Phyllis Schwartz's Blog
Mon, 06 Feb 2017 05:03:06 +0000NIGHTMARES — monsters, owls and bouldering
Another sketchbook is on the way to the Brooklyn Art Libary for the 2017 Sketchbook Project. Three streams of consciousness merge: hybrid monsters (real, imagined and augmented), an assortment of owls (scowl owls, wise owls and stylized) hidden and tucked into unlikely compositional elements and sketches of freeform climbers traversing, ascending and building stamina. Exhibition and touring details will be announced shortly. Nightmares — monsters, owls, and bouldering will soon be on view online; until then, nine digitized sketchbooks can be viewed here.Click to view slideshow.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:30:51 +0000Seeking the Nuance — Second Edition
Announcing the publication of Seeking the Nuance (second edition).
Glenn Lewis, Phyllis Schwartz, and Debra Sloan present the second edition of Seeking the Nuance with new essays, photographs and glaze recipes. In this second edition is new historical information and discussion about how the Leach/Mingei philosophy continues to influence many studio practices within the BC ceramic culture.
The 2010 edition of Seeking the Nuance was based on Glenn Lewis’s 1970s glaze recipe card files that had evolved from his early 1960s apprenticeship with Bernard Leach. One of the main outcomes of this publication is an academic research written by Alex Lambley, a doctoral candidate at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall.
According to Debra Sloan these recipes not only demonstrate the numerous influences imported to British Columbia, but also they convey how information is utilized, especially in the constructed and geographically sequestered cultural environment in BC. Phyllis Schwartz believes that sharing these recipes will continue conversation amongst potters as they seek to nuance these heritage recipes work within their own practices.
Seeking the Nuance will be launched at the Best of BC (Gallery of BC Ceramics, 09 March) and the Canadian Clay Symposium (Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 18 March). It will also be available for purchase at the Gallery of BC Ceramics (Granville Island, 1359 Cartwright Street) for $25. A portion of the sales goes to the Maureen Wright Scholarship Fund (Northwest Ceramics Foundation).
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 06:23:31 +0000Time Capsule 1974
Recently, I had an opportunity to reprint a series of photographs I made when the Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau spoke to the students at Point Grey Secondary School in Vancouver on 19 May 1974. It was easy to mark the day because it was the day after Operation Smiling Buddha, India’s first nuclear weapons explosion. In his address to the students, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau shared his thoughts about the global impact of this nuclear test and affirmed Canada’s commitment to Peace Keeping.
At the time of Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit, I was a new Canadian who had just signed a continuing contract with the Vancouver School Board. It was a new beginning for me in a chaotic time, and Canada offered both opportunity and a sense of social order. As well, I could not only afford an SLR camera but also my own darkroom equipment. The Prime Minister’s visit to Point Grey, along with a press entourage, was probably my first event photo-shoot. I had no experience working with all the lighting added by myriad photographers and videographers, but perhaps you will find that part of the honesty characteristic of 1970s artwork. Jay Currie, President of the Student Council, and son of G.B. Currie, Chairman of MacMillan Bloedel, introduced the Prime Minister to the student body and staff.Click to view slideshow.
Sat, 10 Dec 2016 05:28:37 +0000The Art of Gifting
Artists by nature are not hard-wired to boost, promote, or sell their work. Buyers usually want to know more about the works that attract their attention and perhaps purchase. That more can be the backstory, the technique or inspiration, and it is often said that it is not the work that is sold but the story that is bought. For some artists, that conversation is difficult. In my own artist practice, all of this is the case. If I could bring that story to life in conversation, there would be no need for me to make a drawing, photograph, artist book or ceramic sculpture. I came to value (and now miss dearly) art school critiques because I learned how to speak more confidently about the backstory, techniques and inspiration in my artist practice. Having said that, this blog feels somewhat like shameless self-promotion, but it could also be a year end summary about where my work can be found, where this work can be purchased.
Cityscapes Art Rentals (335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver) holds a small collection of my work for rent, rent-to-own, and purchase. A selection of my work will be in the 2017 Art Rental Show (opening 12 January through 04 February 2017).
Gifting is an art form in its own right, and in this season of gift giving, a gift of art is a double gift because it gifts the artist as well. More about my photography continues at http://www.sassamatt.comClick to view slideshow.
Fri, 28 Oct 2016 06:57:50 +0000Showing in Winchester
A selection of my ink spot drawings are showing at the Winchester Gallery (Winchester, UK) during the Small Press: Independent Comics and Self Publish Event. Curated and installed by Dimitri Pieri, my work is exhibited alongside artists from Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Poland, France , Bristol, Glasgow, London and Prague and includes screenprinting, collage, photography, fine art, comix and illustration.Click to view slideshow.
More about this event and installation in the following links.
