“Polar Rising”and “Phantom Reef”
Vivienne Challandes is an artist and adventuress from a pioneering family spanning four generations in the archipelago of the Southern Gulf Islands in British Columbia. As a young girl, happiest out-of-doors in an imaginary place defined by marks in the sand, the end of a carefree day at the beach would be defined by the homecoming of the unruly tideline. Whole-hearted attempts would be made to save the palace with it’s kitchen of shell dishes, sand cakes, and pet shore crabs. Despite wild efforts, each summer day’s encampment would disappear with an intimate surrender to the sea.
As a young woman in the 1980s, her fine arts education emphasized the historic paintings, sculpture and architecture of men. These achievements would be punctuated by religious imagery, and homages to the Virgin along with the usual assortment of angels and saints. As a visual artist, these depictions of the world fell short, and seemed a self perpetuating, monotonous distortion of life.
Textiles resonate beyond our sense of sight and include a dimension of corporal suggestion. Found and altered materials offer unique characteristics: lines are never precise geometrically, random undulations suggest a narrative of experience as uneven and running over, as inexact and ponderous. Textiles became a relevant and more realistic mode of personal expression.
Everyday, as social creatures, we communicate in dynamic ways through our clothing – textile. In the Castaways exhibition one takes a journey to re-naviagate this messaging, our collective identity, textile as a threat, comfort and protection.