This group exhibit features the works of artists I-Chun Jenkins, Steve Jones, Maja Padrov, and Ralph Simpson.
I-Chun Jenkins Artist Statement
Growing up in a tiny fishing village on the small island of Taiwan surrounded with a rich heritage of native culture and natural beauty, I became sensitive to vibrant colours and texture at an early age.
I was formally trained in textile artistry in the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design where I was inspired to combine my weaving skills with my creative thoughts to push the boundaries of textile art.
Creating intricate paper pieces from repurposed magazines allows me to stay with my traditional textile training in the form of weaving but also explore using new materials and methods to create one of a kind work.
Caring about the environment has led me to repurpose discarded magazine paper as my new textile.
I-Chun Jenkins Biography
I-Chun Jenkins graduated with Honours in Textile Design from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in 1994. Began career in fibre arts creating complicated unique scarves, shawls and wall hangings using fine threads which she dyed in the traditional Japanese techniques known as IKAT.
During her studies and as a graduate, she received numerous grants and awards for her work. It was during this period that Ms. Jenkins’ creations were selected and featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario Gift Store.
In 1998 circumstances made it necessary for I-Chun to focus all of her energy on maintaining a family. In 2010 she purchase ad successfully managed a small café in downtown Fredericton in order to meet her familial responsibilities.
By 2013 I-Chun could no longer resist the yearning to get back to what she loved most, the creative art of weaving, I-Chun sold the café as a successful business and set up a home studio not wishing to follow the more traditional path of weaving fibre, she sought to alternative ways of weaving non-textile material into pieces of art. Her love of nature and the environment led her to use recycled magazine pages, which she meticulously cuts, slices, weaves, crochets or folds together to create unique pieces of art.
Her work is on display in many galleries throughout Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and California. She has had galleries represent her work in the Foire Papier Montreal exhibition in 2017 and 2018 and will be featured again in 2019. In November, her art work was shown in Chicago at the 2018 Sculpture Objectes, Functional Art and Design (SOFA) exhibition.
Steve Jones Artist Statement
My work has a traditional wood turning feel, infused with a twist of colour. At first glance, its complexity is deceiving. What is actually occurring between the two mediums is a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, through the lamination of recycled skateboards and traditional raw wood to create an unexpected outcome.
By removing the original function of the material, and repurposing it into a completely different form, I am transforming energy. A tree pulls life from its natural habitat, infusing it in the grain of the wood, while the spirit of the skateboard brings an urban element to the mix, capturing my experience on the streets. This encapsulates the essence of both realities: the life of the board and the natural wood, all in one contemporary piece.
The act of collecting boards and preparing them is an engaging process. While I strip the old skate decks I can see and feel the intensity and the history of the board and its skater. The physical makeup of the decks makes them an extremely challenging material for typical woodworking techniques. The contrast between the colour and the grain of the decks leaves spectacular but subtle results. I am distinctly attracted to the point just before something becomes audacious. I hope that viewers see the innuendo of boldness within, and that they question the origins and experience of the materials at play.
Maja Padrov Artist Statement
Research in glaze chemistry for me is a mix of science and magic. The complexity of materials that come from the earth, like feldspars, minerals, metal oxides, when mixed in different proportions, exposed to the transformative power of fire, leads to unpredictable results that could range from beauty to disaster. Capturing that moment in between, before chips of glaze start falling off the pots, bubbles of molten glass start to burst, or glaze drips overlap and form strange patterns, is what I am trying to achieve in my recent work. I have been working with volatile and unpredictable ceramic materials in glazes, trying to achieve lava and lichen like surfaces, or produce a trompe l’oeil effect of wrought iron or stone.
Maja Padrov Biography
I graduated from New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and have been working with clay professionally for the last 18 years as a studio artist and part time instructor. I am inspired by sculptural possibilities of functional pottery and research in glaze chemistry. I have received grants from Ne Brunswick Arts Board, Canada Council for the Arts and Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation. My work has been shown in group and solo shows nationally and in group exhibitions in North America, Europe and Asia.
Ralph Simpson Artist Statement
I have an innate interest in the natural world around me, field, forest, and wetland which inspires my work. I combine traditional weaving techniques with various plant fibre to create a contemporary art form.
My work comprises baskets and sculpture that arise from a deep curiosity and emergent understanding of my chosen materials.
Ralph Simpson Bio
Ralph Simpson was born in Hillsborough, New Brunswick. He was employed as a Forest Research Biologist for many years.
After retirement he returned to school at NBCCD to study Aboriginal Visual Art. His focus now is artistic and he still spends many hours in the woods as he explores the potential of plant and wood fibre to create baskets and sculpture. His chosen media is black ash, willow, maple, cedar bark, and other plant fibres indigenous to New Brunswick. In collecting plant fibre he uses harvest principles that embrace environmental integrity and sustainability. He is a full time artist and works out of his studio in Fredericton, NB.