25,266 Female Convicts Transported to Australia

 
 
 
While in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, recently one of the most moving experiences we experienced was visiting the place where female convicts and their nursing babies were transported to Australia from the British Isles from 1788 to 1853. The story of the Cascades Female Factory has only recently begun to be told.
Above is an image of an artwork in one of the reconstructed yards in the prison…
…the place where the babies were kept until they were sent to an orphanage. Many of them died while living in the cold, damp, windy conditions within the eight-foot high walled prison located in the shadow of Mount Wellington.
 
The aim of the prison’s harsh conditions and treatment of the women was to break them down then mold them to be suitable wives to procreate and populate the new colony. 
On arrival, their hair was cut off and sold. Throughout their sentence, they were forbidden to speak, they had to share the sleeping hammocks and they worked 12 hour days spinning fiber, weaving cloth, washing and mending laundry and as punishment unwinding strands of worn out, tarred rope for reuse, while in solitary confinement.

 

Actors from Live History Hobart, Her Story, “offer an immersive theatrical experience” where small groups follow convict Mary James around the prison as she tells her story – in 1833 she was shipped from Ireland to Australia to serve a 7-year term for stealing a square of cloth. For the participants, it is an emotional roller coaster as Mary tells of her life in the prison. So few have heard her story or the stories of any of the other women.
 
Honourary artist-in-residence, Dr. Christina Henry decided to tell their story to the world by inviting over 25,266 women to each to create a bonnet to pay tribute to these women, each bonnet named for one woman. The project was launched on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2007, in Hobart.

 

 

 

While living in Calgary I can remember the night at the Calgary Guild of Needle and Fibre Arts monthly meeting when we were told about the project and members were offered the chance to pick a name and make a bonnet for her. While a few of the resulting bonnets are on display in the Matron’s House in the restored prison, the project is ongoing as the majority of bonnets travel between Australia, Ireland, and England and continue to tell the women’s stories wherever they are displayed. For more about this project check Christina Henri – Roses from the Heart Facebook page

 

As a tribute to the work the women did, there is an art installation within the prison walls.

 

Cotton garments have been hung on a line with metal clothes pegs.

 

The only reference I could find to this installation is a plaque about convict Mary Kennedy serving 7 years for stealing a gown. Her occupation is listed as a washerwoman.

 

 Maybe these garments will hang on the line for 7 years in remembrance of Mary’s time in the prison.

 

On another level, I was also intrigued by the installation as it is so closely linked to my current body of work in preparation for an exhibition with Laura Feeleus, Laura’s website called ‘The Laundry Room’ where Laura and I are exploring the nature of women’s work.
After several hours exploring this World Heritage Site, we came away emotionally exhausted. We walked back to our rented cottage and rested quietly for the rest of the afternoon, not up to doing any more exploring that day. We were emotionally drained and needed to reflect on what we had experienced and learned.
 
 
 

‘Current Threads 19’ Vancouver Island Surface Design Association Exhibition, October 3 – 24, 2019

Steaming the wrinkles out of Origins after it traveled in a box from Gimli, Manitoba to Duncan, British Columbia. This is minutes before the Artists’ Reception of Vancouver Island Surface Design Association’s annual exhibition, Current Threads 19.

This work is about a group of Icelandic people settling in Canada bringing with them their material culture and their DNA. I wrote about it in a previous blog post here 
This year’s exhibition is in the new, expanded Portals Gallery run by the Cowichan Valley Arts Council here. With so much more room the VISDA artists were able to hang large works.
During the reception, I was able to talk to some of the artists about their work.
Gina Dingwell, No Looking Back, dress: hand-dyed, indigo silk, recycled knitting, and crochet with various yarns; personal objects.
Gina’s artist statement: ‘The process of knitting with found knitting materials from my past was a visceral experience. It was an exploration of materials that I had left behind, past experiences, self-image, burdens, things said and done. This piece represents a challenging and yet beautiful process of letting go to find new awareness.’
I think Gina shows great courage in putting out such intensely personal work for all to see. Gina has done what I have just learned about from Merill Comeau, website, during her workshop ‘Mining the Personal for the Universal’ she taught during the Surface Design Association’s conference in St Louis, see previous post.
Visit Gina’s Instagram site to see more of how she views the world.
Barbara McCaffrey, Ogham – Oracle of the Trees, 3 Oak staves imprinted with Ogham alphabet letters compiling the words ‘Courage,’ ‘Harmony,’ ‘Strength’.
Barbara’s artist statement: ‘Ogham writings were discovered in the Book of Ballymote, a 14th-century Irish manuscript. The book contains treatises on the history, genealogical and geological survey of Ireland among others.’
Barbara has recently returned from a trip to Ireland where she spent time discovering and exploring her heritage. She told of her findings in this and other works in the exhibition.

