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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An unabashedly thrilled review of the first Alberta SDA meeting

In the heart of Inglewood, DaDe Gallery was a perfect venue for this. Surrounded by cutting edge and very contemporary art and furnishings, i think we had approximately 30 people show, more than we initially had expected!

I had taken the camera, but left it in the car, so no pictures unfortunately.We schmoozed, had nibblies, made connections and talk talk talked, then all gathered for the main event, a presentation by Romy Straathof and Eveline Kolijn. OMG!!!!!!!!! Laid out on a table was this most amaaaaaaaaaaaazing assortment of hand made papers, all from local plants! Little books made of them, samples of the "fibres" from the actual plant, art and tiny bottles of the extracts left over from the process, just astonishingly beautiful, elegant, tactile.........ooooo!
stacked paper romy straathof and eveline kolijn 
(Above, the stacked papers.)

Romy and Eveline had no experience in making paper when they started this monumental project--and i say monumental because i--and they!--- had no idea how much work went into paper making, particularly when the paper is being made directly from raw plant materials. It's one thing to gather up cotton or linen fluffs already picked and "processed" for you, or recycle old paper into new sheets, but quite another to have to process from scratch pounds and pounds of material gathered from the working area!!!

Both were appalled at the amount of water required and the level of toxins generated in the liquor from lignins and pigments, proving that sometimes "natural" is not any safer than synthetic and chemical processing! Lignins are an integral part of plant structure, but broken down become complex chemical compounds which are very toxic, which is is why pulp and paper mills were forefront in the news for awhile in polluting land and waterways........... though interestingly that old book store smell of faint vanilla is part of this process!

Anyways, rather than ramble on, repeating what i heard, go to their Landscape As Paper site, where they very generously share everything they learned. I highly doubt i will ever attempt this process (never say never :) ), but at the same time with the tie in of local plant materials, it has given me some new ideas for dyeing and art studies and work---and that is what these meetings are all about: to inspire each other, to learn new things, to spark a random connection to your own work, or to go in a direction you hadn't thought of objectively. I'd say a very successful and invigorating evening! I'd be interested to hear how others felt about this also, comments welcome on this post or email me at arlee dot ar at gmail dot com.

Paper Landscape
Romy Straathof
Eveline Kolijn

And i have just heard back from Eveline and she asked that i mention that she and Romy besides teaching a semester/course at Red Deer College this year (?), they are also offering several mini workshops  Paper Landscape, a week long course and  also a week long, with Eveline a Monoprint and Etching workshop.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

You are justifiably thrilled, arlee! Great turn-out. Sounds like it was a wonderful event. Best wishes for continued success!