Sunday, December 19, 2010

Okanagan Artists Trading Cards

Had a great time talking about artist trading cards on Wednesday to the Vernon Hi-Noon Toastmasters. I had given this impromptu speech last month to the Monday Night Club and new I had enough material to talk about at length. I decided to change it up a bit because the Vernon Public Art Gallery has an artist trading card exhibition on right now, and the Hi-Noon club meets in the next building over at the Bean to Cup. I encouraged those thinking about making some art to consider trading cards because the cost is not prohibitive, and every artist is appreciated in this non-hierarchical community of artists.

View this Okanagan Artists website for more images.

My experience making artists trading cards for the Richmond Art Gallery exhibition was quite funny and resulted in my first set being published in the ATC Quarterly Magazine. Basically I was playing around with ink blot figures and out popped some conjoined twins. Many times when I begin to make a two-dimensional art piece I will play with shapes and materials, allowing the piece to reveal itself. View my artists trading cards. When I found the Richmond Art Gallery's call for submissions to the artists trading card show I only had four days to get them in.

I decided to just go with this theme because it was immediately fascinating and also because of the time restraint. Don't be afraid of making any art!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Skies and People Series I (Photo Essay) and Series II (3-Dimensional)

Polyon I, Digital Media Art, 2010,  in progress
Series I the Photo Essay is well under way, with a sample image here on the right. Polyon is the piece of plastic you see in this photo. He is a person trying to find his rightful place. The series is our adventure of getting there, along with several other characters we have encountered along the journey. You can view more beginnings of the photo essay Skies and People I here:

Series II has been bumping around in my head for months. A lot of prep work went down in October and November, mostly raw photography and some accumulation of garbage materials, and natural materials. Yesterday I finally had the right energy to attempt build the 3-Dimensional prototype for a person. I had collected dryish grass at the site where I realized for the first time that i had discovered a spirit that had joined into physical existence. Because it was not a balanced existence, the spirit was having a very difficult time coordinating itself. I had been studying these manifestations of static and dynamic existence since 2006 but did not understand what it was about. I sensed something real there, but it wasn't tangible, and since our society is preoccupied with mostly the tangible, I'm afraid it took me several years to get through the plastic of our lives. to be continued...

Friday, December 3, 2010

New Poems, Digital Art

I've been working on a digital art series titled DOMINANCE and PEOPLE. The works are grid-based with a bold flag-like motif of five dominant squares within the larger square format. These five dominant squares are the four corners and the centre. The work utilizes words related to dominant behaviour, which can be read several different ways since it is all grid-based.

Two pieces are posted on my artist website:

Naturally, the five dominant squares outnumber the four non-dominant squares. The non-dominant squares contain words and it is clear which dominant square the words came from. All the viewer needs is a single word and many dominant phrases can be construed. Dominant behaviour, akin to bullying (without getting into reasons or relationships), can occur as a continual grind, barrage, or onslaught. Dominant behaviour can be alternated with non-dominant behaviour and the overall themes of behaviour are processed by recipients in many different ways. Whether dominant behaviours are perceived or real they create a response in the recipient, for which the single word titles of these works reflect a loss or inability.

Poems have been extracted with several different versions. See my Writing Catalogue here:

River Lewis is an Okanagan artist working and living in Vernon BC Canada. As a contemporary Canadian artist, my themes are influenced by life in Canada within and without. Inter-personal perception, belonging, and value in all things drives my art-making practice.