A former co-worker of mine is currently holding an art exhibit at the Glenbow Museum here in Calgary and I finally managed to take it in yesterday afternoon (it ends on 5 September). Beyond the significance and meaning of the work, anyone interested in textile design and beadwork would be captivated by Pamela Norrish’s “Outfit for the Afterlife,” which features half a million glass beads. There isn’t a stitch of fabric here – the garments are created entirely from beads, painstakingly strung together with nylon thread. Not a single detail is missed – from the frayed, worn knees, rivets, zipper, and durable seams on the jeans, to the pocket and label on the t-shirt. To say that it is incredible is a massive understatement…and that’s even before you read about why she created it and how long it took her to do it. The piece was surrounded by works from other artists that reflected a similar theme, among them the black garments of a Victorian widow, an exquisite bead-and-embroidery velvet vest created and worn by a Ukrainian-Polish girl who had been imprisoned in Germany during World War II, and several beaded birth amulets made by indigenous North American peoples.
To read a review of the exhibit and see photos of Pamela’s “Outfit,” click here.
The curator of the exhibit wrote this piece for the Museum (unfortunately, I fear this link will not be permanent, but you will be able to read it until the show ends): click here.
Astonishingly, the chive plants are still in full bloom in the community garden. I love this view, which shows off one of the several colourful murals created by Calgary artist Dean Stanton that are featured prominently in the space. So bold and fun!
I first saw a mention of The Alberta Flood Rose Project on the blog one+one stones, as Calgary artist Barbara previewed her entry for this unique fundraising effort for flood relief in southern Alberta. She was part of a group of over 450 visual artists (both adults and children) who created small 4″x4″ renderings of our provincial flower, the wild rose, that were combined into eight collections. After a brief tour, the collections were auctioned off in August, with all of the proceeds donated to the Red Cross. There is now a beautiful little book available which gathers photographs of all of the artwork together.
What absolutely amazes me as I go through the book is the range of interpretation of the subject matter and the diversity of the media used to create the works. There is a gallery up at the project’s website – please do treat yourself and click through here to see a large selection of the fabulous pieces. What a wonderful way to showcase talented Alberta artists and offer support for everyone in flood-ravaged areas!