds that exist fleetingly. The forms of the pieces are linked to the swallow nests that surround my ceilings in the workshop and many abandoned crofts and out-buildings in the North of Scotland. Each year the swallows return to build communities, breed and feed, back to the same nests. The light lines are reminiscent of the swooping flight paths across my studio. At the time of making these pieces the Scottish Independence vote was being debated passionately up and down the UK and as an English woman living in Scotland I took the question very seriously and thinking how it would affect us globally, nationally and locally. I quite often travel to the North of Scotland and could feel how different it was to live so far from London and how important some issues are in a small rural community that would not be considered by London.

It was a pleasure being invited to join this show and will follow it remotely until it comes across the pond. Many thanks to all those involved in the curating, administration and setting up of this show.

 Images of the first Naked Craft Exhibition in Burlington from Christine Saly at the Art Gallery of Burlington).

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