Caitlin Ffrench is a textile artist working in East Vancouver (unceded Coast Salish Territories). She regularly teaches workshops in different applications of textile arts and natural dyes, is a knitwear designer, and tries to spend as much time as she can outside.
Caitlin received a BFA from the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) and she attended the Kootenay School of the Arts for their textile program.
“I spend a lot of time running around the woods collecting things to dye with. I believe that clothing security is just as important as food security- and that we can find brilliance in even the hardest things. I make most of my own clothing (partially because of my beliefs in clothing security, and partially because i’m 6 feet tall- and finding clothes that fit is hard). I also weave, spin, felt, do surface design (screen print, eco printing), knit, crochet, dye, wildcraft, dance poorly, sing even more poorly, and ride bikes.”
Thanks to PR Arts Council, MAS, FibreSpace Ecouture Wearable Fashion Team, Academy of Music for sponsorship.
FREE ARTIST TALK is AT 7pm Friday Nov 4, MDD Studio
REMAPPING is a series of artworks based on changing the conventions that bind us. “The map” is broken down and then recreated in various modalities of sound, painting and walking.
The Walks: I treat the map as an intentional piece of history and explore these human systems through experience of place in the present day. The maps are usually found, discarded or gifted and used as a starting point for routine walks and research. From Guy Debord in the early 1950s to Richard Long, Janet Cardiff, and Esther Polak more recently, contemporary artists have returned again and again to the walking motif. Today, the convergence of global networks, online databases, and new tools for mobile mapping coincides with my interest in walking as an art form. The rhythms and repetition of familiar walking patterns start to “remap” existing boundaries.
The Paintings: The map is visually restructured through mixed media collage and paint built from the found environment. I attempt to make something new from the past and reorder information just as each systemized map has been created previously. The paintings become saturated with both disparate and unified visual information. Details such as birdsong, flora and fauna as well as concepts around birth, decay, growth and rejuvenation provide cyclical rhythms which predominate the work. The paintings have a perception of moving lines, shifting spaces and disappearing and emerging forms.
The Sounds: Stories and sounds are linked from place to gallery setting through audio. Field recordings and interpretive sounds, snippets of human experience are gathered from site specific locations and neighbourhood walks. The result is a heightened sensory experience; listening, looking and rethinking environments and contemplating conventional knowledge systems. The geographical, historical and cultural context of a site or object are central themes to the recordings while physical spaces become areas of exchange and exploration. Themes emerge such as presence/absence, the commons, loss and shifting perceptions. The virtual recordings also raise questions about established truths, singular narrative histories and authorship through the fabrication of new stories.
I had an amazing 3 week artist in residence experience at Terra Nova National Park. Thanks to Parks Canada and The Rooms for hosting me!
Exploring the area: South Broad and Minchin Cove, Terra Nova Park
I created an audiowalk for the Park at http://www.projectart.zone
On Saturday June 14, 2014, approximately 150 people from the region gathered at the Tla’amin Salish Centre to reflect on our relationships with place, and our responsibilities to each other and the land. The event was called Converging visions: Listening, learning, understanding, and was the result of a number of important partnerships — giving additional meaning to the event’s title.
Powell River Voices (with support from the Taos Institute) and members of the Tla’amin Nation began planning the event together several months prior. It was in the very early stages that the Malaspina Art Society and Community Foundation became significant partners as well, with the bridging of this event with the Powell River artist in residency program. Some of artist Landon Mackenzie‘s work creatively explores changing relationships with place and their implications. Mackenzie is a full professor at Emily Carr in Vancouver, and was invited to do an artists’ workshop in Powell River the same weekend as the Converging Visions event. The artists who participated in Mackenzie’s workshop were invited to contribute art to the Converging Visions event as part of a multi-media installation at the Salish Centre. The art installation circled the hall, and invited participants in the Converging Visions event to take time to reflect on the different interpretations and implications of our varying relationships with this place many of us call home.
