Precise: Craft Refined

September 11, 2011 to January 15, 2012

Kye-Yeon Son, Adieu III, 2006.

Cal Lane, Untitled, 2007

Iron wheelbarrows as delicate as lace. Silver wire soldered into fairy-like fragility. This exhibition brings together five contemporary artists who integrate beads, fibres, clay, silver and industrial metals into works of art that expand the definition of craft. The laborious production techniques result in skillfully constructed and conceptually complex pieces. While the artists are addressing particular issues of politics, gender, environment, and historical context/precedent, all the works are linked by the involvement of the hand, the commitment of time, the dedication to precision, and the creation of objects of exquisite beauty. Underlying the artists’ work is a deep knowledge of the media and the techniques used to control and work with them. For each artist, the involvement of the hand is key; each work is unique and wrought from the interaction between concept, hand, and material. The hand guides, cuts, weaves, sews, forms, welds, crafts and brings into existence the work. The hand is integral to the equation.

Kye-Yeon Son was the 2011 Governor General Award Winner (Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Fine Craft.) Her elegant and restrained compositions in silver consider the natural environment, speaking to its fragility, resilience, and enduring presence in our lives.

 Greg Payce’s practice considers the relationship between vessel and human, and our interaction with both the physical presence and the void created/filled by objects. Jane Kidd’s exquisite tapestries speak to human interaction with the world in which we exist, our need to understand as well as control it.

Cal Lane transforms metal most commonly used in industrial industry into delicate, lacy statements that question ideas of preciousness, femininity/masculinity, artifice, and ornamentation.Teresa Burrow’s incredible beaded creations speak to spirituality, to social issues, and to women’s rights and power. Reimagining and reinterpreting cultural myths and storybook tales, she roots her work within her experience of living in Thompson and Northern Manitoba.

The work in Precise: Refined is provocative. It is visually accessible, instinctively engaging, and aesthetically rewarding. It aims to surprise, to awe, and to expand visitor’s interpretation of craft as it is practiced in the 21st century.

Media

Review by Winnipeg Free Press Arts reporter Alison Mayes

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