Monthly Archives: January 2017

Vancouver – Journeys to the Edge – Cut-ups

Journeys to the Edge – Cut-ups
The cut-up technique, called découpé in French, is a literary system in which text is cut up and rearranged to create a new piece of prose. This concept, which can be traced to the Dadaist artists of the 1920s, was popularized in the 1950s and early 1960s by American writer and artist William S. Burroughs. The Journeys to the Edge – Cut-ups series takes random images from one country, then reassembles them into a final piece of artwork. These pieces give the viewer poetic insight into remote, exotic and mysterious worlds and cultures.

Afghanistan – Flowers & Man  30″ x 16″ Archival digital print

Colombia – My Footsteps will always Fall  30′ x 16″ Archival digital print

Haiti – Ancestors Rise Erect  33″ x 14″  Archival digital print

 

 

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Vancouver – Journeys to the Edge Community Portraits & Exhibition

ARTIST STATEMENT       Journeys to the Edge – an exhibition of photography

An understated aspect of photography is that every portrait reveals not only a fundamental view of the subject in the photograph but also a glimpse of the visions, perceptions, beliefs and emotions of the photographer. As a resident of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, it is important for me as a photographer to participate in the community I reside in. Thus I conceived the idea of taking portraits of the individuals who are part of the Oppenheimer Park community. The portraits are taken in a studio setting with the subjects against a blank white background. This isolates them from the context of their real world and emphasizes their own uniqueness. This exhibition displays these portraits as well as reportage portraiture of people from places as diverse as Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, Afghanistan and Soweto in South Africa. I conceived the idea of a “travelling” exhibition that would showcase the work of Journeys to the Edge from remote places — either in distance or culturally — from what is perceived as typical art environments. Journeys to the Edge reflects this wide diversity of cultures and shows lives and stories not captured by mainstream media.

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Bogota – A meeting with Dr. Martín von Hildebrand

Portrait of Dr. Martin von Hildebrand who has a PhD in Ethnology and is the  Director and Founder of Gaia Amazon Foundation.  Hildebrand  has dedicated his life since 1970 to the defense and promotion of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and to the conservation of the rain forest in the Colombian Amazon.

Journalist Roberta Staley and I met with Hildebrand in his sunny apartment in Bogota before we travelled down to Leticia,  a small town located in the Amazon, only accessible by air or the Amazon river.

In the 1970’s the Indigenous People were still being exploited in rubber camps, and had no rights at all. These days with legislation spearheaded by Hildebrand   now have the land rights to 26 million hectares of Amazon Forest and have in half of this territory their own governmental system  officially recognized by the State and are managing their social and environmental programs.

 

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Stirling – History, Woven

Scotland’s Stirling Castle

History, woven

Published in Montecristo Magazine

Stirling Castle in Scotland is built upon a large volcanic rock above the River Forth, considered the natural meeting point between the Lowlands and Highlands of the country. Two of Scotland’s most well-known battles took place in this area: the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, when William Wallace defeated the English; and the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, when Robert the Bruce and his soldiers prevailed over the much larger English army. Stirling Castle has a tumultuous history; it has been under siege at least eight times, survived numerous fires, seen many kings and queens crowned, and even witnessed the murder of William Douglas, 8th earl of the line, by King James II, in 1452.

It was in the time of James V that the castle went through a period of stability, and the king brought to life his vision to create a vibrant and cosmopolitan royal court. James V and his French wife, Mary of Guise, constructed the Royal Palace with magnificent apartments and lavish interiors. Inventories from the 16th century show the many tapestries, furnishings, and costumes that would have existed. James V owned more than 100 tapestries; there is no record as to how these great works disappeared.

Historic Scotland decided to recreate a series of tapestries for the Royal Palace as part of an initiative to refurnish the castle as it was in the 16th century. An international search led Historic Scotland to a series of original 15th-century Flemish tapestries called The Hunt of the Unicorn at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and so, a recreation began. It is considered the largest tapestry project undertaken in Great Britain in the past century, spanning 14 years and costing about two million pounds.

The final tapestry in the series of seven is The Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn, and Vancouver’s own Ruth Jones was its head weaver. She wove the maiden based on evidence from another artwork that included a bit of sleeve and a hand on the unicorn’s neck; the maiden’s face was inspired by Italian Renaissance portraits. Jones went to France to study a specialized skill called faiseur de chair, which means “maker of flesh,” to create the maiden’s face.

Stirling Castle is surrounded by several major historical sites. There is the Battle of Bannockburn Experience, where Robert the Bruce’s battle against the English can be relived; tourists can also climb to the top of the National Wallace Monument or wander through Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. And of course, they can enter the castle and view the finished tapestries, hanging grandly on the walls.

 

 

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Vancouver – Women’s March on Washington

Vancouver Marches in Solidarity with Anti-Trump Protestors in Washington
An estimated 15,000 people marched Jan. 21, 2017 in Vancouver in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, held to protest the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Donald Trump.
The Vancouver event, which was led by Aboriginal elders playing traditional drums, began at Jack Poole Plaza and marched past the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver and the United States Embassy.
Accompanied by the Vancouver Carnival Band, thousands chanted “Donald Trump has to go” during the march, which was one of hundreds held in 75 countries around the globe.
The protest was an unequivocal message of defiance against the Trump administration, which is undertaking legislative changes that threaten the civil rights of women, visible minorities, the LGBTQ2 community as well as 20 million American citizens who receive health insurance under the doomed Affordable Care Act.
Vancouver protestors pledged to protect and support Americans who fall victim to their new administration’s claw back in government services and pernicious legislative changes that threaten women, peace, the rule of law, and human rights. “We are people of diversities… and we stand together to protect each of them,” marchers commented on the Women’s March Vancouver Facebook page. “We stand against hate in all forms and against targeting any groups or individuals. For ourselves and others, we express our right to respect and acceptance without bias or persecution.” Marchers also called for action: “CONNECT, PROTECT, ACTIVATE. We CONNECT to support each other in PROTECTing and furthering human rights and civil liberties. We ACTIVATE in our communities to uphold and strengthen values, rights, and humanity.”

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