Visitors to the Fall Art Show and Sale as well as the Festival of the Grape this weekend will enjoy dipping into a cool exhibit of the RipOff Artists’ latest challenge: “Queen of the Fish” by Mimi Parent.
The collective chooses one work of art by one famous (dead) artist per year to “rip off” as creative inspiration. Each artist then reinterprets the work in their own medium: wood, digital photography, quilting, weaving, felting, 3-dimensional, or a combination of media.The RipOff Artists met for a busy week in August to create and display their works in homage to Parent. The Fall Art Show and Sale (October 4 – 5) will be only the second public showing of the completed pieces.
The original “Queen of the Fish” (at top) was an embroidery with applique, created in 1962. Mimi Parent (1924 – 2005) was a surrealist artist born in Montreal. Between 1942 and 1947 she studied art at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal where she met the artist Jean Benoît (whom she later married). In 1948 she received the Cézanne medal and exhibited at the “Surrealist intrusion into the Enchanter’s Domain” in New York in 1960. She also exhibited in Chicago, London, Lausanne and Frankfurt.
Enid Baker (silk embroidery) created details of two fish that accompany the mermaid, mounted in matching shadow boxes. In the photo, Enid is relaxing by zen doodling the fish detail.
Kurt Hutterli: 3-D sculpture using found objects and paint on panel. His fish hang on hooks and can be “caught” using a fishing rod. Get interactive with art this weekend by casting a line to catch some artistic fish.
Tara Hovanes (Acrylic paint in 2 layers): She painted an undercoat of a somewhat realistic mermaid with fibres for her hair, then painted over that to express her own feelings and ideas about the subject matter.
Terry Irvine (3-D construction of wet felt and needle felting on an upcycled lamp). Layers of dyed wool were needle felted to form the mermaid’s body, around the lamp base. The fish were also constructed of layers of wool needle felted to the wet felted base. She created a beaded wire network and suspended dragonflies from that, made a beaded wire crown for the mermaid, and sewed gemstone beads and shells onto the mermaid. She also created a necklace made of beads gifted to her at a recent art retreat, that had also formed the basis for her pre-piece for this show.
Barb Levant: Woven fabric in bamboo and chenille, based on the colours of an abalone shell. The fabric was then made into a vest lined with silk.
Leo Pedersen: Wood panel with cutout shapes of the fish, mermaid and dragonfly painted with acrylic paint and mounted.
Marion Trimble: Assemblage: like a collage but the pieces are both flat and 3-dimensional, a favourite of the Surrealist artists. She created fish scales by painting Tyvek house-wrap with a paint containing titanium flakes, which become iridescent. Then she used a hair dryer which made the Tyvek bubble into organic shapes that had a fishy gleam. She incorporated other 3-D textures as well as papers throughout her piece.
JoAnn Turner: Shadowbox (Mimi Parent’s favoured format) made of wood painted with acrylic. The mermaid, fishes and dragonfly were painted on heavy watercolour paper using inks and watercolour paint, then mounted on foam core. Some details were made using paper folded into 3-D shapes. Real beads were incorporated as well.
Russell Work: digital manipulation. His first project was tessellation, dividing the image into geometric shapes that were rotated into a repeating pattern. From there, he moved onto creating autostereograms, single images that create the illusion of depth through careful spacing on the page. The Magic Eye images that used to appear in magazines and newspapers are examples of this.
JoAnn Turner describes what she believes was a common “thread” among the varied pieces created from the 2014 RipOff Challenge. “If there was a single unifying theme in all of our pieces this year, I’d say it was 3-D. All of us got off the flat picture plan in some way. Otherwise, I think this was the widest variation we’ve ever displayed in our approaches to the same piece. Although doing Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” in the style of another artist was very varied as well, but that variation was intentional. In this case, it just seemed to be how each artist approached the piece.”
The Fall Art Show and Sale is held Saturday October 4 (3 – 9 p.m.) and Sunday October 5 (12 noon – 4 p.m.) at the Oliver Community Centre. Admission by donation on Saturday; admission through Festival of the Grape ticket on Sunday. Besides the RipOff Artists, visitors can view another non-competitive exhibit by The Fabricators: “Calendar of the Okanagan”. This group specializes in advance quilting and applique techniques. Also featured at the Fall Art Show and Sale: a competitive art show of 100 entries, public voting, art sales, evening reception and entertainment by Jazz Out West, and an awards show with Brock Jackson as M/C.
Thanks to JoAnn Turner for artist notes.
Photos by Penelope Johnson