This week has been a super hectic week with school, co-op, and various life responsibilities, but I guess it is that time of year for students. Last week with grunt I assisted in the promotion of grunt’s Media Lab and learned about various websites and mailing lists which support promotion of the arts. grunt’s Media Lab promotions should be popping up everywhere very soon and is currently posted on various websites. The Media Lab Unveiling is on April 14th at 5:30 write the date down in your calender people!
This week I didn’t chose an artist from the archives to write about, but I have been researching various artists who do inspire me. I decided to write a bit about my own practice because this was a very studio heavy week for me. This detail of a beaded rose is an ‘in progress’ work. I learned to bead from an elder (whose name currently escapes me) in Terrace, BC, and my skills were nearly perfected from late nights of beading and my mentor Isabelle Auger. My traditional practice and “contemporary” practice have always seem to have a line between them.
My traditional work has a place in ceremony and dancing, but I wanted to find a way to utilize the skills I have gained through beading in my drawings and paintings. In my experience at art school I encountered a binary between “craft” and “art”, and I have wondered why bead work is only often seen in craft stores or anthropology museums.
In this currently untitled piece, I was exploring color tone and layering(which is uncommon in bead work). A key to bead work is keeping it tight and flat, but I enjoyed layering the strings of beads and tangling them up.
In my research for this ‘in progress’ body of work I came across Ruth Cuthand’s Trading series, which is currently on exhibition at the Macknezie Gallery in Regina. Ruth beaded microscopic views of virus’s and diseases which were spread through the trading of European products. This work is beautiful and disturbing, and she beaded it in a more traditional fashion. I enjoyed seeing an established artist utilize these materials in her work, though the concept did call for the material choice. I love those pieces, and If you follow the link provided, you can view a review of the works Galleries West. This detail of my work is esthetically reminiscent of hers, but my concept is different.
For this piece I was looking more at abstract painting. I was thinking about line and I used various kinds of beads, but it is hard to tell from the image. Ideally these would be displayed with directional lighting to allow for the beads sculptural aspect to be seen with shadows.
This piece makes me want to explore depth within future works. This detail is about the development of shading using only 2 colours of seed beads. There is a challenge when blending with bead work because of the physical nature of the beads, but this challenge is exciting and I hope this project continues to develop in a good way.
I just wanted to share a bit of what I was doing. I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing. I can’t wait to see what I come across this week while working at grunt, And to see grunt’s newly renovated space!
(All of this work is created and is property of Adrienne Greyeyes for further information or use of images please contact me at email@example.com)
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While flipping through a few binders this week I came across a provocative photography project by artist Lise Beaudry. Beaudry posed two blow-up dolls in romantic and erotic positions in various places throughout the world. The use of humour in the photographs was meant to open a dialogue for lesbian art beyond the popular black and white photographs which dominated at the time.
During November 2 to the 27th 1999 grunt opened its space for Beaudry to install Rain and Muffins world; audiences could then enjoy Rain and Muffin’s exploits while the dolls lounged on the blowup couch day dreaming of future possibilities.
“My lesbianism, as it were, is not a political statement or an act of social deviance, nor is this body of work. I view this work as a departure from a political or activist position and a return to the basic human desire for adventure, pleasure and love with someone special.” Beaudry makes it clear that this project was not meant to make a political statement. Rather, she is leading us through a story of an imagined relationship of two lesbian lovers. Perhaps we are being invited to view Beaudry reliving moments or perhaps just day dreams.
I found this work hilarious and interesting in the honest exploration of sexuality, desire and human relationships. In believe she successfully created a a disconnect between sexually explicit images of lesbian couples while still utilizing specific poses. But the ridiculousness of viewing two blow-up dolls express desire leads the mind to consider human relationships with desire. A desire that someone had to create a blow-up doll.
Beaudry gives these particular dolls an identity a life and a story, and their relationship will live on in grunt gallery archives.
Have a good week everyone!
Last Friday grunts temporary location was crazy busy with various voices and meetings.I was introduced to the researcher for a new project Darcy for a second time, he also happened to help install a few pieces for the Grand Entry exhibition earlier that week. I scanned through many binders this week, reading about Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondue, Dana Claxton and various others I admire. I was having trouble decided what to write about when another intern Jessica showed me The Condom Series exhibition which consists of a series of charcoal drawings by Fiona Mowat. The exhibition took place in April 1993 and has grunts old background pipes making an appearance in the photographs.
When I first seen these drawings I got excited, I’ve been working on a series of large scale drawings over the passed and love seeing other large drawings.(even if they are just slides.)
These drawings turn used condoms into a large scale portrait of the aftermath of a night of fun. Some are tied in knots at the top and others you can see where they’ve been hung with a pin. I can’t help but wonder whether these are really used condoms or props.
