Updated: Nov 4, 2021
This year’s upcoming SHRINE exhibition asks felt :: feutre canada members to create a portable shrine that pays homage to a belief which is intrinsic to them. This belief can be based in religion, but can also be secular; a testament to an object/theme selected by the feltmaker. The theme allows for a broad and inclusive multicultural representation in the installation.
Look for inspiration in traditional, small, portable shrines or alters, in the beautiful niches plastered into walls, and in the roadsides shrines seen in many countries. There are many possibilities. Think of the wayside shrines of Kyoto, Japan. The little house-shaped shrines that combine wood, metal and red ribbon, or the red painted wooden column shrines of Bavaria, or the Chapel shrine in Slovenia with their steeples, belfries, iron crosses and flowers. So much inspiration.
Artists are encouraged to explore the concept of shrines using an interdisciplinary approach but the work must be constructed primarily crafted wool felt. Artists must include one craft medium outside of feltmaking in the construction of their shrine. This may include a combination of metalwork + felt, woodwork + felt, rughooking + felt, quilting + felt, video or sound recordings +felt, etc. It’s an invitation to experiment, cross boundaries and take risks.
The secondary medium can be used by the artist or they can collaborate with an artist/craftsperson working in that second medium.
Fibre artist Carmen Ditzler has been collaborating with Andrea Revoy of Blue Moon Pottery and Fibre Studio. Andrea is primarily a potter who dyes fibres, spins and frequently felts with Carmen. Her fibre work and ceramics are whimsical and brimming with colour. Carmen describes herself as a felter who dyes, knits and used to play with clay. On her website she characterizes her creative work as an act of alchemy. Through it she explores our connection to the natural world and the messy business of death. She is also a popular felting instructor, who frequently teaches at Fly in the Fibre in Creston BC.
Carmen recalls approaching Andrea about collaborating on a project for SHRINE. She quotes Andrea response to their process, “After an afternoon of friends, pizza, sangria, and sparkling wine, the shrine and its goddess came to life. Although our brains were in a fog, we managed to come up with a fantastic conceptualization of what a shrine should be.”
“I love Andrea’s sense of humour and whimsy,” says Carmen. “It’s interesting because both clay and felt shrink and start out looking nothing like the end result. We both love colour, texture and detail and combining the pottery and the felt is an extra wow amount of textures.”
They started off by coming up with a rough sketch based on the measurement restrictions. Aspects of the design like shape and doors and whether the shrine would sit on something or be open at the top or hang on the wall were discussed thoroughly. Lastly they talked about the “goddess” being naked and substantial.
Carmen says, “I was happy to let Andrea make her parts with her flair and then give it to me. I am working on my parts and just gave the goddess back for different legs and now we shall see what comes next. It’s an evolving process of asking what if we….?!”
It sounds like a very exciting process, one that Carmen and Andrea have generously allowed us a sneak peak of. We look forward to seeing it in the flesh.