Sunday, August 15, 2010

Penticton Art Gallery Starry Night Auction

While Rene and I were away this summer, a few of our works went on the Auction Block for charity. Two of our pieces were up for grabs: "Man, Soup, Dog", a collaged print I made while living in Taipei Taiwan in 1998, and a collaborative piece called "Sheherazade's Corner" by Rene and I that we made in Istanbul, 2009.

Man Soup Dog - Taiwan Series, 1998

Collage and Lino Print

I made this piece when I was working in Taipei as an English teacher. One day, I was teaching a high level kids class, and I couldn't get two of my eleven year old boys to concentrate. Before class they had pooled their money and bought the latest comic called, "Bow Wow" and were so enthralled in the stories, they were trying to read it under their desk when they should have been doing their work.
"If I see that comic one more time, I'm going to take it away, and I won't give it back." I told them in my most teacherly voice.
"Okay, Okay," they said, and the comic did stay in their bag for about twenty minutes. But I stepped out of the room for a moment and when I came back, the comic was out. I snatched it and put it in my own bag. Mean teacher!

After class, they came grovelling. Pathetic grovelling. The kind of grovelling that makes you laugh and makes you feel bad at the same time. I did really like these boys, so it didn't take long before they were happily skipping out the door with their comic in hand.

The next week, they came back to class, and the cheeky buggers tossed it onto my desk. "Here, we don't need it anymore!" They snorted. "We are done with it! You can have it now!" I laughed too, flipped through the images and got to wondering about the stories and their images.

A few months later, I came up with the idea to do these prints. One day, I came into class and tossed each boy a print" "Here! From your comic!" I laughed and tossed them back the book. "I don't need it anymore!"

Thanks, cheeky little Taiwanese boys!

Sheherazade's Corner

Collage and Lino Print

Istanbul Series, 2009

A friend of mine went to Prague and brought me back a Mucha Calendar which had a lovely print of a woman with a face and back like this print. I wanted to do a print of a belly dancer, so with a little cutting here and pasting there, I took the Mucha image and made it into the image I wanted.

The original Mucha image

I spent an entire winter's day in Istanbul carving this block out of rubber- but then I wasn't sure what to do with it. Rene had fresher eyes and began to play with printing the image on several bits of paper and cutting them and collaging them together.

Anyhow, "The Bitch" as we lovingly called her (because she was so difficult to collage) was created from all the little bits of paper we painstakingly cut out and arranged. The tile design in the back ground was also an earlier lino I had carved while living in the United Arab Emirates- another lino I carved but had no plans for. It's a good thing I have a creative sister, otherwise I would have lots of plates cut with nothing printed.

Actually, On second thought, I DO have lots of plates cut I haven't done anything with as of yet!

The name, Sheherazade's Corner, Came to us via the internet. Around the time we made this print, we had joined an Istanbul Expat/repat forum called, "The Sublime Portal." A gentleman on the forum posted a thread called 'Sheherazade's Corner" and it was an open invitation to share stories we might have. Rene and I loved the stories, and thought it would be fitting to pay homage to the thread by naming this work, "Sheherazade's Corner." Oh the stories she could tell if she could talk!

Both of these pieces were framed by the art gallery and included in the annual auction, and sold to the highest bidder for a collective 300 Canadian dollars! It was a great honour to be a part of this fund raiser and I will certainly be donating more pieces to the art gallery in the future.

Islamic Wheels
Istanbul Series, 2009

This little piece, Islamic wheels, didn't make it into this year's auction, but I'v been told will be making an appearance in the art gallery's next fundraiser. Years ago, while I was completing a degree in Art history, I took quite a few Islamic Art History classes. This image was painted and glazed in the centre of an old plate.

In the old days, if you were wealthy enough and living in the Islamic world, you'd have your name stamped into the centre of every plate you had. But, if you weren't so wealthy, and the people you were entertaining were largely illiterate, you'd buy plates with this stamp in the centre, which usually meant something like, "Blessings to the owner." Your guests most likely didn't know the difference anyway.

I'd abandoned this stamp but Rene had saved it. I carved it for the front of the journals I used to make and sell in a market, but this image looked a little too religious for the secular Canadian crowd. But framed up nicely and hanging on a wall, it looks quite classy. We cross our fingers for it's sale in the next Art Gallery Auction!

You can see Sheherazade's corner and the Islamic Wheels on the Penticton Art Gallery Page Here.

you can see "Man, Soup, Dog" on the Penticton Art Gallery Page Here.


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