Tag Archives: Halifax

Pop-Up Trunk Show in Halifax

Guess what – I snuck away for the last couple of weeks. Check my social media (especially Instagram Stories) for some pics in the next couple of days! I’ll tell you more all about my trip here on my blog, soon, as well. Right now, I am busy preparing for a last public appearance in Halifax. I was invited by my colleague James Bradshaw to bring my pieces into his gallery for just one day for a pop-up trunk show.  Along with the goldsmiths of Fireworks Gallery (my representing gallery in Halifax), James Bradshaw has been a big inspiration for me for over a decade.

This local artisan has been creating wearable works of art for over 40 years. I had my first visit to his studio as a field trip when I was studying jewellery design and metalsmithing at NSCAD University in Halifax in the late Nineties. The visit to this fully functioning goldsmith’s studio was hugely inspiring to me as a student – a real life example of what the life and work space of a  goldsmith could be like. I have often since then walked past the building and admired it. Thus, I am particularly delighted by the invitation to spread out my works and welcome my clients in this beautiful space.  I’ll have some new pieces with me which haven’t been seen before. So come and check it out!

Monday, December 17th
12pm-9pm

James Bradshaw Goldsmith
1551 Birmingham, Halifax, NS
(corner Queen and Birmingham)

The iconic building at the corner of Queen and Birmingham Streets is hard to miss

 

Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax

Ah, it’s that time of year again: time to bring the pieces I make out of the studio, and meet my clients in person at shows, Coast to Coast.

This year, I will have 3 stops: Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax. 

The CircleCraft Market in downtown Vancouver is one of my favourite events of the year. The event is excellently produced, and it is always a joy to see fellow crafters and chat with West Coast clients, and of course meet new ones. I’ve been here two days already;I got so busy making the work, I didn’t get around to telling you about it! This year, you will find me in booth #332.

Following that event, I particularly look forward to the opportunity of doing two trunk shows in Ontario for the first time. I am beyond thrilled to be sharing these with one of my biggest idols: Canadian jewellery great Janis Kerman. 

I only met Janis once, years ago, and was completely star struck. She has been making jewellery almost as long as I have been alive, and continues with relentless perseverance and complete elegance. Gallerist Noel Guyomarc’H recently wrote an entire book which journals her career.

The Ontario events, hosted by Gallery Gemma, will offer an intimate setting for these Pop Up Jewellery shows, “By The Power of 2 •  2 locations, 2 award winning artists, 2 dates

The Toronto Yorkville event will take place at the Liss Gallery, one of Canada’s top art galleries for collectible investment art, on Tuesday, November 14, from 10am until 6pm.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, we will be at Gallery Gemma Jewellery in Caledon Ontario, inside the award winning Alton Mill Art Centre, 10am to 5pm

I truly look forward to these events, and hope to see some of my Ontario clients in person, to show of some pieces with very special stones I have been making lately.

Following Toronto, I will of course see my Nova Scotia peeps at the annual Designer Craft Show at the Cunard Centre, November 17-19.

I also have a private event up my sleeve, for later in November. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for details.

‘Good’ Art

I had the wonderful opportunity to see Spanish dance troupe Compañía Sharon Fridman this weekend here in Halifax.  Led by award winning Israeli choreographer, Sharon Fridman, this remarkable contact-dance based company from Madrid has toured Europe and Asia extensively, and Halifax was their North American debut. They were brought to Halifax by Live Art Dance (if you live an Halifax and aren’t a subscriber, you are a fool).

Whatever art it may be that I am observing, I have a sure-fire way to tell when I think it is ‘good’: when it captures my attention to the point of my being completely present for every bite, so to speak.  I might even sit straight in my chair for the whole duration, my jaw relaxes, mouth slightly open, and eyes fixed on what I am looking at.

This was the case when I saw this troupe.

Naturally, dance has to be abstract. It tells a story without the use of words. In the program, I read “The road we travel here crosses five emotional landscapes: loss, search, dream, falling in love, and construction”. Yet I was liberated from seeing any story at all, but instead was able to just be in the space with the emotion the dancers conveyed through executing the choreographer’s vision.

photo by Ignacio Urrutia

The two pieces presented, Hasta Dónde ( ‘Until Where’ ), and All Ways had a natural sense of flow, and a seeming effortlessness, which I appreciate hugely in any kind of art.  

In my mind, art is what you might call ‘good’, or perhaps I will be so bold as to say ‘pleasing’, when it is at once complex yet has the sense of effortlessness. I have that same experience when I eat chef Joe MacLellan‘s creations for his tasting menues at The Kitchen Table, for example.

Chef Joe MacLellan’s complex dishes capture my attention similarly.

