call for entry: Edible Provisions

February 13 – February 24, 2014

Opening reception February 12 @ 530 – 7PM
NSCAD Port  Loggia
Bridget Fairbank is a Nova Scotian food activist concerned about food, aren’t you? Edible Provisions is
a collection of cutting edge work from various Artists working in
various mediums that address how and what we eat today. The works
exemplify the complexities of our eating in an epoch where dinner is
dubious. 

Curatorial Statement – Edible Provisions
It
has come to my attention that there are many artists making work about
food. These artists are actively questioning how we manufacture, grow,
procure and eat every day. There is a rich history to mine when it comes
to food relations sensual, domestic and industrial. I propose a call to
students and alumni who make such food oriented work for a group
exhibition: Edible Provisions. This past year I have seen ceramic
sculpture meat cuts hanging from rafters, portraits of people’s
fridges, pottery for the seasonal splendor and prints of farm machinery
that beckon questions of Cold War technology- all talk about our current
and crucial relation to food. 
At
NSCAD now Sandra Alfoldy is teaching a seminar on craft and food a
marker of the relevancy of such an exhibition. Dine by Design is this
week, Hungry Bowls the next, Art and Food Activism are linked as ever.
We have the opportunity now to showcase such work going on at NSCAD.  Edible Provisions
would bring together the many ideas, experiences and critiques of food
culture into a single exhibition space complicating the food
conversation in a dynamic visual manner. 
The
use of the gallery space is highly dependent on the works submitted and
their individual requirements and group requirements, all will be
managed by me as curator/coordinator and all managed in such a way to
deepen the conversation about food and the facets there in embracing and
showcasing the many opinions we have in regards to food carnivores,
omnivores, vegans and vegetarians, fast foodies, foodies, industrialists
and small scale farmers alike. The intent of the exhibition to make us
think about food.
Please note: The
PortLoggia is an open space gallery that students have access to at
night with out security and in no way will I or NSCAD/AnnaLeonOwnes
Gallery be responsible for damage or theft, the gallery is however
equipped with 24hr video surveillance. 
Shipping to and from the gallery will not be subsidized.

“I am very
excited about this show and know that so many of your blog readers make
work while thinking about food. As an odd side project to make the show
more feasible for non-Haligonians I’d be happy to accept mugs from your
readers and mail them a mug of mine in exchange at no cost. That way the
mug is displayed and in the show and becomes part of my collection as a
trade!” – Bridget

guest post: Bridget Fairbank of B Practical Pottery Blog

A huge thanks to today’s guest writer, the amazingly talented Bridget Fairbank of B Practical Pottery Blog. I’m sure you all are followers of her blog, but if not, make sure to start! When I saw some of the images from Ji Yeon’s Think Tank exhibition on Bridget’s instagram feed I started begging for more pictures and bugging Bridget for a review. Looks like it was an amazing show and I’m thrilled to read Bridget’s review below.

Review: Ji Yeon’s Think Tank
The subject of this review is Think Tank: A Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition by Ji
Yeon Kim shown at the Anna Leonowen’s Gallery in Halifax N.S. March 12-23 2013 comprising
of delightful ceramic sculptures and functional work dealing with the complexities of being a
South Korean in Canada. Themes of culture shock, fear and adaption run through each work in
the Think Tank, however the show is anything but dark, rather the work is Ji’s joyful
manifestation of overcoming difference with a childlike resilience embodied in wonderment and
playfulness.

