I conducted a successful test of the Lymph Nymph parachute in the wind last weekend at Crotch Lake. We were camped on a tiny island and there was a significant wind all weekend. Perfect conditions for testing the parachute as a wind sock.
My studio space, The Stables Studio, is participating in an open house for the art tour in conjunction with Iltalian week. Please visit! My work is up on the walls and the studio is tidy. I won't be in on the weekend because I have a work trip (everything happens at once) but there's lots of interesting spaces and so much art to see. Enjoy!
Friday, June 16, 6pm-9pm,
Saturday, June 17, 11am-5pm
Sunday, June 18, 11am-4pm
For more info go to Little Italy Art Tour Facebook Page
I'm thrilled to announce the launch of my new website KarinaBergmans.com! So many projects to look at, all in one place! Take a peak from your desktop, pad or phone device. So many memorable projects from the early days of my art practice to now. Enjoy browsing my projects, blog and shop!
ART Rental and Sales, OAG Annex, 110 Laurier Avenue West
September 17 – December 31, 2016
Opening Reception: September 29, 2016, 5 PM
Participating artists: Karina Bergmans, Vanessa Coplan, Natalie Eedson, Sayward Johnson, Bozica Radjenovic, Allyson Rousseau and Jennifer Smith-Windsor
Organized by Stephanie Germano, Manager, ART Rental and Sales
Airborne Allergens is an exploration of an imaginary world in which pollen, mould and virus cells are 8 feet tall. Currently considered common allergens causing irritation, cough and congestion, a minutiae of these cells are extrapolated into a foreboding future that will inflict havoc on the pulmonary system. Airborne Allergens is an opportunity to consider the power of the air we breathe.
Airborne Allergens/Allergènes aéroportés
June 2-August 27th, 2016
Vernissage June 16, 6:00pm-8:00pm
(combined opening with Michèle Provost exhibition in salle Odyssée)
Artist Talk: August 22 at 7:00pm
Art-image et espace Odyssée
Maison de la Culture de Gatineau
855, boul. de la Gappe
Link to facebook invitation here.
evening with events in salle Odyssée the gallery is open until 8:00pm
Presented in conjunction with the International Triennial of Textiles in the Outaouais 2016
The artist gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Ontario Arts Council for this project.
This summer, I was successful in a public art commission competition funded by Canadian Heritage/Patrimoine Canadienne (PCH) to create a fun and interactive art element for the Plaza Bridge Terrace, just north of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. With the theme of PLAY with a connection to Canadian sport, I designed a mixed-up hockey rink entitled "Clapper the Biscuit in the Crease". In hockey lingo, this means 'put the puck in the net'.
By using elements of the traditional hockey rink markings, changing the colours and mixing them up, a new game is created. This design is printed on graphic film and installed on the pavement. Hockey fans will recognize the rink motifs, and non-hockey fans will enjoy the colours and graphic lines. The public is encouraged to develop their own rules and play on the ‘rink’ by skipping to different colours, balancing along lines, finding dots to stand on, etc... pre-hockey season is the perfect time to invent a new game without sticks, pucks or ice.
Enjoy Clapper the Biscuit in the Crease!!
Big Toronto Weekend July 25-27!
I have a pop-up window show exhibit at Action Potential Lab, at 451 Christie Street (at the corner of Davenport). The show will feature some of my organs, brains, and a new work, Veins and Arteries. The exhibit runs from July 25-August 1.
In conjunction with Toronto's Maker Festival, I'll be teaching a family workshop (adults and children aged 6+) Sew Your Own Cell Creature on Saturday, July 25 from 1:00pm-4:00pm at the Action Potential Lab. Spaces still available. More details and to Sign up at Action Potential or visit the Lab's Facebook page.
The Lymph Nymph will be presented at PROCESS space Sunday July 26. PROCESS is "a space to present work to an audience and have a conversation about it. It's an invitation try something new, experiment, assess or revisit something that has already been presented - it's an informal event that happens the last Sunday of each month". PROCESS takes place at Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Studio 103, from 7:30pm-11:30pm. Other performances that night by Julie Lassonde, Suzanne Liska & Mika Lillit Lior, Kayla Milmine & Brian Abbott. PWYC at the door.
Lymph Nymph at Stables Studio Doors Open, June 2015, screen shot from video
Join us at the Stables Art Studio for Doors Open Weekend!
