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Fiona Duthie: Full (Filled)

  • Craft Council of Briitsh Columbia 1386 Cartwright St Vancouver, BC, V6H 3R9 Canada (map)

Full/Filled is an exploration of resistance and fulfillment; the barriers we conceive or construct that stand in the path of our personal fulfillment.

In feltmaking, we design our work understanding that it will shrink by up to 50% during the fulling process. This means we begin our work at a large scale, and then manipulate the fibres until we have high quality felt that cannot shrink any further and is completely fulled. Partway through the process, we have felt, which is now a textile but is delicate, malleable and somewhat ephemeral. After fulling, we have a dense, strong, virtually indestructible textile. When creating seamless vessels, we use a resist in between the layers of wool to prevent these layers from felting together. By working with resists, we can create three dimensional objects, while working in two dimensions. This installation plays on this craft lexicon, exploring and expanding on the terms intimately; physically and emotionally.

This installation is made up of a series of white felt “skins” created by using human bodies as real life resists. These are hollow, three dimensional full scale bodies hung from above to give the impression of people populating the room. Visitors will be able to walk freely around these felt forms, in a form of conversation. These bodies look out at wall mounted small felt works; shards of themselves and their stories.

Textile surface design elements are used as metaphors to illustrate that which we hold up in resistance to our own fulfillment. Our excuses and justifications. These are felted into the skin surfaces, like tattoos. The felt bodies are illuminated, demonstrating the way in which these resists are often hidden from view. We reveal them only through self-reflection. When non-illuminated, these messages are barely visible…only hints of existence. The felt wall connects the narrative of the individual pieces, telling the whole biographical or societal story. It is opaque. The metaphors have a quiet and constant presence. This very large work speaks to the scale of our own resistance to change and therefore fulfillment of our goals and ambitions, as individuals and as a society.
The floor plan and scale of the CCBC gallery space invites the viewer into an intimate relationship with these very personal felt forms. The viewer becomes one of the population in the room and has the opportunity to explore the presented concepts of self-fulfillment and to engage in examining their own forms of resistance.

The creation of this work, including the technical aspects of constructing hollow felt forms using both two dimensional and three dimensional resists, are documented in video, photos and text on the artists website. This documentation will be available from the opening day of the exhibition.

February/fevrier 5th - March/mars 19th, 2015