The exhibition is named Think Tank in honor of Ji’s professors Neil Forrest and Rory McDonald. Jars rendered as portraits of all three are the feature of the exhibition (see photo to the left and below) and act as repositories for spectators comments written on doilies. With this action the think tank is ever being replenished and expanded. It is a great example of the interaction and playfulness Ji promotes. The original triad has been pivotal to Ji’s progression and studies at NSCAD University. Coming highly technically skilled from previous training in South Korea and used to working in a constrained environment Ji’ explains, “their personalities are really open and they are whimsical, funny individuals” (interview) their interactions allowed her to experiment and play in all aspecting of thinking and making. A sense of coy play permeates all aspects of Ji’s practice. Ji’s studio at NSCAD, a secretive place you must have the a password to get into (for your information the password is “little monster”, shhh!) “is the gateway to [her] artistic practice; the most important ideas in [her] practice are play, color, culture, language and interaction with people. [Her] work is about more than simple playfulness. It is a ceramic
investigation into a cultural adventure” (thesis). With this playful and
respectful tone Ji asks us all to take a look at her work and join in
her story, a story such that every traveller knows.


 Walking into the exhibition we are faced with a wall painted in undulating light blue and lime green lines of color and adorned with more doilies, Ji’s preferred paper to sketch on. These
bright colors and sketches are translated straight from Ji’s studio space, it is her way of reaching
out to the viewer and an extension of Ji herself, always the bright and cheery artist. The colors
mask the white walls of the gallery not only to comfort us but also Ji. Ji is afraid of the color
white, for in South Korea white is the color of mourning and so tells the story of death.

 This fear is actually what led Ji to clay because clay is a warm hue unlike a stark white primed canvas, Ji relaxes when working with the medium. More themes of cultural difference arise as in her artist talk Ji explains how shocking it was to see how Haligonians have old cemeteries in the middle of the city and real estate around them is costly- in Korea ghosts would not be welcoming neighbors. Thus Ji surmises that Canadian ghosts are friendly and ghosts become her mascot in Canada. The three jars we encounter next and sure enough Ji’s self portrait depicts Ji wearing a hat with ghosts on it happily flying around in the night. In her eyes we see drawn a question mark and exclamation mark depicting what every piece in the show communicates. Likewise in McDonald’s portrait shows him dawning his toque, which he always wears, where Ji surmises he keeps all his power and energy and secrets. Forrest’s portrait bares no wrinkles or sign of aging with electric green hair he embodies his youthful demeanor, he has no hat symbolizing his
sharing and blunt nature.

Ji says that her work here is more childish compared to what she would have made in
Korea, her initial language barrier rendered her verbal communication childish and so she began
to artistically communicate using childlike sentimentality. In this way we are reminded that
words aren’t even necessary, exchanges can happen in different ways on many levels. The
participation aspect is new to Ji’s work and came from a happy mistake, a letting go of sorts. The
piece Jay Rider, 2011 is a ceramic rendition of a rocking horse but instead of a horse it is Ji’s dear
friend Jay one is asked to mount.

Ji had made a similar piece depicting her father in Korea. When she created Jay in Canada the piece developed a hairline crack on the belly, Ji changed her mind and thought, “maybe everyone can ride his back” (interview). Even knowing the crack was there I paradoxically really wanted to participate, even knowing I could literally be the straw that broke the horses back. This exemplifies just how strong Ji’s work draws the viewer in to engage and enjoy.

The crack was liberating and freed Ji to make art objects that physically engage the audience such as Whimsy Whimji Bridge, 2013 a play on the song “The London Bridge is Falling Down” a life size sculpture with hands raised to the sky asking you to join in the game.

Further more participants are invited to decorate the white apron worn by the figure, an effort to cover up white voids with meaningful bright human interaction. Ji says, “spaces of play are where children (and adults) get to explore, discover, create and imagine” and so with her work she creates that space for us.

In the center of the Anna LeonOwens is the three Think Tank jars, Whimsy Whimji Bridge and Jay Rider occupy the middle of the gallery floor and on the walls are tiles and plates. A series entitled Homesick Sometimes, 2013 consists of three self portrait wall tiles narrating Ji’s personal triggers- the cold winter, missing her dogs and culture shock. The pieces are dark yet delightful. Ji uses imagination for comfort and communication. Ji says “life is unpredictable, busy, complicated, and dramatic. It has ups and downs; it can be joyful exultant moments or heartbreaking disappointments… [she] likes to indulge [her]self with daydreams. Sometimes they take [her] away from reality” (thesis) this is something we all feel and need.

