January 24 - March 20, 2020
Ligaments and Ligatures
January 24 - March 20, 2020
Friday, January 24th at 7pm.
Free admission, all ages are welcome to attend.
Both artists will be in attendance.
Janet Shaw-Russell examines our desire for permanence in an ephemeral world. She explores life’s crossroads in order to discover how we navigate change. Her art practice includes drawing, printmaking and sculpture. With graphite and coloured pencils Janet draws on the delicate tissue-paper of sewing patterns and the translucent membrane of vellum. Home and the body become metaphors for the life cycle, illuminating the paradox of human fragility and resilience. Janet uncovers the universal in personal transitions, such as when a family home is sold or a loved one dies. She mines past events for their significance today – a garment factory fire, the fight for women’s suffrage or World War One – blending history into images of the present.
Canadian demographics shift and baby-boomers age. Seniors live in empty nests, retire, downsize and move into “homes”. As the past recedes, the present beckons and Janet has added a focus on the art of aging. Answering her desire to draw from life, Janet has partnered with biologists, neuroscientists and anthropology professors to expand her scientific knowledge and connect her art with a wide variety of disciplines.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Janet has lived in southwestern Manitoba since 1983, first in Virden and then Brandon. Her work has been exhibited throughout Manitoba, from Brandon’s Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Winnipeg’s Martha St. Studio and MHC Gallery, to the community galleries of Wasagaming, Churchill, Gimli and other centres. Janet is a co-founder of the women’s art collective, Drawn Together, comprised of ten Manitoba artists from Carberry, Brandon, Holmfield, Kenton, and St. Pierre-Jolys. She is a former MAWA Foundation mentorship mentee (2010-2011) and Manitoba Arts Council Creation Grant recipient (2013, 2017 and 2018).
Luna's Curse, Coloured pencil and pins on a dress pattern, 2015
Our most basic concerns as human beings are communication and the body. A ligature refers to the typographic concept of two letters fused together to form a new letter (æ). Ligaments are connective tissue in the body, joining bone to bone to form a joint. The exhibition, Ligaments and Ligatures, connects textile organ sculptures with word association to common diseases. A tension is created by the seriousness of the subject matter and the tangibility of the materials. Lungs, Bloodclot and HeartAttack sculptures represent the basis of our human organism: a beating heart, circulating blood and breathing. These highly efficient bodily functions operate without our conscious thought. Derived from textile materials, the viewer is confronted with oversized soft sculptures of our internal organs, demonstrating the mechanisms and complexities of our biological systems, usually unseen. I am inspired by the intersection between ar and science. By converging the themes of communication and the body, I create cross disciplinary installations merging art and science. Themes in my work are based on our collective experiences of language, communication, text and play. I thrive on redirecting the original purpose of material and recontextualizing it through a conceptual idea. My work presents a didactic opportunity exploring human fallibility and the infinite malleability of textiles in sculpture making. It also connotes a significant affect on a visceral level through the senses of sight and touch. The use of textiles, material that is omnipresent in our every day, offers an instant tactile connection.
- Karina Bergmans, Artist Statement.
Bloodletting, Wire, wool, string, assorted textiles, styrofroam, tulle, 2008