Sharon Fridman’s dancers performed the choreography with tremendous fluidity, as if all seven dancers were one organism. Yet, rooted in contact improv, there were moments of unashamed intensity.  Its genuiness made the piece very personal. I found myself mirrored, and tears even filled my eyes. For no apparent reason at all.

Other contemporary dance performances may try to achieve a similar result, but they are often too literal  – too in-your-face. They try too hard to convey something.

Even the use of very specific lighting and fog, which often feel gimmicky, were well done here.  Contact-improv may be 40+ years old, but this fluid way of presenting it was new to me. Not one movement too many, none too few.  Each movement had its purpose. 

I strive to create my own work similarly.  Perhaps the organic flow of Sharon Fridman’s work is what spoke to me. In any case – if his work comes to your town – don’t miss it!

I was curious and checked, and it just so happens that YOU, VANCOUVER are the next lucky destination for this troupe. They will be at The Dance Centre next weekend, October 12-14 (the link contains this short video).  Buy your tickets now. 

Time Away

If my social media accounts have been quiet of late, and I have been slow to respond to e-mails, it is because I unplugged at a retreat centre for a while. I spent almost two weeks at wonderful Dorje Denma Ling in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia.

This rural retreat centre may be rustic, but it is also splendid!

This rural retreat centre may be rustic, but it is also splendid!

The retreat was attended by roughly 50 people from international destinations.

local powdered juniper is used as incense

local powdered juniper is used as incense

It is not fancy, but I love it there, and have been coming here for over twenty years.

An approaching storm made for a dramatic sky over the meditation pavillion

An approaching storm made for a dramatic sky over the meditation pavillion

The place is fairly small, but swells in the summer with larger programs

To create a space for the program's meals, a tent was erected on the lawn. The grass coming through the floorboards made endless fodder for the eye

To create a space for the program’s meals, a tent was erected on the lawn. The grass coming through the floorboards made endless fodder for the eye

Being on retreat opens the senses – everything becomes quite beautiful. Or maybe it always is, but we miss it in the speed of daily life.

One of the perks of rising with the sun is the amazing light of the earliest morning hours

One of the perks of rising with the sun is the amazing light of the earliest morning hours

Now I am renewed and ready for summer artisan shows on either Coast. First Halifax –

Downtown Halifax, across from Public Gardens, and free admission!

This annual show is in downtown Halifax, across from Public Gardens, and free admission!

and then the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver July 27 – August 7. See you there!

 

 

 

Square One

Materials and Process – Passions of a Goldsmith – that was the title of my graduating exhibition at NSCAD University’s Anna Leonowens Gallery in 2004.  So long ago! Good early perception, though: I already knew that my passion for the materials and processes of this amazing trade of gold/silver/copper/metal-smithing is what drives me.

My heart and soul went into my NSCAD U graduating exhibition

My heart and soul went into my NSCAD U graduating exhibition

That exhibition marked the end of a tremendously important time in my life.  It was hard to figure out the logistics to keep going following graduation, two kids in elementary school and suddenly no studio. But my passion kept driving me further. I set up a studio in the Arts Annex of the Seaport Market and kept working towards another solo exhibition two years later, this time at the Mary E. Black Gallery. It was a time of tremendous outpouring. I think I will post some photos from those shows, one of these days.

Tonight though, I happened to stumble across a poem which I wrote somewhere around that time. It’s a little intense – I hope you don’t mind my sharing it here. Even to myself when reading it again after quite some time, it illustrates what’s ‘behind it all’, this passion for a dialogue with the metal which drives me, and which – incidentally – is also what makes me happy. How lucky is that?

Gotta look for some of those still ‘listening’ moments in the next bit, I think.  I am so glad I found this. Brings me right back to square one. Best place to be, hands down.


 

And such is my passion for making

that the search for the right form to
emerge from the material before me

And such is my passion for making

that this search pains me in the
innermost center of my soul – the same place love hurts –

And such is my passion for making

that when I see a form which is perfect for
its moment in time and space
(some call this ‘good design’)
that such a perfect form brings the sun to my face.
I weep with joy over such good fortune.

And such is my passion for making

that I wither when I stop
that I dream it day and night
completely unshakable.

And such is my passion for making

that I drink its textures its sounds its weight its dirt
I drink them like nectar
like frozen Bombay Sapphire
never enough.

Such is my passion for making

that it hurts.

When I realized this
I became terrified.

Now I stand in awe
before the materials which are
pregnant with stories, laden with hidden forms.

I want to draw them out
I wish to help them emerge
I desire to see them.

I concentrate, still,
examining each step carefully
Listening intently.

Dorothée Rosen, 2006

At my bench in 2007. Photo by Paige Littlefair

At my bench in 2007. Photo by Paige Littlefair

 

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