MAIN SPACE EXHIBITION
MAY 5 – MAY 27, 2000
RECEPTION: FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2000 AT 8 PM
LOCATION – STRIDE GALLERY
722, 11 AVE S.W, CALGARY, ALBERTA
Nathalie Bujold references her French Canadian heritage in her textile based work. She utilizes the cultural meanings and signs that are attached to an object and transforms this initial recognition within a new context. Overlapped meanings and ideas operate as physical metaphors for cultural dialogue and interpretation. Bujold’s work is gathered in terms of thematic and poetic constructions. In this installation she will be exhibiting new work that deals with identity in terms of its folkloric definition and feminine appropriation.
NATHALIE BUJOLD graduated from the Université Laval with her Baccalauréat en Arts Plastiques in 1992. Bujold has had several solo and group exhibitions across Canada. Her latest body of work has most recently been exhibited at Axe-néo 7. Hull, PQ.; AKA, Saskatoon, SK.; Clark, Montréal, PQ; and at Vaste at Vague in Carleton. Bujold lives and works in Montréal. Québec.
FOLD ART FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Nathalie Bujold’s exhibition En wing en hein invokes the Canadian, and more specifically the Québécois, nostalgia for folk art. The title itself, En wing en hein (connoting “travelling” or “en voyageant” pronounced with Beauce region accent) recalls the stories of the “Voyageurs” journeying to the north of Québec to work as lumberjacks. The ensemble of works selected for this exhibition is developed around emblematically recognizable regional symbols such as: hockey sticks, wool socks, plaid shirts and hand-knitted mittens. Although rooted in an iconography of everyday materials, these popularized art objects have been appropriated and re-contextualized within today’s postmodernist aesthetics.
En wing en hein features a collection of utilitarian and accessible art objects thwarted by their inherent dysfunctionality. Idéal sport, a piece consisting of two hyper-ling hand knitted grey wool socks covering two hockey sticks, is an example of this discombobulated juxtaposition. The sticks are smothered in the rick quintessential material of winter sports (wool) and hung on the wall, in a fashion that brings to mind women’s nylons.
Knitting, a favourite material of the artist, connotes labor and low-tech art practices and is utilized with a sense of purpose and political engagement which points to the history of rural women’s art practices. The revival of traditional craft practices, such as knitting and needlework, further validates and pays homage to the women who have shaped its history. It is interesting to note that for Idéal sport the artist commissioned her mother to knit the customized socks. The collaborative and community involvement in the production of many of the works presented in En wing en hein further expands the conceptualization of craft methods. It negates the superficial revival of crafts within urban landscapes and instead speaks to and for individuals presently engaged in a craft practice. Works such as Foyer doux foyer, which includes a pair of oversized slippers and a miniaturized igloo made of woolen socks and mittens, were both made with materials donated from Soeurs de St. Joseph and the Comptoir de la Clarrière, two charitable organizations in Québec City.
The feminization of everyday objects, through the use of popular art practices and domestic-based materials, is a recurring theme in Bujold’s works. Her series of paintings evoking a cityscape. Variation bûcheron, is composed of several dozen small paintings that are exhibited as a clustered series on a shelf. Resembling high-rise buildings, these paintings are in fact reproductions of the plaid material commonly found on lumberjack shirts executed in several different uncommon colours. Bujold has painstakingly hand painted these canvases in order to create a beautified simulacra of the original material. Situated somewhere between modernist concerns of formalism and craft-inspired textiles, Variation bûcheron, speaks for the masculine/feminine, high art/low art and modernist/post modernist camps.
VALERIE LAMONTAGNE is a Montréal artist, freelance art critic and curator. Using various media such as the Web, drawing, painting, installation, photography and performance, her work is concerned with therapy, language, and the recuperation of childhood imagery in art. Her work has been exhibited in group shows in Montréal (Saidye Bronfman Centre, Articule, Optica and Clark Gallery) as well as New York city. She is a regular contributor to art publications such as: Parachute, Mix Magazine, and Etc. Montréal.