More about this event and installation in the following links. http://wsasmallpresscomics.tumblr.com https://www.facebook.com/events/1749239822025875
Tue, 05 Apr 2016 07:00:37 +0000Intervals:Photography in Flux
Intervals — photography in flux continues through Saturday, 09 April.
Don’t Miss the Exhibition it Closes on April 9th, 2016
Presenting 7 global photographic artist new and recent works including 3 world premieres in the Capture Photography Festival.
Viewed collectively, their themes thread around the deconstruction of identity, environmental issues, the disposable social, speaking under oppression and the mysteries in the mundane. The works are presented through diverse photographic and printing methods such as encaustics, pigment ink on cotton rag, camera-less exposures, and iPhonography.
March 31–April 9, 2016
South Main Gallery
279 East 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1J7
Tuesday to Thursday · 10am-5:30pm | Friday and Saturday · 11am-5:30pm | Sunday · by appointment Private viewing available
Seven global photographers converge in an exhibition about the rhythms and tensions in the contemporary geographical, social and psychological landscapes. Opening at SoMa|South Main Gallery (279 East 6th Avenue) on 31 March (7–9pm), Intervals: Photography in Flux features a unique collection of works by visual artists who draw upon…
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Thu, 24 Mar 2016 22:28:29 +0000Intervals: photography in flux
Presented by South Main Gallery and Capture Photography Festival
Curated by Edward Peck and Phyllis Schwartz (Sassamatt Collective)
We are pleased to present exciting new and recent work by 7 international photographic artists, including 3 world premieres at South Main Gallery. The exhibition features Goga Bayat, David Ellingsen, Jim Friesen, Diana Nicholette Jeon, Edward Peck, Phyllis Schwartz and Andrew Ward.
March 31st to April 9th
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 31st /7 – 9 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, April 2nd / 2 – 4 pm
Don’t miss a chance to talk to the artists about their work on Thursday at the Opening Reception or Saturday at the Artist Talk featuring Diana Nicolette Jeon and Andrew Ward.
Seven global photographers converge in an exhibition about the rhythms and tensions in the contemporary geographical, social and psychological landscapes.
Intervals: Photography in Flux is a collection of unique and unusual digital and photographic processes that are rarely seen in one setting. The methods and techniques range from those used long before the invention of the camera to the advanced technology available to artists today. The works are presented through diverse photographic methods using encaustic, cameraless exposures, and iPhonography. Their themes thread around the deconstruction of identity, environmental issues, disposable society, speaking under oppression and the mysteries in the mundane.
An Exhibition Catalogue will be available in the gallery and from Blurb
South Main GalleryClick to view slideshow.
279 East 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1J7
The exhibition continues through Saturday, 09 April. South Main Gallery is open Tuesday – Thursday (10AM – 5:30 PM), Friday-Saturday (11AM-5:30PM) and Sunday by appointment; private viewing available (604.565.5622). An Artist Talk will be held on Saturday, 08 April (2-4 pm).
Tue, 22 Mar 2016 04:56:49 +0000A Feast of Lumen Prints
A feast of lumen prints are showcased in the newly opened Salon at A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas. Lumen, an exhibition showcasing this feast of alternative photography, includes Cathy’s Orchid, a digital print made from a handmade negative created by using a Lumen Print process. The exhibition dates are 11 March to 16 May. Two receptions will be held: 25 March and 30 April (4 – 7 pm). An exhibition catalogue available from Blurb is forthcoming.
Lumen prints are photograms made by a contact print process using organic materials that leave traces and shadows on photosensitive surfaces. These unique prints are made without a camera or darkroom enlarger. These materials transmit enzymes that interact with the surface of the paper, leaving X-ray like marks of both their shapes and interiors. Lumen prints on sheet film can be scanned and processed as digital prints. Artists experimenting with this process include Jerry Burchfield, Adam Fuss and the artists showing work in Lumen.
Fri, 30 Oct 2015 19:04:19 +0000I Cannot Look Away
I’ve been gifted this review of my current series: Salton Sea Eco-Disaster — I cannot look away.
The Salton Sea Eco-Disaster – I cannot look away
One of the most provocative and insightful bodies of artwork in the Telling Stories: a visual art exhibition is a series of photographs by Phyllis Schwartz. Although a great deal of her work is more abstract in nature and rooted in the historical techniques of photographic image making, this series is a departure for her. The images are very monochromatic and stark as well as being rivetingly close to their subject matter.
What has caused this departure, especially when the work has been simmering since the winter of 2011? Having witnessed the ecological destruction on the shores of the Salton Sea, California’s largest body of water, the images were just too graphic and unworldly. How does a visual artist work with a set of images that seem implausible, yet at the same time so captivating? What are the implications of creating a series around these images that wander between a work of art, a statement of witnessing and a political commentary on our economically driven ecological disasters?
