Jason Taylor was featured in Issue #21, and has an exhibition this week at The Harley Gallery from June 11 to August 10, 2014.
Here is an excerpt from Fun with Function written by Vinciane de Pape.
Jason Taylor is an established, UK-based artist and industrial designer whose innovative work plays with the form and function of readymade objects. His line of lighting and furniture designs has been sold internationally and exhibited in museums and art galleries around the world. Jason brings an artistic sensibility to his design process and enjoys the restrictions and challenges of creating unconventional products inspired by mundane objects.
Finding early on that he enjoyed manipulating and inventing simple designs from objects like tin cans, Jason pursued an education in design to follow his passion for experimentation and to further develop his skill set.
“I chose to do a 3D design course because of the techniques I could learn in different materials, but the focus was mainly on functional objects,” he explains. “An object would become my starting point and I developed different paths I could go down, such as developing a different function for it or remaking it in a different material.”
Somewhat frustrated with the compromises required by the commercial side of product design, Jason decided to go back to what he does best—experimenting with objects. This is when his Everyday Objects project came to life.
“I learned with a previous project that I could be more productive than I thought, and I also enjoyed the sculptural side,” Jason describes. “But what would be the reason and how could I make myself do it? I had seen other people do everyday photography projects and then thought of the double meaning of ‘everyday objects’ and I had to go for it.”
To read the full article about Jason Taylor in Issue #21, click here.
Beakerhead is a new annual event held in Calgary each September. For 5 days, Calgary “turns into a giant laboratory” where Beakerhead visitors are entertained with public performances, contraptions built in people’s backyards, ingenuity competitions, and engineered art. Last year was Beakerhead’s first year and it was met with open arms by excited event-goers. "On the surface, Beakerhead looks like a week of spectacular fun every September. But it’s more than a schedule of mesmerizing events: it’s a time and place where engineers show their creative sides, and artists get technical, where science hits the street, and everyone gets ingenious,” say organizers.
On May 23, Beakerhead organizers wanted to amp up excitement for Beakerhead 2014, so they worked with the City of Calgary and artist Michael Mateyko and Hans Thiessen, also known as Komboh, to develop “green graffiti” to paint on a Calgary underpass. The “green graffiti” is made of eco-chalk and is entirely environmentally friendly from the application to removal.
Michael Mateyko is a Work/Life 3 participant and works and lives here in Calgary. I asked Michael a few questions about his participation with Beakerhead.
What was your involvement with the "green graffiti" painted downtown? What was your role?
I came up with the commuting beakerhead(s) and designed the characters with feedback from the whole Beakerhead crew.
Who initially asked you and Hans for your help, and how did they know that you would be the right people to contact to help with this project?
I was contacted out of the blue last year by Hanan Chebib, who is the Director of Creative Experiences over at Beakerhead. She somehow ended up with a poster I made and was pretty stoked on working with us on something. Our interests align pretty well; art, science, engineering, and trying to get people interested in the intersection between those three.
Had you heard of this "green graffiti" before you were approached to help?
Not really. Originally the idea was to do a bit of pressure-washed reverse graffiti, but unfortunately (?) Calgary's underpasses are way too clean for that.
What do you enjoy about Beakerhead? What is your favourite "event" that you have attended?
I actually didn't even get the chance to attend last year, but I'm definitely making my way down for 2014. I dig Beakerhead because it's really all about encouraging what by all accounts is a pretty conservative town to let loose and admit that we're all actually artists and engineers on the inside.
Did you attend the initial "green graffiti" event while the figures were being painted? If so, what was the experience like? What were passersby's
reactions to the graffiti?
It was all being put up overnight, I believe around midnight or thereabouts. I had to do a TV interview at 5 in the morning the next day so I was trying to get as much sleep as I reasonably could and wasn't there for the install. During the photo shoot with the Mayor later the same day there was a pretty good crowd going and everyone seemed pretty pumped about it all. I received a lot of really positive comments from people that were just excited to see some public art that was a little weirder than usual. Also, Mayor Nenshi did his best to psychoanalyze each character in turn, so that was pretty fun too.