Laura Feeleus, Cellular Articulation, hand and machine stitching and beads on repurposed textiles.
Laura has recently been exploring the biological processes involved in the body’s assimilation, storage, and breakdown of fatty tissue. At the same time, it is a comment on the global problem of obesity and overconsumption, a concept reinforced by her use of recycled materials. 
Laura’s website here

Jean Cockburn, Green Worlds, hand embroidery on linen gauze backed with cotton.
Jean’s artist statement: Imagine many green worlds, large and small, spinning through the infinities of space. What possibilities for Life!
Jean’s meditation on green can be explored in many ways: a colour study, a survey of hand embroidery techniques, the power of the mandala, the cosmos of the universe.
Read Jean’s blog here to see more of her work.
Susan Duffield, Traveller’s Dreams, cotton dyed with indigo and madder.
Susan’s artist statement: ‘Stitched with memories of childhood and travels to Australia.’

Traveller’s Dreams, detail
Like Gina, Susan is working with the personal to access the universal and like Jean, she is exploring the power of the handstitched circular mandala shape.

Bryony Dunsmore, One Rift, One Flaw No. 2, textile
Bryony’s artist statement: Inspired by a Margaret Atwood poem which includes the words “…there is one rift, one flaw, where we are nailed to the earth forever.”
One Rift, One Flaw No. 2, detail
I didn’t get the chance to talk with Bryony about this work so I can’t give you more details.
I am always drawn to Bryon’s beautiful colour schemes. They are just so harmonious and soft but always with enough contrast to speak loudly. She demonstrates complete mastery of her technique the result of which is always a pleasure to explore up close.
Lesley Comassar, Uprooted, (the work on the left) hand-dyed, hand-painted cotton, machine pieced and appliqued (raw edge), free motion quilting.
Lesley’s artist statement: When our vital connections to the earth, our families, and communities are forcibly severed, the effects reverberate through the generations.
Lesley’s website here.
This is one of a series of 3 works where Lesley has explored the effects of migration at both a personal level and in different communities around the world. I talked with Lesley about how she reworked the colour scheme to ensure the works had the impact she was looking for, the right grey the right red.

These are just a few of the outstanding works in this year’s VISDA annual exhibition. As you can see, members are willing to tackle large, serious and intensely personal subjects and they have the strength and courage to express their viewpoints and feelings on these subjects while demonstrating mastery of their craft.
Many thanks to Gillian Riordan and her committee for presenting an exceptional exhibition.

Surface Design Association Conference, Beyond the Surface, St Louis, Missouri

The Surface Design Association’s 2019 biennial conference, Beyond the Surface, was in St Louis, Missouri. It was held in conjunction with the Innovations in Textiles 2019 a three-month-long event held every four years. With 43 participating venues and a large number of other museums and other historic buildings in the St Louis area, SDA members attending the conference had to come up with a plan to make the most of their time. We couldn’t see it all even when arriving early in St Louis and leaving a few days after the conference.
One of the highlights for me was SDA’s own annual juried members’ exhibition Beyond the Surface. Jurors Jo Stealey and Jim Arendt said in their opening remarks they selected 48 artists who demonstrated a “well-developed artistic vision” and mastery of their craft, both factors equally weighted. The gallery was full of strong works executed with an exceptionally high skill level.
Kathy Nida, Swallow Me Whole, raw edge applique with quilted ground, 67″ x 76″
First place award
Kathy’s website/blog https://kathynida.com/
Swallow Me Whole, detail
It was fun to stand in front of this work and come up with a story. Kathy has perfected her technique and uses it consistently making her work easy to recognise. She knows her biology so well she pushes, pulls and exaggerates it with great humour. Check out her website for more of her funny/serious narrative quilts.