In the end one cannot really look away, as Phyllis Schwartz expresses in her subtitle, without becoming even more complicit than one already is creating these images. To look away is to do what is so often done, to pretend we are not part of the problem. We are collectively the authors of this series; even in Vancouver, the food grown in this area that flows 15,000 tons of phosphorus and nitrogen into this landlocked sea is the food we shop for on our grocery shelves. The cars we drive that are made in Mexico in the maquiladoras just across the border, emit a toxic stew mixed with sewage, and this flows down hill across the border into the Salton Sea. This artificial river is now the most toxic waterway in North America, we should not be looking away.
Schwartz’s images are simple yet draw in the viewer; they are micro-compositions of areas no larger than a dessert plate. Abstract in presentation and mostly black and white with hints of colour, one can not help but think of Edward Weston’s work and the intimacy he expressed with the objects he photographed. Yet the images are not as subtitle, and unlike Weston, the images are much less rooted in the post modern culture that favours irony while making allusions to knowledge. It also seems to lash out at the pseudo-modern world of around us where iPhones and social media often gives the impression that one is immersed when often one is overtaken or swallowed up.
As the viewer moves from one image to another, one begins to feel that something is amiss. What is the magnitude of the dead barnacles beach? Why are the fish mostly unconsumed by the other wild life in the area? Why have they not been cleaned up by local inhabitants? Having chosen to work at such an intimate range, the work hints at the extent of the problem without graphically showing the masses of dead fish that actually litter the shoreline. The artist here is reflecting our tendency to minimize and reduce things down so we do not see the scale of the problem. One cannot look away, but one does not want to see the scale, a scale might prove too challenging. The softness and almost abstract forms allow one to at momentarily escape before the mind lurches back to what is being presented. It moves the viewer to search out the subtext and the footnotes of this ecological metaphor of our current age.
— Edward Peck (15 November 2015)
On the Wall Series, photographed in Germany in 2015, will be part of the Telling Stories:a visual art exhibition opening on the 7th of November 2015. The exhibition will include photography, painting, sculpture, fibre art and other installations. It will feature the following nine artists: Alison Keenan, Phyllis Schwartz, Jim Friesen, Daphne Harwood, Sophi Liang, Colette Lisoway, Edward Peck, Debra Sloan and June Yun.
This is the BestB4 Collective’s latest exhibition, and it is graciously hosted by the Chinese Cultural Centre in their On-Tak Cheung Exhibition Gallery.
Opening: Saturday, November 7, 2015
Location: 555 Columbia Street
Regular Hours: 11:am – 5pm (Tue-Sat), Nov 7th – Dec 19
For Special Hours and Events see BestB4Collective’s Blog
A Brief Word About the Series
My artist practice has always been about teaching myself to see. While walking around Berlin and Hamburg, I noticed that…
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Thu, 29 Oct 2015 04:31:02 +0000The Salton Sea Eco-Disaster — I cannot look away
Telling Stories: a visual art exhibition, a new exhibition presented by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver in collaboration with the BestB4 Collective, opens at the On-Tak Cheung Gallery at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum on Saturday, 07 November, 2015 from 2 – 4pm.
This new BestB4 Collective project is a collaboration with nine visual artists and community members; the gallery is transformed into a meeting place where photography, painting, ceramics, fibre and installations tell and evoke stories. Salton Sea Eco-Disaster — I Cannot Look Away, my Salton Sea photo-graphic story, will be on show in this exhibition.
In the Winter of 2011, I made my second photo-exploration of the Salton Sea in Southern California to continue my study of the environmental impact of the local economy on the region and am now working toward a return to the area for a future photographic project. This eco-disaster is complex: as this salt lake dehydrates, the toxins from the Mexicali-Calexico food industry and computer industry contaminants concentrate, which in turn kills the fish, birds and plant life. As a result, the shore of the Salton Sea is ringed with layers of dead fish and birds; the stench of dead marine life hovers over a series of ghost towns built with the intention of a recreational paradise in the desert.
My work in this area has only begun. It is simultaneously seductively surreal and an outrage. I use the photographic process as an investigative tool. The process of photography reveals detail and texture. I seek universals, digging beneath the surface for invisible truth, open to the optical unconscious revealed by my camera. In my quest for the poetic, my photography addresses the nature of permanence and impermanence by asking, “What remains?”Click to view slideshow.
Edward Peck's Blog
2017-02-16T10:27:02.277-08:00Ocean Cement Barge
2017-02-03T14:16:52.104-08:00Undulating Downward Bouquet
2017-01-26T19:56:16.884-08:00Hadden Wall II
2017-01-23T12:10:53.524-08:00Vase and Flowers A new image from my Arrangements series.
2017-01-17T12:14:44.799-08:00Stawamus Chief at Sunset
2016-12-01T14:32:03.189-08:00Storm Growler Fills
2016-12-10T12:52:10.136-08:00Super Moon Over English Bay
2016-12-10T12:53:56.341-08:00Processing the Past