Thursday, 16 February 2017

I'm up...

...to my eyebrows in a project that's due this weekend, and it's a corker.

On January 20th, 2017 some 70 local artists were invited to an evening for the second Call & Response event. At the end of this post, I've placed an extensive blurb about the process for this evening (as written to a friend the next day) just so you can see what transpired this year.  Suffice to say that my short version come-away from that evening was a feeling of abundance.

As the next fifteen days flew by (I was prepping and presenting a workshop in Kimberley on the fourth and fifth of February), my back-brain was wrestling with a way to combine the feeling of abundance with the Full Plate concept, as well as some of the items that were in my box.

The last ten days have been a whirlwind of creativity, and in the works (due Saturday) are a series of boxes that are representative of the abundance in this lush valley, from peppers to tomatoes to nuts - eight boxes in all.  As everything is still in a stage of undress, I thought I'd give you a quick preview of the chaos:






Of course, there will be a post next week which goes into much more detail and shows the individual boxes, but in the meantime just below is a feeling for how this all came about.  Stay tuned for more on The Box Project and my entry, Valley Fortune.  

'Gary Detheridge and Alison Masters had quite the evening planned for the second Call & Response. 

They introduced the title for the show – The Box Project – and set out the parameters.  Each artist received a cardboard box of ‘goodies’, and were encouraged to use them as a springboard for creating a work of art to be delivered by February 19…i.e. less than a month.  The show will be 2 days, March 3 & 4, with the March 3 being the live performances (3 minutes or under) and March 4 display of the the 2 and 3-D pieces.  The sixty artists in attendance were invited to  trade with others to get what inspired them.  We could collaborate, create more than one piece, and are encouraged to go outside our own genre.

As we arrived, our name was put on a list, and we were then called up to the front to choose one of the closed 70 boxes available, ranging in size from 5 x 7 x 7” to a man-sized luggage box.  We were asked to leave the boxes closed until everyone had received one.

Each box contained:

  • A secret envelope with a saying, closed/sealed with a guitar pick  (My saying was ‘Listen to the quiet voice.’ from  Oblique Strategies by Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt
  • A plastic sandwich bag with a cotton ball soaked in ‘something smelly’ (pinesol on mine)
  • A piece of candy as a taste stimulus
  • A raw potato (at the request of the Canada 150 Art & Agriculture Full Plate committee, who were co-sponsoring the event
  • A DVD of inspirational stories, paintings, music, nature sounds, poems, paintings, etc. 
  • A fortune cookie (my fortune reads ‘Golden investment opportunities are arising.’ and carries the lucky numbers 9, 17, 19, 22, 29 & 37 on the back)

In addition, my box contained:

  • 2 pieces of neon yellow/orange cotton broadcloth
  • A used Labatt’s Blue beer can (traded with another artist to score a long-handled plastic shoe horn)
  • A 4 x 4” acrylic painting on MDF board (also traded with an artist for a blank white 4 x 4’ canvas
  • A package of birthday candles, 3 each of white, blue, orange and purple, covered in sparkles
  • A single pack of Stash Licorice Spice tea
  • A decades-old light switch
  • A mini yellow bulldog clamp to match the broadcloth
I requested, and received in trade for hugs, more of the guitar picks, scoring 14 in total.

I was gifted by by yet another artist:

  • Volume 18 of Jeopardy, a 4 x 6” book of writings published by Western Washington University in 1982
  • A bright yellow (definitely the theme colour) plastic Y thingy  with black switches on each arm of the Y that John scored – apparently it’s good for something manly
  • A pen-like incense wand about 5” long carved from several exotic woods laminated together

When everyone had a box, we were encouraged to open them and then go around to see what others got in their boxes – there was an astounding array of items, as you can imagine, plus there were several very large items at the front that were free-for-all pieces to go to whoever desired them, including but not limited to a purple vacuum cleaner, 3 sewing machines, two 3’ tall wrought-iron candlesticks, etc.  It was suggested that we might think about the Canada 150 Art & Agriculture Full Plate theme when fostering our concept as well.

Trading was hot and heavy, although I don’t know that anyone had (or has yet) any idea what will come of all the craziness.  It was, in other words, great fun to see some of the items, ranging from a single sneaker (very battered) to a 1964 craft magazine (I tried to barter for that, but my artist friend refused to give it up!) to plastic bugs and more.  Goodness knows what this show will be like, but it’s definitely going to be out of the box (pun intended).'  