The New Craft Coalition in Calgary is having a Spring Show + Sale on May 23 and 24.
Here’s a little bit of info from the NCC ladies themselves, "At our core New Craft Coalition is a group of three artists working together to make a difference in our creative community. We are makers, moms, entrepreneurs and firm believers in the power of art, craft and design to change not only our communities, but the world. Our current mission is to bring a carefully curated collection of independently produced, Canadian art, craft and design to the people of Calgary twice annually, with other plans unfolding all the time!"
If you’re one of our Calgary fans, come by and say hi! We will have our current issue plus a selection of books, notebooks and lots of back issues for you to peruse.
There will be 24 artists selling their latests works, so come down to Festive Hall in Inglewood to support local artisans in UPPERCASE’s hometown.
Friday, May 23, 2014 4:00pm-9:00pm
Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:00am-6:00pm
Festive Hall, Inglewood 1215 10 AVE SE
Admission is $2 per person
Create.Explore.Discover is a warm, creative retreat in Truckee, California where women of all ages and backgrounds gather to uncover, and discover, their creative spark. This October, Sarah Stevenson, an interior designer and mixed media artist from Chicago, will lead participants through a weekend of creativity and learning with instructors Mati McDonough, Anne Weil, Andrea Jenkins and Courtney Cerruti.
“No matter your skill–or comfort–level, Create.Explore.Discover is safe space for experimenting and trying out new projects. If you don’t currently identify as a creative individual, you will surprise yourself by the end of the retreat. If creativity is a part of your daily life, you will leave Creat.Explore.Discover energized and brimming with ideas for your next project,” says Sarah.
Participants are able to choose from 9 different workshops with topics ranging from learning how to make paper flower bouquets to making a patchwork collage.
For more information and registration details click here.
On my first day of grade seven, my teacher, after handing out our math text books, asked us to wrap them in craft paper to protect them from the inevitable wear and tear they would endure throughout the year. UK-based artist Yinka Shonibare has taken the textbook request to the extreme.
A new installation called The British Library has opened at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery Until May 25, visitors can see 10,000 books that have been covered with wax batik fabric that Yinka designed himself. Yinka’s hope for the library was to make visible the cultural influences of colonization, and to celebrate immigrants and their contributions to British Culture.
Book artist Louise Best helped wrap some of the thousands of books in bright Dutch and African fabrics. "Those colours contributed to our happiness and well being as well as all the mugs of tea, chocolate bourbons and custard creams we consumed for 8 hours a day. It was a great job and expertly executed even if I do say so myself. I'm in my element surrounded by books, fabric, glue and scissors. And nice people,” said Louise.
To read Louise’s full blog post, click here.
"The Drinkable Book is a life saving tool that filters water and teaches proper sanitation and hygiene to those in the developing world. Each book is printed on technologically advanced filter paper, capable of killing deadly waterborne diseases. Each page is coated with silver nanoparticles, whose ions actively kill diseases like cholera, typhoid and E."
A video Gemma Green Hope made to honour her grandmother:
"My grandmother Elizabeth (or Gan-Gan as I called her) was a force of nature; she was wonderful. As a child she seemed to me like a visitor from another time or place. Her tiny terraced house in Bideford was full of treasures; hundreds of books, a medusa's head, Peter the Great's ivory letter opener, the caul of her mother tied up in blue ribbon, a tile stolen from the Alhambra, a silk blouse embroidered by nuns, deadly poison, beautiful Pre-Raphaelite artworks, a knife carved from the wood of HMS Victory, Granny Green's pince-nez, and diaries full of stories from a hard life well-lived. After her death in 2010, I helped my father and uncle sort through some of her possessions. I inherited some of her clothes to wear, books to read, a bicycle to ride. But how do you make sense of all the other things that someone leaves behind, the things nobody sees, boxes full of photographs, and bits of string? I used these objects alongside images and memories of my own to make this short animation, which I dedicate to her memory."
