Thursday, June 30, 2011

Not Just Paper Planes - Lizz Aston

Have you been by to check out our Not Just Paper Planes exhibition? Held in conjunction with The Japanese Paper Place's Living with Washi: Japanese Paper Inspiring Daily Life, it features wonderful treasures made from Japanese paper - a renewable and strong material full of possibilities.

The first three works from the left are by Lizz Aston, a Toronto-based textile artist and craftperson. Here is her extended statement on each piece:


Details of Paper Bark Groupings, Lizz Aston, 2010, $300 and $500.

Inspired by the dynamic symmetries and patterns found in nature, Paper Bark Grouping explores the spontaneity of materials and processes. Working primarily in paper, I am interested in examining the composition, repetition and fragility found in naturally occurring formations. Through my work I am interested in experimenting with process and combining the results to create groupings that read as a whole. Paper is manipulated, bunched, starched, burned and pieced back together in an effort to take advantage of the material, making it appear to be something else; a dialogue is created.


Detail of From Rags to Riches, Lizz Aston, 2010.

Taking cue from historical craft practices such as the art of spinning shifu (paper-thread), and the gathering of discard material to make Rag rugs or Clootie mats; I am interested in combining each of these processes as I work to re-define the values we apply to common craft materials as well as domestic craft objects.

Both shifu and rag rug-making developed as practices once born out of necessity, where coarse paper thread would be woven into cloth for work clothes and other household items, while the rags of old clothes were coveted for their reuse-ability, being knotted back together in the form of much needed objects.
From rags to riches incorporate the use of paper ‘rag’ as it is laboriously hand-spun and crocheted into a delicate network of threads that make up the rag rug.
Through a sophisticated use of process and materials, the once ‘ragged’ and utilitarian object will be rendered precious and unusable, as emphasis is placed on re-evaluating the value of the materials and object at hand. Through my practice, I am interested in celebrating craft for love as means to continue to tap into the meaningful, intuitive and historical practices that employ the use of my hands.

From Rags to Riches is unfortunately not for sale, but if you wish to get a little taste of it, Lizz also makes these wonderful brooches. They are on sale for $55 for the duration of the exhibition, so get them fast as the exhibition closes on July 4th - that's in FOUR days!

To find out more about Lizz, you can visit her website here. Her upcoming exhibitions include Love Lace at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum - find out more about it here

Lizz is also teaching an exciting workshop on Polychromatic Screen Printing on Saturday, July 23rd at Freedom! Keep checking our blog for details.

Not Just Paper Planes has been receiving an outstanding amount of Oooh's and Aaaah's so please make sure you make it down here this weekend. We are open from noon to 7:30 pm, including Canada Day!