 
Marie Bergstedt, In There, fulled fabric sculpted wall hanging, 48″ x 35″ x 3.5″
Second place award
Marie’s website https://mariebergstedtartist.com/home.html

In There, detail
Sorry about the fuzzy image but it was the only one I took and I wanted to show the sculptural 3D quality of this work. Marie is a fibre artist who has perfected several different techniques. I have seen some of her amazing button works and know she is a skilled embroiderer. I didn’t know she also works in wool. This work is kinda icky and at the same time warm and fuzzy. Marie really plays with the viewer’s emotions.

Leslie Horan Simon, Geologic Time, 34.5″ x 27″ x 0.5″
Third place award winner

Geologic Time, detail
This close up shows how Leslie knit then fulled each stone before attaching it to a black felt ground.
If I was forced to pick my favourite work this would be it. It got me with being knit and fulled, 2 techniques not often used in quality fibre artwork. I was enchanted with the luminosity of colour Leslie managed to achieve with fuzzy wool.
I did have many other second favourites.
Chris Motley, Here and There, hand-knit wire and fibre, 43″ x 50″ x 4″
I would have preferred the individual units hung level at the top to give more of a suggestion of downward movement.

Here and There, detail
Chris is a knitter and as a result, has a vast range of techniques she can use as well as a world of different materials that can be worked with two sticks. In this work, Chris shows the sculptural quality that can be achieved with the knit stitch.

Chris in front of her work opening night. I did enjoy talking with her about her work.

Nanhee Kim, Layered Fluidity, nomex, monofilament yarn, 48″ x 36″ x 4″

Another knitted work caught my eye, surprise surprise. This one worked in a stiff ‘yarn’ so the shaping stood out in raised relief. It made for the most interesting play of values strengthening the form.
Nanhee Kim describes herself as a “knit textile/surface/ fashion designer and artist.”

Melinda K. P. Stees, st equal px, knitted yarn mounted on a rigid internal frame, 24″ x 29″
Melinda’s website https://imageknits.com/about/

st = px, detail
Melinda says about her work, “The strong contrasting colors can catch your eye from across a room, while the knitted texture will pique your curiosity when you’re up close enough to see it.”
You may also notice this computer-programmed, machine-knit work has been worked from the right to the left, with the stitches presented lying on their sides. I wonder if Melinda did this and stretched the work on a rigid frame to counter knit fabric’s characteristic drape.


Time Notes: Day, detail
Here is another work with computer-programmed, machine-knit work in a scale making it readable only from the other side of the room.


Ann Clark, Time Notes: Day, knit fulled wool, 93″ x 66″ x  0.25″
Ann made this work as a rug. As fabulous as it looks on the wall I imagine the impact of the image would read differently when viewed from above while walking.

I was delighted there are so many knit works in this exhibition showing ‘the best of contemporary work by SDA members.’

Check out Wendy Klotz’s blog post about what she saw during the SDA conference, here and see more on what there was to see and do in St Louis.

Have you ever thought about who designed this plastic chair?

The ubiquitous garden-variety, plastic chair…

…and its variations found throughout the world.
I have come across this chair in almost every place I have travelled to. It is inexpensive, light, portable, stackable and weatherproof making it accessible to so many people. It has enabled people around the world to sit in comfort alone and in groups, up off the floor to dine, learn, work. We have all seen this chair but have you ever thought about who designed what has become a universal commodity?
Vienna, 2003, Brian Jungen 
Brian Jungen is a Canadian artist who understands the universality of the white plastic chair and has used it in a series of 3 powerful works.
Don’t worry that you don’t know the designer because that is the way he likes it. He wants to remain anonymous and for you to just enjoy living with his designs.
 
That is why this poster of an exhibition of Maia and Pierre Paulin’s designs caught my attention when we were travelling in the Cevennes region in southern France. We were learning about the history of the silk industry in an old silk factory now the Maison Rouge Museum when we came across a room full of Mid Century Modern furniture.
Tulip chair, 1950, Pierre Paulin
It was the French designer Pierre Paulin who designed the white plastic chair and many other iconic chairs and furniture. This room was a treasure trove of his and his wife, Maia ‘s work.
 Orange Slice chair, 1960, Pierre Paulin
It was fun to walk through the museum and recognize chair after chair and realise I had never before put them all together as one designer’s work.