In a pamphlet for the exhibition questions are asked:”What does one do with it? Leave it on the night table or the floor? Do either of you want to look at it the next day? Why would you?”
Some become beautiful abstract forms upon first encounter and upon further inspection the form becomes clear but then they begin to resemble body bags or ghostly figures. Condoms have a strange existence they come in all colours and sizes and textures. They are sold as novelties shaped as pokemon and given away in health clinics(though unlubricated condoms are hardly excitable).
I have one memory this series conjures up specifically. During the summer when my partner and I had pulled up to our new home in Burnaby I was admiring how beautiful the neighborhood was. And I opened the door of the truck looking directly down at the sidewalk to see the sun shining on a used neon orange condom. For some reason it altered my initial view of the neighborhood.
But they are everywhere and everyone uses them, but if you purchase them along side of an energy drink the cashier will give you a strange look. I enjoy these drawings for their medium and content they make me laugh and consider my experience with the object. I am a bit disappointed that I couldn’t find any recent work by the artist.
Very late post this week. I spent most of my week in the studio working on a new series of drawings. Last week in grunt I was working the Halfbred project. A few readings and photographs caught my eye. I intend to go back and read the stories and digitize a few photographs this week to post on the blog.
I was excited to check out the Satellite Gallery and see Rebecca Belmore’s installation The Named and The Unnamed. Very powerful I get emotional listening to Belmore call out the names and struggle to free herself. It is a great opportunity to see this work, for anyone who hasn’t I recommend they check it out before its gone. Also, I noticed Glen Alteen’s appearance in the performance randomly standing the background smoking. I imagine he is in the audience of many performances.
Also, the opening for the show I am co-curating is opening on Thursday 5:30pm at the Concourse Gallery in Emily Carr. There will be food opening songs, and afterwords coffee and music by Arlette Alcock!
Till next time,
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I spent most of my reading week working on my grad project and working away in the grunt archives. I’ve organized and recorded 4 large project binders so far, but I got distracted with one project in particular. The First Nations Performance Festival which happened during September 10-20, 1992. And included artists Margo Kane, Archer Pechawis, Lee Maracle, Michelle Thrush, Dana Claxton, Annie Frazier, Micheal Lawrenchuk, Thom E. Hawk(Alan Deleary), Zachery Longboy, Marie Humber, and Ahasiw K. Maskegon-Iskwew. The festival was curated by Dennis Maracle and co-coordinated by Archer Pechawis. Also, the festival was planned in conjunction with the 8th Vancouver’s Fringe festival, which once took place on Main Street but now happens on Granville island. The placement of the event was intended to draw in a larger aundience and is part of the galleries cross cultural coordination initiative. In this case, the festival was one of the first places to showcase contemporary First Nations performances artists who are bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary First Nations art.
The documentation of the performances have been uploaded onto gruntgallery flickr account with short biographies of the artists, mainly sourced from the 1992 info. The photographs from these performances are very beautiful and offer another experience to the performance. Since I have not seen the performance I wonder if my interpretation of the images is accurate.
I’ve picked out a few more images I think are very strong.
This reminds me of following my brother and I going with our kookum(grandma) and mooshum(grandpa) around in the bush. While my mooshum worked my kookum would be watching over me and often picking berries. And the bowl reminds me of when we would get a treat of sipping some of the sweet tea from kookums thermos.
I found some of the photographs emotionally loaded, making me wish I could have seen the performance. But it has definetly influenced me to find some of these artists recent work.
This one reminds me of the tension of living in a dysfunctional home, and having a constant fear or anger be a normal state.
There are tons more images on the flickr account of many more artists so check them out!
Thanks for reading!
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I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately and I am currently fighting off some sinus pains. But I will use this weekend to regenerate.
This week I assisted in the marketing of Beat Nation. The exhibition catalogue and a letter of explanation is being sent to various locations in hopes that it will be added many libraries and generate some national interest. Also, the Altered exhibition catalogue in now available for purchase in the galleries online store.
Next week is ECUAD’s reading week, so I will be exploring the archive all week and posting things of interest that I stumble across.
This is a review I wrote for the Salish Seas
The Salish Seas exhibition is curated by Tania Willard of the Secwepemc Nation and is presented at the Gallery Gachet. Furthermore, the exhibition works in conjunction with the project Salish Seas a Anthology of Text + Image, and if offers perspectives of established and emerging urban Aboriginal artists living on Coast Salish lands. Particularly, the exhibition featured writers and multidisciplinary artists form The Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast including artists Sonny Assu, Janice Toulouse, Kevin McKenzie, Duncan Murdoch, Dionne Paul, joAnne Noble, Cease Wyss, Kelly Roulette, Kamala Tood and Michelle Sylliboy. Gachet is located in Vancouver’s downtown east-side, and offers their space to create a dialogue with outsider artists in order to remove the public’s misconceptions regarding mental health issues. Although this exhibition does not concentrate on mental health, it does create a dialogue concerning urban Aboriginal identity which is often relevant to social issues in Vancouver.
