What is the Finnish word for Reset?

I’ve only been at Arteles Creative Center for a few days but it feels just like home. Snuggled in between a series of lakes and ponds in a heavily forested area (really, where in Finland isn’t?) in rural Finland, I arrived here from Iceland not knowing what to expect. 

To me the landscape looks just like Alberta, minus the snow (sorry guys). It has been strange coming from a place with no trees or wood products to speak of to somewhere where you can’t escape the woods and lumber products are plentiful. I even felt a bit guilty lighting the wood stove in the sauna last night  (but I sure forgot all about that while I used it!).

The residency buildings are spectacular.  They are rustic and comfortable, spacious and bright. I said in Iceland that I was going to really let things happen organically without expectations or pressure, which I did. I am trying to adopt the same outlook here (Arteles Creative Centers slogan is “Freedom to Create” or not if I so choose), but I feel like it would be a waste not to take advantage of the beautiful working space. So I guess the pressure is back on!

This place has definitely rekindled my love for bird song and the orchestras out here are spectacular. On that note maybe I will start working tomorrow and instead continue editing my Icelandic exhibition photos on a bench in the sun and listen to what I am assuming was composed especially for me. After all, working is for the birds.

Long............ Without Longing

Less than one week left here! How time has flown by. We had nearly a four day blizzard which kept me inside and busy in my studio. With all the hard work I have put in over the last three weeks I will be having my first solo exhibition and artist talk this Thursday, March 27th as a lovely conclusion to this residency and my time in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland. I am excited and really driving hard to get everything done in time because, well , if you know me you know that I bit off a little more than I can chew while keeping my sanity intact (as usual).

I will be showing the sculptural objects that I have been using in my performances as well as video and photo documentation and some installation work using lights and projections. This time to myself has afforded me the opportunity both to make pieces that have become very important to my emotional integration and perspicacity in this place but also to make some more playful and relaxed work than what I am normally used to. 

I want to thank everyone that has helped me out here, especially Listhus Gallery and Hólmfríður Arngrímsdóttir and Neil Martin Horvath. Without Hólmfríður Arngrímsdóttir I would not have been able to acquire the tools, materials and studio space needed to follow through with my piece Distance Measured by Time, Time Measured by Distance. Please have a look at her beautiful ceramics work that is inspired by nature, an amazing piece of which she was kind enough to gift me!!

I will post some more photos of the installation and exhibition and final documentation will be up in my portfolio section soon (Photo editing meltdowns aside). I have attached the local news of my exhibition in this link as well. See you on the other side! 

My First Week In Iceland

My first week has been interesting to say the least. Everything is new and exciting but slow moving and idyllic at the same time. Icelanders, for the most part, seem to keep to themselves and although the town sign boasts a population of 850, I am sure that I have not seem more than fifty people since my arrival. I’m torn between wanting to stay in my studio and make loads of work, and wanting to let things happen organically while leisurely taking in the splendor of my surroundings. I have been making, as well as exploring and, you got it, elf hunting (the latter has been the least successful) everyday.

I am finding it challenging to step out from my material safety zone and have been constantly repressing the desire to make things out of glass, not that it is possible here. Perhaps I will save those ideas for when I return, and in the meanwhile I have been trying hard to revert back to making things in a material that supports the concept and aesthetic outcome of the piece.

I have been working mostly with photography and objects and materials that are abundant in Olafsfjordur; ice, stone, and fishing accoutrement. So far most of my experiments and ideas have revolved around my emotional state at this part of the journey, although every time I look out the window or go exploring I can’t help but be inspired by the sights, sounds and smells. There is something so breathtakingly poetic about the dark angry seas, black cliffs and white mountains.

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do and take a moment to listen to the link above. Some of them have been taken through transparent colored filters that I brought with me…… perhaps more about that in my next post along with some sculptural and installation models ( I have something special planned for the location in the last photo). I will update some works in progress soon........ stay inspired.   


Listhús í Fjallabyggðis in Ólafsfjördur

After nearly twenty four hours of travel I am happy to have finally arrived in Ólafsfjördur (albeit a little jet lagged). Everything that I've heard about Iceland it true. It's spectacular. The landscape is like something out of a dream, changing from rocky plains to rolling hills to snow covered mountains that meet the sea and back again all within a blink of the eye.