Ribbon chair, 1966, Pierre Paulin
I wondered why this small regional museum had such a large collection of Paulin’s chairs and furniture. I did a bit of research. Paulin was born in Paris and worked internationally but it was in the nearby Cevennes Mountains National Park he ‘retired’ and continued to design.

 Tongue chair, 1968, Pierre Paulin
Maybe the furniture in this exhibition had come from his home nearby where his wife Maia continues to live.

 Banquette Amphis or the Osaka sofa (1967), Pierre Paulin
Pierre Paulin left the spotlight of international design several times in his career and worked for many years in his wife’s design company, where he designed utilitarian things such as razors and irons.
Pierre Paulin’s portable iron design, a first.
He has been quoted as saying “Objects should remain anonymous.”
I wonder how many of the everyday products I use were originally Pierre or Maia Wodzislawska designs?
I need to rewatch some James Bond movies to do some Paulin furniture spotting.

Articulation’s Current Exhibition Connected Heritage, Gimli, Manitoba

The exhibition is on all summer at the New Icelandic Heritage Museum in Gimli Manitoba.

 Research for this body of work began with a study session covering Winnipeg, Gimli and the Inter-Lake area of Lake Winnipeg. I posted earlier about the trip here and here. When we Articulation members were back in our respective studios, we got to work sifting through all our research materials narrowing down a mass of images, stories and information to a focus which caught our imaginations enough to want to go deeper while being guided by the “Connected Heritage” concept the group had settled on.

While out and about exploring I was enamored with the boats and the unique way of fishing. The Icelandic people had brought with them their way of fishing and learned from the First Nations people how to adapt from the sea to an inland lake. Other settlers such as the Ukrainians and Scots also contributed their knowledge to make InterLake fishing the unique industry it became.
And I loved everything about the Icelandic horses. I watched all of the movies I could find where they starred and I found several documentaries on them.
But as is usual for me after an Articulation Study Session, once I got home and into my studio, my interest was piqued by a different subject. Part of my ongoing research involved reading about the history of the Icelandic people and I focused on their unique DNA heritage that has been studied in great detail. A long isolated human population with written records going back centuries can tell geneticists a lot. This knowledge can be applied to the benefit of other populations, for example, understanding the origins of genetic diseases enables diagnostics tests and drugs to be developed.
I became intrigued with the way a group carries its genetic identity with them no matter where they settle and their cultural identity is carried in their material possessions.
Recent genetic research has confirmed what the sagas have been saying for generations. Genetic research has come up with the statistics. Seventy-five percent of the males in the founding population was Scandinavian, mainly Norsemen. Fifty percent of the founding females were Celtic from the western coastal areas of the UK. It seems the bachelor Norsemen picked up Celtic wives before heading across the sea to settle in Iceland.
The Icelanders brought this genetic heritage with them when they settled in the Canadian Inter-Lake area. They also brought their cultural identity embedded in the few possessions they brought with them.
I decided to work with well-worn woolen blankets, essential items they may have brought with them. I projected an image of an old woodblock print onto the blanket then cut the image away suggesting how their cultural identity is embedded in their material culture.
Stitching the design
Cutting out the design to show the backing blanket

Blanket stitching around the design lines
Genetic research has noted people of Icelandic descent are very likely to have blue or rarer green eyes: 89% of males and 87% of females, with green eyes being more common in the women.
 

 I illustrated this genetic trait by colouring the male’s eye blue and the female’s green. This genetic trait is still very evident in the current population.
Each Articulation member explored a different aspect of the Interlake population. Visit Articulation’s Blog here to see what others have worked on.
If you find yourself in Manitoba this summer, I do hope you can take a trip out to Gimli to see this very interesting exhibition and to take in the sights in this unique town.

Being an Artist Outside the Studio and the Skills Required

Lesley, Lingrid, Laura, Louise
Opening Reception Dualities exhibition, Cre8ery Gallery website, Winnipeg
May 9 to 21, 2019
What began in the studio results in an exhibition with many steps and stages in between. 