We are opening the doors for the public to explore our building and see our artist studios in action. Formerly the horses stables to the Enriched Bread factory, The Stables Studios is home to several artists, an industrial design firm, an art restorer and Aikikai Aikido. My nook of the building is shared with Pat Hendry, Jane Burnstein, Sharon Kelly and Anonymous. We will have mixed media paintings, landscapes, textile sculptures, clothing and more!
Stable Art Studios Open House
155 Loretta Ave N.
Doors Open Ottawa
Sat. June 6, 10:00am-4:00pm
Sun. June 7, 10:00am-4:00pm
***I'll be doing a performance on Saturday afternoon!***
World Premiere of the Lymph Nymph: a series of Performative Actions
Saturday, June 6 at 2:00pm
rain date Sunday, June 7 at 2:00pm
back parking lot
More details on the Lymph Nymph found here.
The Lymph Nymph: a series of performative actions. Coming soon to a park, pond, parking lot or picnic near you.
UPDATE! Upcoming performances Spring/Summer 2015:
Stables Studio Open House, 155 Loretta Ave N Ottawa, back parking lot
Saturday June 6, 2:00pm (rain date, Sunday June 7)
Blink Gallery Picnic, part of the 10th year Anniversary events
Header House, Major's Hill Park, Ottawa
June 14, noon-3pm (performance time TBA)
rain date: June 21
About the Lymph Nymph:
A lymph node is part of the endocrine system. There are hundreds of small nodes found in specific locations of the human body, such as the neck, the arm pit, and the groin. Lymph nodes work as part of the cleansing and drainage system of the blood as well as the site of production for white blood cells, the body’s defence system. A nymph has two definitions. First, it is a character of Greek mythology, most often a forest-living female deity. The second definition of a nymph is a larvae form of an invertebrate animals such as an insect. The LYMPH NYMPH is being developed through the creation of 100 lymph nodes, a body suit (as seen below) and possibly, a parachute (!)
Click on the image to animate the Lymph Nymph
In case you have a decomissioned parachute lying about and you've ever wondering how to dye it, here's your How To!
I bought a parachute last year at a surplus store thinking I was going to use for a certain project but it didn't work, so I kept it, knowing that 28' of nylon fabric would someday come in handy. I have an idea of what I am going to do with the parachute for this new project, but it is still in a R & D phase and dyeing seemed like the first step. As always with a new idea, I must remind myself to trust 'the process' of art making, even if I don't fully know the outcome. It will come. In any case, my cat Charlie enjoying exploring the material.
I had to conduct this dyeing day at my home, instead of at my studio. Dyeing requires proximity to a washer and dryer and accessible water. I set up a decent space in the basement and backyard. First step: cut the parachute into 4 manageable pieces. The piece of the far right has some velcro strips sewn onto its edges. This is a test to see it I can put the parachute back together again at some point. Velcro will be added to the other pieces after dyeing.
Prewash each piece in the washing machine with synthrapol.
My outdoor set up was: 100L stock pot, a double burner outdoor stove connected to a BBQ tank. I shovelled out a space in the back yard. It was the prettiest, somewhat mild day at -5, with light snow falling. It was preferable to the -30 windchill we've had lately. Again, my cat Charlie approves of the set up and enjoyed exploring in the snow.
I filled the stock pot about 1/3 of the way, with enough water to cover the fabric of 1/4 parachute. Turn on the burner and heat up the water.
I am using G & S Acid dye in #628 chartreuse. They recommend 2%-4% dye x WOF (weight of fabric). I used 15grams of dye for 2lbs of 1/4 parachute piece. It is also recommended to test dye fabric extensively before doing the whole lot, but since I wanted to maintain the integrity of the parachute (after cutting it in 4), I didn't want to go cutting more bits of it off to test it. I took my chances and was willing to live with how it turned out.
Add washed wet parachute to the dye bath. Stir it up. Add about 1 3/4 cups vinegar to the mix.
Let it dye for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
After 30 minutes, remove fabric from the dye bath, wash again through a machine cycle with synthrapol and then a rince cycle. Run through the dryer. Remove water/dye from the stock pot. Repeat all the steps 3 more times for each quater of a parachute. I am amazed at the brilliant, almost fluorecent green it turned out. It was not at all what I expected. But I have a fondness for shockingly bright colours, so I am very pleased with the results. I think if I had aimed to dye it fluorescent green, it would never have turned out this way.
I also dyed a few samples of other fabric that I may be using for this project. Left square is the spandex I will be using and the square beside it is the 'chartreuse' dye results. The gausy fabric on the right is a silk organza and was white before dyeing. It turned out a blue/green with the 'chartreuse' dye. So different...and this is why it is so important to test!