Further along the gallery wall we encounter Aww Oh! Sign, 2013 a wall piece that protrudes out into the room like a shop sign and depicts a shocked Ji, mouth agape. Ji says many things are shocking about Canadian Culture like marijuana and overt sexuality sometimes her only response is “Aww Oh!” and we’ve all had that reaction before!

Next two sets of plates entitled Two Missing Plates, 2012 tell of Ji’s forays into Halifax trying to find ingredients to make Korean food and having no such luck. My personal favorite is Meal with a bowl of rice, soup, and side dishes. At last we see the piece I don’t want to wake up at 9AM because Canada’s winter is too cold, 2012 a set of three plates decorated with sleepy bears unwilling to emerge from the warm covers of their beds. Once again a feeling every Canadian knows well.

Ji’s work is largely autobiographical but anyone who has ever been a foreigner somewhere or spent some time in Canada can relate to the themes put forth by Think Tank and Ji’s personal experience. The exhibition is a profoundly personal one and acts as a reminder to view the world in wonder and stay open minded.

Please take a moment to explore Ji’s past body of work at http://www.hi5jiyeon.com

Artist of the Day: Bridget Fairbank


Artist Statement
I am in love with every aspect and process involved in creating functional and beautiful clay items. It is very important to me that people use pottery. I believe in all sincerity that beautiful hand crafted objects heighten our quality of life and the experiences we have involving them. Doesn’t that cup of coffee feel that much better coming out of your unique mug?

There are many steps in the process of creating pottery which capture my imagination and many materials drive my never ending curiosity. The wares I create are wheel thrown. Throwing on the wheel allows for the fluidity and control I desire in my work. Creating form is a very direct process yet not simplistic, a form must be created that is structurally sound, functional and attractive. Even more so, it is important to me that the surface of a pot is appropriate to form and visa vera. I strive to make complete pieces where form and surface are thought of as a whole and not two separate entities. I am fascinated with glaze chemistry and how firing complementary clay and glaze materials can yield results that appeal to the senses through texture, color and pattern whilst supplementing form.

The processes that are used to produce functional pottery directly influence the type of work that results in the end, but there are many other factors that effect the end creation. Nature, Culture and Industry are three major factors in my work. My life and what surrounds me is channeled into my creations. I am interested in the narrative that is created when portraiture is imposed on a three dimensional mundane surface and how these images in series my influence our concept of time. We are conditioned in our society to recognize and relate to 2D images, as that is how much of our communication occurs (internet, advertising, TV, newspapers, magazines, children books, cook books…etc). Images are familiar and therefore we are comfortable interpreting them. On the other hand, we are not normally trained to interpret from in any formal way. Yet most people are able to recognize good form on a subversive level. I am constantly to striving to marry imagery and pottery in hopes of broadening the conscious public interest in the ceramic sphere. Most North Americans own ceramic wares and use them daily. By visual interaction with complimentary imagery I hope to foster an understanding of form and the hand crafted. I to do this largely by photocopy transfer techniques and free hand mark making. I ultimately create items that are entertaining, interesting, esthetically pleasing and useful that I hope many people delight in.

Biography
There is not one single occurrence that stands out in my memory where I became an artist. Looking back through my childhood in Nelson B.C.. I can only surmise that I was raised to think creatively, to observe and problem solve in a beautiful and intellectually engaging environment. One could say that I have always been interested in art. As I have always been creating art, even it is was simply though a certain thought process or procedure. In recent years my sense of practicality has strengthened somewhat. Craft slowly began to make sense in world filled with so many trivial, mass manufactured, cloned things. Ceramics provides challenging obstacles in all aspects of process and the product is always unique.

http://bpracticalpottery.wordpress.com/