Ingrid Lincoln standing by her work at the Opening Reception, May 9, 2019.
Nearly half, if not more of an artist’s time is spent doing things other than making art.

Louise Lamb (r) talks about her work to a guest at the opening.
An artist has to like doing all of those other art related things to be able to get the work out of the studio and in front of the public.
 Using cutting, measuring and duct tape skills to make a shipping box.
One can buy shipping boxes from a number of different sources. It is time-consuming to track down the right sized box. If it is only just big enough there is not enough room for padding to protect the work. If the box is much bigger than the work the cost of shipping is more than it needs to be or it is too big and the company can’t ship it.
I prefer to make my own boxes from recycled cardboard. Yes, I have been known to dumpster dive when I see large flattened boxes sticking out of a bin. I have a large collection of boxes, cardboard and recycled packing materials in my studio’s packaging room.
The box needs to be made so it can be opened when it arrives at its destination then filled again and resealed ready for the return trip. Every piece of packing material needs to be named and I often add my email to the larger padding pieces and the box. Labels need to be printed for both journeys. 
The work in this box was in an exhibition until the day before I flew to Winnipeg for Dualities. I took the work with me on the plane. At the airport there was a hiccup – it was too big to go through the x-ray machine.
The box had to cut open, the work physically examined then returned to the box and resealed with special tape with words saying the box had passed inspection. With all of that, I forgot to ask for fragile stickers for the box. As it disappeared down the conveyor belt I wished it safe travels and hoped it would be unmodified when I saw it next.

Several weeks earlier I had shipped two large boxes of art to Ingrid’s place in Winnipeg. While the smaller box was within the dimensions Canda Post will ship the larger one was not. I needed a courier. Previously I have successfully shipped large, heavy boxes at the lowest prices using Greyhound buses but that company no longer exists on the island. The new company is still setting up its parcel delivery services and is not yet fully automated. I found that and their new name, Box on a Bus, slightly unreassuring. However, all was well when all three boxes were safely in Ingrid’s house waiting to be hauled to the gallery.
The next step was to get the boxes from the vehicle up to the second floor of the gallery.
This was a fun part because we got to use an ancient freight elevator. The Cre8ery Gallery is in the old Exchange District of Winnipeg where there are many buildings over 130 years old.

Bob (left), the gallery art installer and Bob (right) Ingrid’s husband who has enviable woodworking skills, are manually operating the elevator working it to get its floor to stop in line with the building floor.

When the artwork, tools, and equipment are all in the gallery the installation can begin. This a stage requiring another whole set of different skills the artist needs to have mastered: agility and balance shimmying up and down a ladder, steady use of the hammer, a good eye for leveling or use of a level against the art, strength to repeatedly move plinths until they are in the right place, stamina to keep working steadily for however long it takes to get things perfect. Depending on the gallery the artist will hang their own work or there will be a curator. Cre8ery’s owner, Jordan Millar is an experienced and well-qualified curator and installer and she has Bob to hang the work. Her decisions and Bob’s experience made for a quick hang this time with 7 people working for 3 hours.
The promotion of an exhibition is another arena where the artist needs to have knowledge and develop skills. Image management, promotion materials design, and keeping up with effective social media developments are all time-consuming activities necessary for a successful exhibition.
If the artist is the exhibition’s project coordinator, as Ingrid was for Dualities, there are a lot of administrative tasks including liaising with the artist group and the gallery staff.
I do enjoy all the activities required of an artist but I have to admit some days I wish they didn’t keep me out of my studio for so many hours.

Dualities Exhibition at Cre8ery Gallery Winnipeg May 9 – 21, 2019

‘Dualities’ is the brainchild of Ingrid Lincoln. She invited three other artists to join her in expressing this concept: Laura Feeleus, Louise Lamb and me.
The four of us are exploring two very different geographical locations – the vast expanse of the Canadian prairies with its continental climate of extremes and native plant cover of prairie grasses contrasted with the Pacific Northwest coastal region with its moderated climate and native plant cover of vast rainforests. Yes, these are both big places.