Edit:  Note that nothing, anything or everything from the box could be used to create a final work...the box of 'goodies' were there to tickle the muse and get a project started!

22 comments:

  1. Oh how incredibly interesting Win. I have never heard of such. I am smiling thinking of you all looking inside each box and doing your bartering - hehehehe. Wow. It looks like you are doing an incredible job of bringing all your items together. You must be very excited to see what all the others have done too. WOW - what a creative endeavor you are undertaking!! Xj.

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    1. The whole Call & Response event is the brain child of Alison Masters and Gary Detheridge, local painter and musicians, respectively. It's totally wonderful, and I'm very much looking forward to the results created by 60+ artists in all disciplines including painting, music, writings, poetry, drama and more Great fun!

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  2. This looks like great fun, look forward to seeing more details of what you made. Happy crafting, Angela xXx

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    1. You can bet that the completed works will be as varied as the original contents of the boxes - and at least as much fun!

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  3. It looks like you are having a lot of fun with this one Win! Your boxes are brilliant, it will be fun to see them in person.

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    1. It's a crazy thing to imagine and then execute given the short period of time allotted, but definitely expanding!

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  4. This sounds like it will be an incredibly unusual cart exhibit. I have seen what Anne came up with and look forward to seeing your wonders. Thinking out-side the box indeed!

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    1. Based on the wonderful pieces that came out of last year's Call & Response, I suspect it will be a great show, Val...you must get on the list for next year!!

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  5. This sounds absolutely amazing and absolutely frightening at the same time, Win! I found myself asking, "What?" On more than one occasion as I read through your supplies list. I can't wait to see the finished projects!

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    1. I can see I must edit the 'rules' above - the list of items in the box were not supplies that must be used, merely a jumping off point. In fact, I did not actually use anything from the box of goodies apart from some guitar picks and the feeling of abundance! :D

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  6. Hi Win, this might be a duplicate comment, the first one disappeared when I logged in. The surprise boxes and their contents sounds very interesting. I hope you are doing well, we are going to have a taste of Spring this weekend.. ahhhhh. Cheers, Shirley xx

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    1. The first one never arrived, Shirley, so thanks for trying again. We're 'springing' here too, with a couple of days of rain. That's quite a change from last week's 40 feet of snow (maybe a slight exaggeration!).

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    2. I want to say only you would rise to the occasion and come up with such brilliant ideas but then you tell me there are SIXTY of you! This exhibition will be electricfied with wild, creative energy. Great teaser post!

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    3. I can hardly imagine what wonderfully 'out there' creations will arise, but I'm sure it will be an amazing show!

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  7. Oh wow.. lovely of you to show us the fantastic and inspiring "chaos"! Have fun there and enjoy..the boxes are fantastic !!! Please, don't forget to take some photos there to share with us here as well!
    Happy weekend Winn Dinn!
    oxo Susi

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    1. You can bet there will be at least two more posts centered on this event, Susi, with enough photos jam my computer. It will be a very eclectic post, you can be sure!

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  8. Omgosh how fun!!! I can't wait to see what you create Win- the excitement of this project is thrilling! xoxo (at least for me heehee)

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    1. It's going to be a tremendous show, Jackie, with a variety of two and three dimensional pieces, along with drama, poetry readings, writings, music and film. I can hardly wait to see/hear what comes of this year's Call and Response! xo

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  9. What a fantastic idea! And sounds like such fun, just in the beginning stage, let alone working out what you'll do (or not) with all your goodies. Can't wait to see what comes of it all.

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    1. I just love the whole Call & Response concept, Tracy. Meant to spur new creative avenues, it certainly does the job. The creators of it have really outdone themselves this time with the Box Project, and I can hardly wait to see what comes from all the artists involved.

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  10. What a marvellous creative chaos! Sounds like you're in a whirlwind of creativity - I know that feeling when you just can't contain your excitement - I usually get it while gelli printing - but this looks like a much bigger project!

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    1. I'm with you on the Gelli printing, Zsuzsa, but you're quite correct about this being a larger project entirely...it took a couple of mental weeks (in more ways than one) and a full ten days of paint-brush-in-hand-and-medium-up-to-the-eyebrows. :D

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Thanks for your comments - I value every one!

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