Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Judge Not

In June I participated in the group exhibition
M├ętissons- nous, mais tissons nos differences
translation- Let's all mix together, but let's weave together our differences.
36 artists united against discrimination, be it towards people of mixed racial origins or sexual orientations. The only rule was to work with another artist(s), to share or ideas, techniques, and experiences. My collaborator was Laurence Lagabrielle, a Caledonian artist who draws, paints, illustrates books, and works with mixed media. Our idea was to evoke intolerance of "other" and his or her differences, be it physical, sexual, cultural. This other who sometimes unveils his or her strengths and power, or on the contrary, hides his pain and wounds. Often the walls put up between people serve only to self-protect from ones own weakness and fear.
Technically this was a first for me. I was using a new and very powerful torch and was having trouble controlling all the heat. Secondly, enamelling was and still is new to me, and I was discovering it's possibilities and limitations. Lastly, the fabric part was fun. My mother had shown me once how to make a chenille bedspread. I put that to use for the "skin".
This exhibition was on view in the Bernheim Library in Noumea, and will travel to the Northern Province and the Loyalty Islands later this year.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pacific Ornaments

Pacific Ornaments was a joint exhibition of two artists; myself, Kristine Bourcier and Laurence Lagabrielle. The title gives some ideas about our motivation. We looked to body adornment in Pacific Cultures as inspiration. We also used the word pacific in the sense of non- violent, body protection.
For my part in this exposition, inspiration came from the island of Hawaii. I had recently discovered the Lei of Hawaii; not only the colorful, floral garlands, but also the leaf lei, and the more permanent lei of shell, bone, feather, seeds... Leis are very important in Hawaiian culture. they are prized "jewels" offered and worn at important family or civic occasions, as well to simply brighten the routine of daily life. The fragility of this delicate art form gives real importance to the moment of exchange between the giver and the wearer.
I wanted to make a lei, a maile lei, out of silver. To give my lei a sense of lightness and fragility, I used paper. After my first experiments with paper, glue, and metal, I was hooked. I've since done leaves, flowers, vegetables, and colorful rocks.
I am an artist-crafts person and have a firm belief in the importance of the handmade, whatever it might be, jewelry, clothing, house wares, food,... and especially gifts. Gift giving, for me, is more about the giving and exchanging of love and affection, rather than acquiring the latest fashionable consumer item.