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My prairie women must remain patient for a little while longer while I carry on with other artistic happenings. I had more good news on the art submission front: my memory-based exhibit The Effect of Collected Memory on the Adorned Body has been accepted into The Works Art & Design Festival taking place in Edmonton, Alberta, June 20 to July 2, 2013.

Some of you may remember that a while back I had asked friends and family to donate pins, tacks, jewellery and other trinkets and objects for two styrofoam mannequin torsos in my studio.

male & female torsos - CopyThe torsos near the beginning of their art lives in their mostly naked state.

I had no clear artistic concept in mind at the time – I just wanted to decorate the torsos and have some fun doing it! Then, as often happens, the artwork began to tell me what it wanted to be.

This project came to represent a memory vessel of sorts for some contributors, especially in the case of costume jewellery that had been in the estates of their loved ones. The contributors did not wish to keep the jewellery, it did not have any great resale value, nor could they bear the idea of disposing of it. But they felt that their relatives would approve of the jewellery being used in an art project. They also expressed a common feeling that their loved ones would be memorialized and honoured in this way.

3. Female Torso (detail), photo Mike Ewanus, CopyDetail, Female Torso (photo by Mike Ewanus)

The concepts of memory and remembrance influence much of my artwork, and here they had appeared again without any conscious decision on my part. I submitted the exhibit concept to The Works, and it was accepted.

At The Works Festival, I will be asking visitors to help create a collaborative artwork by continuing the contribution of objects such as unused but not unloved jewellery and other trinkets that can be pinned onto the torsos. I will add these objects to the torsos over the duration of the festival. People can come back and see how their objects are integrated into this artwork of collected memories.

If they wish, visitors may also tell the story of their contributed objects. The stories will be added to the Book of Object Memories in my exhibit.

Here are the torsos as they will appear at the beginning of the festival, adorned with the objects that friends and family have contributed thus far:

1. Female Torso (front),photo Mike Ewanus, Copy (2)Female Torso (photo by Mike Ewanus)

4. Male Torso (front)photo Mike EwanusMale Torso (photo by Mike Ewanus)

Please come by my exhibit and bring your trinkets – let’s make art together! I will be posting photographs of the torsos as they evolve, so watch for that.

The Effect of Collected Memory on the Adorned Body exhibit                            The Works Site #1: Sir Winston Churchill Square, downtown Edmonton          Exhibit tent open daily June 20 – July 2, 2013   11:00AM – 9:00PM                Closing reception: July 1, 2013   2:00PM – 4:00PM                                        There are lots of other Canada Day activities in the Square that day too.

In other exhibit news, I have a painting at another Works venue in Harcourt House Gallery’s 25th Annual Member’s Exhibition and Sale, Kinetic. The original photograph from which I drew my inspiration for this painting is in the Glenbow Archives, and shows University of Alberta students skating on Whitemud Creek in Edmonton in 1928. #M-2879-41

A Winter's AmusementA Winter’s Amusement by Marlena Wyman (encaustic and photo transfer on birch panel, 2012, 10″ X 10″)

Kinetic Members’ Exhibition                                                                    Harcourt House Gallery, 3rd floor, 10215-112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta     Opening reception: June 20, 2013   6:00PM – 10:00PM (It starts off with a BBQ!  Exhibit hours: June 13 – July 5, 2013                                                             Mon – Fri  10:00AM – 5:00PM   Sat 12:00PM – 4:00PM

I love these group members’ exhibits – there is such a fascinating diversity of work that you don’t often get to see otherwise.

The Works is the largest free outdoor art & design festival in North America. There are hundreds of works of art to see as well as music and performances to entertain you. And food! Come on down!

Posted by Marlena Wyman