In addition to the artists’ work, there was a talk by archaeologist Colleen Parsley about significant findings of a Tla’amin village site at Shelter Point on Texada Island, an intergenerational discussion about changing relationships with the place and what that means for us moving forward, a song performed by local singer/songwriter Devon Hanley, three short locally produced films that share additional perspectives on the importance of our relationships with place, and singing and drumming by talented Tla’amin youth. There was a kids’ corner with nature crafts and stories, delicious food prepared by Maggie Wilson, a thorough timeline of the Tla’amin history posted on the wall, displays by the museum, and more to engage the senses and the imagination. There was also lively participation in discussions around how we might be more deliberate about how we relate with this place as we face difficult political, cultural, and economic realities.
Here is one resource that generated a lot of interest and discussion at the event: a Sliammon-Historical-Timelinein the era of contact with settlers, courtesy of the Sliammon Treaty Society.
Landon Mackenzie is an acclaimed Canadian artist with paintings held in many prestigious collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Her works on paper and large format canvases have been shown in over ninety exhibitions in Canada and internationally. Mackenzie is the first Full Professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Through her role as a guest artist at many Canadian and international art departments and residency projects, she has influenced students for over 30 year. The recipient of the Inaugural Ian Wallace Award for Excellence in Teaching, Mackenzie also received both the Golden and the Diamond Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II Medals for her outstanding contribution to culture in Canada. In the fall of 2014 Mackenzie presents a two-person show with the artist Emily Carr at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Landon Mackenzie is pleased to be joining a group of artists in Powell River, BC in June 2014 to lead a 3-day intensive workshop as a guest-visiting artist. The workshop is scheduled for Friday June 13-15.
Through group critique, discussion and casual lectures, Mackenzie will share her perspective on finding routes to experimentation, and awareness of one’s practice. Through encouragement and challenge she will review recent work of participants while creating a space to make works on site over a long weekend that is intended as a useful injection of group and individual learning.
As part of Mackenzie’s residency she will be taking part in the PR Voices event “Converging Visions: Listening, Learning, Understanding” at the Tla’amin Salish Centre in Sliammon. Artists are encouraged to bring an artwork about “place” to share at this innovative event on building bridges between Tla’amin Nation and the Powell River Region, Saturday June 14th from 1-4pm. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for registration
ART AND COMMUNITIES: RE-IMAGINING POSSIBLE FUTURES
Eleanor Bond will speak about art and exhibitions that address and enable social change, the potential of cultural spaces within a community, and the artist’s role in urban renewal and the changing perception of a city.
Eleanor Bond is an artist known for her large-scale painted images of urban, architectonic and post-industrial spaces. In early series of her works, Bond used speculative fiction to present contemporary anxieties of economic and social transition through projections of the future. The painting Converting the Powell River Mill to a Recreation and Retirement Centre (1985), was her first image based on an actual site. In1995, she was invited to research and produce work on the city of Rotterdam, with subsequent projects in Salzburg, Windsor/Detroit, Vancouver and other cities. Her work, considered both utopic and dystopic, has been presented in group exhibitions such as Better Worlds, Future Cities, Brave New Worlds and the international project Shrinking Cities which opened in Berlin, 2005.
Bond first exhibited internationally in the 1987 Sao Paulo Biennale. She has since participated in numerous international biennials with solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sao Paulo, Witte de With centre for contemporary art in Rotterdam, the Clocktower in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, amongst others.
A long-time member and supporter of the Winnipeg artist-developed institutions PlugIn ICA and MAWA, she now divides her time between Winnipeg and Montreal, where she is Associate Professor (Painting and Drawing) at Concordia University.
Public artist Talk, Powell River, BC: Friday, January 24@ 7pm at the PR Music Academy, by donation
Eleanor Bond Painting Workshop, Powell River, BC: January25/26 10-3 at the PR Music Academy, contact email@example.com for registration