 
 
Ingrid and Louise live in the middle of the vast Canadian prairie. Laura and I live on a forest covered island next to the vast Pacific Ocean. Louise grew up on this west coast but now lives in the prairie city of Winnipeg while Laura grew up in Winnipeg but now lives in Victoria on Vancouver Island. Ingrid’s childhood began in the interior continent of Europe while mine began on another temperate forest-covered island in the southern hemisphere. These experiences of contrasts in place and geographic shifts are reflected in our distinctively different art practices. 
 
There is also a duality in the different media and techniques within our individual practices. For Laura, it is textiles and paper she paints and waxes. Ingrid’s stitched textiles are often based on her drawings. Louise uses printing inks and paints while printmaking and referencing her photographs. I work with worn domestic textiles and organic processes adding hand and machine stitches. The resulting works explore the duality of media and place.
 
 
 
 
 
Louise Lamb
 
 
 
Another aspect of this duality concept involves how each of us approaches our work and the methods we have chosen to resolve an idea visually.
   As we explore the duality of our own geographical childhood memories and current homes we also visually express concepts either as internal or external dialogues. Imagine an X-axis geographical line intersecting with a Y-axis dialogue line forming four quadrants:

  • coastal forest + internal self-talk – Laura
  • coastal forest + external dialogue – Lesley
  • continental grasslands + internal soliloquy – Ingrid
  • continental grasslands + external conversations – Louise

 Ingrid’s work, while identified with the prairie city of Winnipeg, expresses her inner voice as a soliloquy. The conversation she holds with herself about her adopted city includes references to its people, the climate and the surrounding environment.
  Laura grew up in Winnipeg but now strongly identifies with the waters of Coastal B.C. Her art expresses a visual monologue between the two locations.
  Louise Lamb’s external conversations with her chosen materials and painting processes are influenced by her childhood home on the West Coast as well as her present home on the prairies.
 My textile work is firmly grounded in British Columbia’s maritime rainforests where I undertake external dialogues with the trees to develop a more intimate relationship with the place I currently call home. I reference childhood memories of growing up in New Zealand’s temperate rainforest, an earlier home I knew well.

Each one of us intuitively works within a defined quadrant providing context for our work, which is highlighted by our different choices of media and processes.
We will be arriving at the Cre8ery Gallery, website here  to install our work together. We have never exhibited together before and not all of us has yet seen each other’s work. I am really looking forward to searching for the commonality and duality in our individual bodies of work once it is up on Cre8ery’s walls.  It is going to be so interesting to see how the multi-layered concept of duality will be expressed in this exhibition.
We do hope you can come to see the exhibition while it is on May 9th to May 21, 2019.
The Opening Reception will be on May 9 from 7 to 10pm. We four will be there and would love to meet you and talk to you about our work.

   
 
   

Articulation’s Forest and Sea and the Place Between Artist Reception April 13th, 2019

Cedar Wind Drawing, detail
The Artist Reception for Articulation’s ‘Forest and Sea and the Place Between’ exhibition at Portals Gallery, Duncan is on Saturday 13th from 3 to 5 pm.
Artists Wendy Klotz, Ingrid Lincoln, and Lesley Turner will be in attendance to talk about their work and they look forward to answering questions about the exhibition.
Tree Wind Drawings
My contribution to the exhibition and the Salish Sea biosphere story is a triptych of 3 drawings done be 3 different trees found in the Pacific Northwest coastal maritime forest.
Big-leaf Maple

Douglas-fir and Western Red Cedar
 By getting the trees to draw on a fabric I explored the connection between the air and the earth in the Salish Seas’ biosphere.
I blogged about my process to make the first of these works here.
Understanding this place we call home is an ongoing area of interest for me and continues to be an area of focus in my work.

Articulation’s Salish Sea Biosphere Study Sessions

Jellyfish in the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea.
Articulation has had 2 week-long study sessions exploring Vancouver Island’s coastal areas. The first was in 2007 and based in  Duncan while the second was ten years later in 2017 and based in both Sidney and Tofino. All areas are within the Salish Sea biosphere boundary which is the overarching concept tying this study together.