It was a fun afternoon of water, fire and colour. It was exciting progress being made on this new project and I'm looking forward to the next phases of development!
I am teaming up with fabulous ceramic artist Cynthia O'Brien for a Seasonal Studio Show and SALE!! For my clothing line, I am CLEARING OUT INVENTORY at 50% off regular prices! WOW!!! Cynthia will be having discounted items as well as new amazing works. We both take VISA and MC and, of course cash and cheqs. Pick up a something nice for yourself or a gifty for a special someone. Hope to see you there!!
Sunday December 7 12:00pm to 5:00pm
190 James Street, Apt #1
Look for the Giant inflatable Santa! You can't miss it!
Link to Facebook Page, Join US!
There were lots of activities happening at the studio this week. Its amazing to see how Susan juggles all the projects and and manages all the activities. One of the big projects this week was to dye stamp the words on the big panels of fabric (made of thread, of course). Here are Maria, Betty and Susan preparing to dye the panels.
Below, Betty and Susan working on the stamping project. Fabric letters have been used as place holders for the location of the dye stamp.
Susan has created her own stamps on a piece of plexi. A navy dye has been thickened with a thickening agent and painted onto the stamp.
After all the stamping, the fabric is left to dry. Once dry, the panels are placed in an industrial steaming machine to open and set the dye. Then the fabric is washed and laid out for a final dry.
One of the fabrics I was involved with making was the fabric made of thread. After many spools of thread have been dyed red, they are clumpy and needed fluffing. Here are some exciting videos of the thread fluffing process.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhYOSzduWFM?list=UUsJo6Qe5bWF8G6Z9dgNZJhQ] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hurPEUOI0ks?list=UUsJo6Qe5bWF8G6Z9dgNZJhQ]
This is the set up for thread fluffing.
Once heaps of thread have been fluffed, they are laid out on a piece of Slovy, a dissolvable interfacing.
Another sheet of Solvy is placed on top, sandwiching the layer of thread.
This sheet is brought over the industrial emboidery machine, where a swirly pattern is sewn and secures all the thread in between the Solvy layers. After a few yards have been made, the whole piece is washed, dissolving the Solvy. This fabric is essentially made of thread, which Susan will then cut up and sew into a one-of-a-kind dress for her exhibition.
This week, I was able to do some dyeing. Here, I am shabori dying a rayon infinity scarf.
After the shabori process, the scarf is washed and dryed and then I wrapped it around the pvc pipe once again. With some the spare dye from the stamping project, I painted the navy dye over the whole wrapping.
After drying overnight, a rinse and a wash and dry in the machines, the scarf on the left is the final result! The scarf on the right is the scarf I made using Susan's Merrow machine.
The Merrow machine is a funny looking little machine that works wonders on fine fabric. It creates a fine edging. So pretty!
The machine below is the industrial overlock. It works like a serger, but this one is suited for woven fabric, not knits (stretchy).
The free motion emboidery machine was pretty cool too. It has no pressor foot or feed dogs and can sew in any direction. Fabric gets moved around by the operator.
My sample was a bit of a jumble, but I could see this machine being a lot of fun to use.
This is the stiching that Susan did with the free motion machine.
I was able to use the programmed stiching on the industrial emboidery machine to make some swirly red stiching and the word 'breathe' on my hoody. So fun!
I can't believe how quickly three weeks has passed. It was an amazing experience to work in Susan's studio, see how she fabricates and produces her art, meeting her lovely interns, seeing the sights and art museums of Oakland and San Fransciso....I am grateful to the Ontario Arts Council who helped to fund this venture, and of course so very thankful to Susan for being such an amazing person, artist, mentor. Can't wait to see what will happen next!
This past week has been an exciting adventure of thirfting, dyeing, Solvy melting, sewing, embroidery and all sorts of textile related activities. On Labour Day, Susan, Maria and I went to Thrift Town's 50% off sale. Susan is collecting red dresses for an exhibition on Health. The American Heart Association's symbol for heart health is the red dress. So a thrifting trip was in order.
There was a pretty big rush into the store. Above, Maria has spotted something gliterry :)
Susan buying up all of Thrift Town's red dresses.
Back at the studio, Susan sorts through her purchases.
There has been a lot of thread dyeing in the past few days. Factory thread leftovers are cut up and dyed. This will then be all sewn together with Solvy or other interfacing to create a new textile. Susan will be designing and creating a series of one-of-kind wearable art dresses for the exhibition.
