I am part of Gallery 101 + Helen Pitt collaboration for BC Scene. The Exhibition opens on Tuesday, April 21 with a gallery SWARM starting at 6pm. Galleries from across the city are exhibiting the art of BC artists. The Gallery 101 + Helen Pitt collaboration, 5 artists in ottawa and 5 artists in Vancouver were assigned to develop an art idea or concept to be created by an artist in the other city. I was assigned something rather vague and open ended. A photo of it is located here, on the Helen Pitt site.
So what do you do with that???? Was I to go skydiving? Should I jump out of plane? Ottawa, Illinois is home to the largest skydiving school in North American. I spoke with several people about this idea, jostled ideas around, which then lead to an interview with a woman who had recently taken up skydiving (41 jumps in 2 years, and she had just bought her first parachute, true commitment to the sport). One of the questions I asked her was how would she describe skydiving as idea/concept. She explained it as a spiritual experience, and developing a new relationship with the sky. The free fall portion of the jump is fast an windy, and yet weightless and 'floaty', like swimming in air. I thought that was very intriguing, to be part of the sky in a new way, and it was on this idea that I developed the installation I am exhibiting.
In creating the work, I researched the perfect sky blue paint by gathering many paint chips from Canadian Tire, Home Depot, etc... I did some paint tests in the studio and on canvas to make sure I could sew painted canvas. As I have been working on a Word Jumble Pillow Project, I created the words FREE FALL in letter pillows out of painted blue canvas and shiny metallic fabric (for glitter and sparkle). In working with other artists in the show, we all settled on spaces to install in the gallery and everyone agreed that I ought to use the skylight. Last week, I was up on a tall ladder painting in the sky light and hanging the letter pillows. Here's pics of the painted skylight and the pillows in-progress in the studio. I'll post some pictures of the installation after it opens this week.
This has been a challenging and exciting show to be part of... in developing work for someone else to make (a whole other blog post :), creating work based on someone else idea, the logistics of exhibiting/installing and working with the other artists in the show. The show runs until May 30, at which time there will be a publication launch and artist talks. See you at SWARM on Tuesday!