October 13, 2018

WAR - A Personal Response WW1 INTERNMENT CAMPS


EXHIBITION runs October 16 - November 29, 2018 Sidney Museum, Vancouver Island, BC 
The six artists of Articulation Textile Group come together with their personal family  responses to war, in all of its forms.

Title: WW1 Internment Camps

Size: 12"x18"
Materials: maps, pages about each of the 24 camps across Canada, beads
Techniques: origami


For a country that prides itself on multiculturalism, we have a blind spot for certain elements of our history, one of them being the existence of internment camps during World War I and II. Twice, Ukrainian Canadian citizens have been held as prisoners, in dreadful conditions.

Canada’s first use of the War Measures Act was in August 1914, shortly after Great Britain, and therefore we, entered WWI. An order in council was issued requiring the registration of all ‘enemy aliens’ – citizens who had emigrated from territories controlled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, most of whom identified as Ukrainian. Some, including women and children, were interned, and their property and valuables were confiscated. Prisoners were required to work, their first task being to build the internment camps. Much of the infrastructure of Canada, including many of our national parks, was built using the labor of these prisoners.

This piece speaks to the convoluted reasons that result in such acts – racism tangled up with misplaced patriotism, loyalty to ‘king and country’, fear of otherness – and to the resulting effect on the incarcerated – increased isolation leading to hopelessness producing radicalization. Boxes within boxes within boxes.


Six boxes from maps showing the 6 provinces that had camps.
Twenty four boxes from pages detailing the 24 separate camps across Canada.
Forty eight boxes from pages of general information about the Canadian internment camps.
One hundred and twenty boxes and quantities of red beads representing the 8,579 prisoners from 1914-1920.
 
 partial shots of the piece:










October 12, 2018

WAR - A Personal Response PUTTING UP PRESERVES

This is the eighth of my 10 pieces to be seen in the War Exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. Held at the Sidney Museum, in Sidney BC (Vancouver Island) from October 16 through November 29th, 2018.

 
Title: Putting Up Preserves
Size: 15 canning jars of various sizes
Materials: hand made books with 15 preserve recipes

A place of pride in every Ukrainian homestead was the root cellar; today it’s called the pantry. The ability to preserve food for the long winter months was crucial to survival – nothing would go to waste. Women canned fruits and vegetables from their garden, fish from the rivers or lakes, and birds and game from the hunt. Improperly sealed jars spelled disaster and were always a danger.

It is hard for us to imagine how the threat of hunger was always present in a world without freezers or refrigeration, where canned foods were a rare novelty and very expensive, if even available. My maternal grandmother always remembered the year her preserves failed, and how the family was saved by the generosity of neighbours. Today, we take for granted the ability to run to the store for anything we need. Then, you depended on community to help you in times of crisis.






October 11, 2018

WAR - A Personal Response BEAUTY FOUND

More of my pieces for the WAR exhibit soon starting in Sidney BC...

(1)  Beauty Found 
(2)  Botanical Prints 1 Maple
(3)  Botanical Prints 2 Oak

The early Ukrainian immigrants arrived in northern Alberta with very few material goods but a love of colour and design. With great resourcefulness and ingenuity, they were able to use the materials available to them in the natural world to grace their homes with beauty. These pieces of eco-printing is an example of what they could accomplish using plants gathered from the yards, fields, and ditches of their farms, combined with the elemental powers of the sun and water.









Links to works by other Articulation artists in the WAR - A Personal Response:

Amanda Onchulenko  Read more...
Lesley Turner  Read more...

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