Sunset on Chesterman Beach.
The Salish Sea biosphere is a vast area of interconnected habitats where living organisms are found –  in the geosphere of soil and rock, the hydrosphere of lakes, rivers, and oceans, and in the weather systems in the atmosphere.
Articulation members walking the trails on the west coast – Wendy Klotz, Leann Clifford, Amanda Onchulenko, Donna Clement.
Researching in Vancouver Island’s Maritime Rainforests involved walking the trails, recording sensory experiences in a journal, taking photographs of both minute details and the soaring grandeur of ancient trees, and reading both fiction and nonfiction with forest settings.

Lunch break while looking out to the sea.
Articulation members experience the same visual stimuli and discuss what they find and see during the week together.

Leann Clifford ready to go look for whales.

Watching the sunset from the beach.

Donna Clement explores mud flats while the tide is in.

Leann Clifford and Ingrid Lincoln and jellyfish.
Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea is an ideal place to learn about local sea life.
Taking the ferry out to Sidney Spit. Amanda Onchulenko, Leann Clifford, Ingrid Lincoln, Donna Clement.
After a shared experience spent exploring an area and keeping the broad concept in mind, Articulation members go back to their individual studios to produce bodies of work that reflect their individual responses their experiences. It is always a treat when the resulting work is exhibited to see how each artist visually translates their particular area of interest.
For more about Articulation’s Salish Sea project check out Articulation’s website and blog here and here.
Also, Donna Clement’s blog here

WAR: A Personal Response, Body of Work, ‘Friend or Foe’

Friend or Foe
linen, cotton, wood, metal; laundering, hand stitching, painting, installation
Domestic teatowels made of linen or cotton have been surprisingly uniform in size over the last ninety plus years. Perhaps they are the width of a household table loom.

Previously they were all woven in the home now they are mostly machine woven and printed. The majority of printed teatowel themes are limited, remarkably, to four subjects: a prayer, an uplifting saying, a calendar or a momemto of place for the emigrant or tourist.
For this work, I chose two different linen tea towels featuring the same prayer – ‘Bless this house Oh Lord we pray. Make it safe by night and day.‘ They also have calendars for different years in the 1970s. 
I added the silhouettes of two WWII planes, one the Allies’ Avro Lancaster and the other the Reich’s Heinkel HE 177. The bomber planes look as though they are zeroing in on the houses, highlighting the significance of the prayer.

Military | WWII | Aircraft | Friend or Foe by Silhouette: UK, US, Germany, Japan
Plane spotting was a skill of memory and fast recognition developed by psychologists during the war once they realised fast and accurate recognition of airborne planes saved lives. They found rather than doing a laborious detailed analysis other parts of the brain could be used for rapid assessment of the shape, engine sound, and markings of planes overhead. Sheets of plane silhouettes were issued to military personnel for plane spotting training and members of the public were encouraged to learn them as well.
A short video to show the distinctive sound and shape of the Lancaster. Sorry about the ad.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTQIUEa4cqA 
With three of Florence’s sons in the airforce, I image it became a household game to be the first to correctly identify a plane overhead. 

I also imagine Florence outside hanging out her washing and hearing a plane. She would search the skies to identify it as a friend or foe. Was it one of her sons in-training taking the chance to fly over his home and say hi to his mother with a dip of the plane’s wing or was it an enemy plane, a scout or the beginning of an enemy invasion?
The routine domestic task of hanging out laundry was yet another trauma trigger capable of switching Florence’s emotions to a surge of joy stimulated by the mother-child bond and just as quickly her emotions could plunge downward in fear. She would become exhausted by the repeated involuntary acute stress response known as fight or flight.
I changed the dates to 1943 and 1944, the years Florence’s oldest son flew Lancaster bombers.
This is the work’s story I told in the Sidney exhibition booklet
‘Plane spotting was an activity the War Office encouraged the public to practice. War psychologists knew that when the skills of memory and fast recognition developed in the civilian population it saved lives. Recognition posters were issued to aid in aircraft identification. I can imagine Florence’s four sons making a game of plane spotting, and she too learned the skill. When she heard a plane while at her clothesline she would say a silent prayer asking God to protect her three sons in the airforce. Then her mind with flip with fear at the possibility of it being an enemy plane and the beginning of an invasion. It was only after researching this work that I realised the significance of my father’s enjoyment in taking his family to airfields for picnics. He had continued to hone his plane spotting skills and taught his children to recognise planes by engine sound and silhouette.’