Yarn detail. So Yummy!
Here is the exciting Solvy dissolving process: The squares and diagonals I was sewing have been embroidered with health sayings and words.
The panel is placed in a bucket of water.
After a lot of washing and rinsing, the Solvy has magically dissolved and all that is left is the crosshatched thread and the emboidered words.
Here is Betty, one of Susan's student interns, hanging the up the panels for drying.
This week I learned how to operate the industrial emboirdery maching. It is very cool. Below, a short video of the the industrial embroidery machine at work.
I really like the serendipity of of the word 'breathe' after recently making a set of inflatable Bronchi.
This week, there was also some sewing machine trouble shooting
and a lovely meet and great with some artists at an Emeryville art event.
All in all, a great week in Oakland!
I've having an amazing time in Oakland California on my mentorship residency wih Susan Taber Avila. I'm getting myself oriented in the Piedmont neighbourhood I'm staying in and I have a bicycle for the ride to Emeryville where Susan's studio is located. I'm here to research industrial sewing machines and learn from an expert in the field. I'm so amazed with the scope and scale of Susan's art practice and her fabrication methods.
This week, I've been working on the single needle industrial sewing machine. I've been sewing long lines of stiches on a disolving interfacing. Four passes of stiching in each direction to create a grid and diagonals.
This will then be sewn to another piece of cloth just like it and then all layers will be passed through the industrial programmable emboidery machine.
Here is Rumiko, one of Susan's student interns, monitoring the industrial emboidery machine. Once all the words are embroidered on, the whole thing will be washed to dissolve the interfacing. Then it can be dyed.
Here is Susan (left) and Susan's mum Ruth, who was visting for the weekend. Much of the material in Susan's sculptures, dresses and 2d wall hangings are made from recycled thread and yarn and resewn into a fabric. The threads are leftovers from the clothing manufacturer that had been located in her studio space. It was a huge company and they left A LOT a thread.
Here is Maria, one of Susan's interns, dyeing bags of thread.
Here is Maria doing dye test for the perfect blue colour.
These health tips will be stamped onto this huge wall piece (pic below)
At the end of the week, I've barely scratched the surface of all the exciting and innovative echniques that are happening in Susan's studio. I'm just taking it all in and enjoying every minute.
Another cool thing is that Pixar (PIXAR!!!) is right around the corner, literally, from Susan's studio.
tyvek hazmat suits, paint, blower, air
Bronchi [breathe], my first inflatable sculpture, will be part of Material Witness: Art, Activism, and Fiber
Gallery 101 Aug 22-Oct 4, 2014
Opening August 22 with a roundtable discussion, a performance and workshops
Material Witness: Art, Activism, and Fiber
Barry Ace, Karina Bergmans, Bozica Radenovic, Mona Sharma, and Emily Rose Michaud are each occupying creative termini at the edges of fiber art. Each artist has followed the path of their artistic practice to an expression that is as logical to the heart as to the formal and aesthetic conversation of professional contemporary art practices.
Curated by: Laura Margita
Gallery 101. Galerie 101
51 B Young Street, Ottawa ON
I’ll be on a residency in Oakland, California from August 25-September 15 thanks to the Ontario Arts Council National and International residencies funding. I’ll be mentoring with superstar Susan Taber Avila in her studio for 3 weeks. I’m looking forward to learning all sorts of new textile techniques and can’t wait to see what will transpire in my studio when I return.
1,000,000 Thank yous OAC !
I had a lovely interview yesterday with Liana Voia in my studio. Look, she make me look like an angel! Liana was following up with artists who participated in the Moon Rain Textile Residency last August. It was great to talk about what has transpired since the residency and catch up with some of the things that are brewing in the studio. Thanks Liana!
here's some of the people/places I mentioned in the interview:
Susan Taber Avila, textile artist
Art Al Vent, Spain
Curious Collective, Ottawa
oh and...I'm wearing a scarf from an early Twiss&Webber collection...Go local fashion designers!
My StomachUlcer will be in the group exhibition Occam's Razor: Art, Science and Aesthetics at the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts and the !dea Gallery at the Ontario Science Centre.
April 2-20, at Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, 984 Queen Street West, opening reception Thursday April 3 from 7-10pm. I'll be attending the opening, if you're in Toronto, please join me!
May 3-June 1 at the !dea Gallery at the Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road
Visit the Facebook page for the exhibition.
For more information and additional programming visit: http://propellerctr.com/upcoming-exhibitions/occams-razor-art-science-and-aesthetics-april-2-20-2014