Everyone here is so kind. I spent the day outdoors, hiking and foraging hunter-gatherer style. It is a balmy -1C, which is a pleasure compared to the deep freeze Calgary was in before I left. I'm not yet sure where the paths will take me or what the objects I find will tell me. Right now I am leaving everything open. I have only the things I find outdoors and left over artist supplies at the residence to work with. This is both challenging and curiously liberating. My work has been, dare I say quite complicated with glass as of late and this residency will push me to break my glass shell (insert giggle) and respond spontaneously to my emotions, thoughts and surroundings.

I leave you with some photos of my day. I would like to say thank you again to Listhús í Fjallabyggðis, the City of Calgary and the Calgary Arts Development for investing in this crazy plan of mine. Dream big. 


Spring is in the air and it's going to be exciting!

The count down begins. Thirty one days until I leave for the most exciting opportunity I have encountered yet. I have been selected as Artist in Residence at Listhús in Ólafsfjördur of Fjallabyggð, North Iceland. I will be spending the entire month of March surrounded by the frozen Icelandic landscape and documenting my reactions to it. This is my first self directed residency and I cannot think of a more amazing place to be doing it. Honestly, have you seen pictures of Iceland?!  I cant sleep I am so excited. 

The amazing adventure continues as from Iceland I have been awarded another residency at the Arteles Creative Center in Haukijärvi, part of the countryside city of Hämeenkyrö, Finland for the month of April. There I will have the opportunity to collaborate with a number of international artists in the Finnish country side AND enjoy a traditional Finnish sauna!

The most wonderful part of all of this? Support from the City of Calgary and the Calgary Arts Development. They have been generous enough to invest in my career by providing funding through the Artist Opportunity Grant.  A big thank you again to the Calgary Arts Development for your generous support.

CityofCalgarylogo.jpg


CADA_logo_web_blk.png

Coming up next...................... Elf hunting, Northern lights and saunas............

 

Holiday Market Collective

I am super excited to be a part of the Holiday Market Collective for the second year in a row. This is an amazing event and one not to be missed for holiday shopping and arts community mingling!  There are so many amazing vendors ranging from take home terrariums, DIY cheese, tasty goodies, leather work, jewellery, live music and of course GLASS! sweetC design will be reppin' at the Market Collective December 20-22............ don't miss out!  I will be sharing a table with the amazingly talented Neil Martin Horvath, printmaker and tattoo artist. http://www.neilmartinhorvath.com/ His geometry and mandala inspired pieces and animal totems blow my mind and is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet :) 

Check out the whole amazing line up down below and I'll see you there! 

http://www.marketcollective.ca/upcoming-events/ 

Along side the beautiful crowd favourite Icicle Balls and my Glacial series bowls and plates, I will be selling my new vintage photography inspired ring and pendant design, "Finders Keepers" . $5 from the sale of every Finders Keepers piece will be donated to the Alberta Animal  Rescue Crew Society! Cute baubles for cute animals............ need I say more? Come see for yourself :) 

http://aarcs.ca/donate/

And while you're here I'm going to tempt you to have a peek at long time friend VBot 's work for amazing vintage inspired trinkets, she will be down at the Market Collective as well............ that's three reasons not to miss it :) 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/vanessabot 

Caprices Fine Arts Pre- Holiday Event!

Mark it on your calendars! SweetC Design will be at the Caprices Fine Arts Pre-Holiday Event on Saturday, November 23rd. There will be many wonderful local artisans and musicians with more than enough handmade gifts to get all of your holiday shopping done in one spot.  I will have brand new handmade jewellery designs, many pieces from my Glacial series, and of course everyone's favorite Icicle Balls! And with any donation from entry going to the Calgary Humane Society, I can't think of any reason not to come down. Stop by and say hi! 

Stop by and say hi! 

This seems like the perfect opportunity to start something great.........

What can I say? As my first blog post this is definitely overdue, but well warranted. I can't think of a better reason to finally being posting than this amazing article in Swerve Magazine.  Thank you Shelley Boettcher for your interest in my work and this beautifully written article, I am deeply honoured. Hopefully this is one of many and the start of something really great.......  

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Glass+Half+Full/8848326/story.htm  

 

 

 

 Photo by Heather Saitz

Photo by Heather Saitz

Nose Tumbler -Photo by Heather Saitz

Source: www.calgaryherald.com/Glass+Half+Full/8848...