July – August 2017
Project: Freedom from Want
Gallery Exhibition, Artist Talk, and Reception
With visiting Fresh! AiR Artist Erin Stafford, Dallas, Texas
A partnership between the Caetani Centre and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre.
Gallery Exhibition and Reception
Wednesday, August 9, 6-9 pm
Artist talk starts at 7pm
Caetani Cultural Centre
Erin Stafford is an artist from Dallas Texas. She received her masters from the university of Texas San Antonio. Here in the Okanagan, she is focusing on her project called,“Freedom from want.”
Touching on ideas of history, nostalgia and fantasy, my studio practice investigates the aesthetics of bygone eras combined with philistine sensibilities, revealing personal desires through various materials and form. The Fresh!AiR Artist Residency Program has allowed me to continue a new body of work by incorporating found materials in the rural landscape of the Okanagan Valley region.
With its unique ecology and diverse climates such as aired deserts adjacent to lakes and mountainous regions, the location has directly influenced my work as it relates to the environment. The history
of Okanangan with its origins in fur trading, will provide fruitful territory for materials related to culture and consumption.
Recently, I have begun accumulating natural and artificial specimens
such as flora, fauna and vegetation along with animal furs/pelts, shells, insect and other found objects that reference the vanitas still-life paintings.
Using these elements, I have started to create arrangements which are cast in egg-like resin forms. My intent is to combine the concepts of the still-life paintings where decadence is closely associated with decay within the shape while also employing the aesthetics and history of the glass paperweight.
By continuing this wonderful hybrid of craft and kitsch technique, I intend disrupt the picturesque while at the same time preserving a moment of beauty, calling attention to unwanted infestations, such as animals, fungi and insects.
I am interested how this particular notion parallels the process of a social revolution and its aim to disrupt the status quo and the lavish decadence that it represents. One might get stuck in nostalgic reverie when lavish detail caressed over every aspect of the aristocracy. My intent is to illustrate this irony that runs parallel to our modern desires for beauty and chaos.