Kingston, Ontario's Joan Sharpe runs and operates the first and only mobile yarn shop called Purlin' J's Roving Yarn Company. "Think gourmet food truck, only selling yarn instead," says Joan.
Joan drives a bright red yarn truck called "Lil Dorothy," named after Joan's mother who taught her how to knit, throughout Kingston and eastern Ontario parking at fairs, markets, and fibre festivals. The yarn truck was formerly a fire truck and Joan says that it still sports its original red paint and interior fittings. "Customers love its ol-timey graphics as well as the selection of yarns and other fascinating fibre paraphernalia found on board."
Throughout the day today we are posting the honourable mentions, runners-up, and the winner of the "It's a Creative & Curious World" contest with They Draw & Travel. If you missed this contest, take a look at the contest page to see all of the creative submissions.
Congratulations to all the honourable mentions!
In the spirit of the arrival of Spring, and celebrating the Easter holiday, I thought I would post some photos of my rabbit, Angel. At Christmas my husband surprised me with a trip to the Calgary Humane Society to choose a rabbit to take home. We had talked about getting a dog, but since we live in a condo, we didn't think it would be fair to keep a dog cooped up all day.
Having Angel as our pet has been a wonderful experience! She lives in her cage while we're at work, but roams freely around the condo when we're home. (We had to do some bunny-proofing, of course) A lot of people ask me if she needs to be walked. As much as I would love to take her for a jaunt in the park, Angel likes to do her own form of exercise–running laps around the coffee table in the living room at warp speed! Rabbits need 2-4 hours of exercise, play and socialization a day, and Angel gets plenty of that.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter!
post by Cara Howlett
Dear Human is a husband and wife ceramic company based in Vancouver, Canada. Correy Baldwin, UPPERCASE's copy editor, interviewed the duo made of Jasna Sokolovic and Noel O'Connell for Issue #21's Dynamic Duo section.
Dear Human displayed their project Patchworked in Canada, a project using tiles shipped from Portugal, at the Toronto Design Offisite Festival in January. After the festival ended, Jasna and Noel applied magnets to the tiles and took them to the streets of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver encouraging passersby to find unanticipated beauty in the urban landscape, inviting a moment of pause and response.
We asked Correy about his experience of finding a tile in Montreal.
I found the tiles quite late on a Sunday evening. I was walking home after a night of playing music with friends in their living room on the other end of town—a pretty classic Montreal evening. So when I got home I had a banjo in one hand and a Portuguese tile in the other.
I had already been in touch with Jasna and Noel from Dear Human, so I knew the tiles were around and had been keeping my eye out for them. I’d actually gone out hunting for them specifically a few days earlier, but hadn’t seen any. That night I found them quite accidentally, which seemed more appropriate somehow.
I only took one of the tiles, and left the other one for someone else to find. At first I kept it at my workspace, but in the end I did probably the most ordinary thing possible and stuck it to my fridge. Jasna and Noel had put magnets on the back of the tiles, so the fridge seemed an obvious place to put it. It’s still there. Maybe this summer I’ll place it on the metal railings of my balcony.
I interviewed Dear Human a few days after I found the tile. Noel wanted to know which one I’d found, and he recognized it as soon as I described the pattern on it. If I hadn’t already been in touch with them, I would have called the number on the back for sure.
A few blocks from where I found [my tile] there’s a small Portuguese square with a lot of beautiful Portuguese tiles around it. I knew they would have found it an irresistible spot, and sure enough, I found a number scattered around the square. I pulled a couple of them off and looked at them, then put them back. A couple of old men had been watching me, and as I left one of them went over and look at them, too. So if Dear Human got a phone call from a confused old man, it’s my fault.
The project was inviting us to be more aware of our surroundings, to pay more attention to the smaller details around us, and I think it did a great job. Long after I found a tile I kept looking a lot more closely at everything while walking around, even in other neighbourhoods.
And I wasn’t just looking for tiles. I was just looking.