On a display made of thrift store chairs and a blanket, there are three pairs of moccasins placed for consideration. The moccasins are made of a combination of waste materials and traditional materials, and paper acts as the hide while an old beer box is delicately beaded to embellish the moccasin. Anishinabe artist Charlene Vicker’s installation Survival of Culture is reminiscent of the Aboriginal art work sold on the street-corners of the Downtown Eastside. The piece also discusses the commodification of Aboriginal cultural arts, and resulting effect’s it has had on Aboriginal artists work.
Furthermore, the materials carry social and cultural significance. Although alcoholism is referenced, there is a sense of a struggle to continue traditional practices despite social challenges.
There is a strong response to environmental issues within the exhibition. Specifically, issues of delegation and degradation of the land and water. Aboriginal artist Merritt Johnson’s installation Oiled Bird conjures up memories of recent oil spills which had devastating affects on wildlife. A corpse of a bird is drenched in a mess of gold and only slightly elevated off the ground. Gold stands in for oil, and the bird is present as a casualty of this valued resource. In essence the viewer is faced with the direct relationship between urbanization and environmental degradation.
The exhibition honors the Coast Salish territory and examines environmental issues, origin, identity, and home. Text appears within the exhibition in the form of quotes on the walls by Aboriginal writers; the quotes are often questions of identity and home. Moreover, the exhibition reveals the dialogue that has been developed amongst urban Aboriginal peoples. Offering pride in identity and challenging contemporary social issues from history.
(Me and Tania Willard at the Salish Seas opening)
Thank you for reading,
(Sorry for the late post, I wrote out the draft and forgot to post.)
The new office is officially connected with internet and phone access. Damien and I brought the archives up from the basement and oraganized the boxes, and they are now all ready to go for the digitizing process.
There was a meeting with the interns filled with introductions and general ideas of what will be going on in the space. So far I have met 3 of the new interns all from UBC, and I will be working with them once we get going on the archives. Venge gave us a brief intro to the file master program we will be using. And I have been reviewing the handout Megan prepared for us. Hopefully there aren’t too many complication when using the program and I can pick it up quickly. And once we get going hopefully we will be able to post some interesting things we find in the archives!
Thanks for reading.
For this week, I sat in on a rather short meeting figuring out how to begin the setup for the archival project at the new VIVO location. And did a bit of techinical work with Damien. Today, I worked a bit more on updating and aesthetisizing grunt’s flickr page. I attended the Salish Sea’s opening on Friday. I was looking forward to a reading from Lee Maracle but the Talking Stick Festival brochure misinformed me, and the Aboriginal Writers Collective is actually doing their reading Monday evening. The opening was still a lot of fun, very good turn out, and I seen a lot of familiar faces had some good conversations. There were some beautiful songs sang by Cease Wyss and her drum group. Merritt Johnson’s work stood out, she has a beautiful latter made of turkey feathers on display. I will post a small review of the show next week.
I took a few pictures at the opening that I will be posting on flickr!
Looking forward to getting started on Tuesday.
This week was a fairly slow week. I updated some information on grunt’s flickr account. Updated the look on my blog. I’m looking forward to next Tuesday to begin assisting in the archiving process!
I spent some time at Centre A this week, i can see your underwear. Beautiful instillation created by Natalie Purschwitz and Kelly Lycan, made of collected materials from the area, specifically plastic. Though somewhat dismal, because all the materials are essentially trash which can only be reused in so many ways. It is worth checking out if you haven’t yet!
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This is will be the first entry of an ongoing blog that will be updated every Friday until the end of my COOP. Each week will be an update of my activities in the COOP, as well as pictures or any information I care to divulge. This week is a brief introduction of myself and what I will be up to in the coming weeks.
I am Adrienne Greyeyes, I’m from Fort st. John B.C. and I am a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation. Through this COOP I will earn credits towards my Bachelor of FIne Arts, which will be finished at the end of this semester (yay!) I originally came across the grunt by researching artists I was interested in, such as Rebecca Belmore, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and Dana Claxton. I chose to approach the grunt because of their support of Aboriginal Artists, and it seemed that much work shown in the gallery where areas I was exploring. Currently, in my work I deal with the current state of Aboriginal women’s identity, and the various histories that influence it. Particularly the influence on sexual identity.
My responsibilities at the grunt will be a combination of assisting in the archiving of the grunts current materials, as well as maintaining the grunts online presence. Specifically, I would be interested in assisting in the Journalism and Art History aspect. Through this co-op I hope to gain a better understanding of the galleries function within the community, as well as the galleries management of resources, such as archives. A blog is being set up that I will update weekly about my experience with the grunt!