Crafting the self

Remold highlights how we make craft, and it makes us

Remold runs at C2 Centre for Craft until Feb. 22.

Supplied photo

When long-time collaborator Shaneela Boodoo was enlisted as a guest curator at the C2 Centre for Craft, she relished the opportunity to create a cohesive and self-reflexive exhibition.

“I wanted to explore craft in a bodily way and explore the intricacies of different mediums and modes of working in ways that are connected to the body,” Boodoo says. “You need to use your hands, your intuitive knowledge. When you craft something, you’re drawing from a knowledge you’ve built up over years of experience.”

Running until Feb. 22, Remold, a multi-disciplinary art show, has enlisted a litany of local artists to explore making and how it affects the maker’s very being. A continuation of C2’s annual juried show, Remold differs from prior exhibitions in its more singular focus.

Adelle Rawluk, one of the nine practicing artists enlisted for Remold, was intrigued by the exhibition’s focus on craftwork.

“Creating, especially craftwork, works through repetitive motion and the act of producing something that is tangible and functional. It was exciting to me because it’s exactly the kind of conceptual ideas I work with all the time,” they say.

“For me, the body is very much connected to the act of making things, whether it’s craftwork or more traditional visual art. As an artist, those things cannot be separated.”

Rawluk describes her contributions as “textile-based work” but notes the large scope of Remold.

“You may be surprised by the breadth of how many forms craft can take. You’ll see more sculptural items, you’ll see some fibre work, wearable functional items and non-functional items. It’s quite multi-disciplinary,” they say.

Abstract in concept, Boodoo likens the themes at play in Remold to that of popular sci-fi concept cybernetics.

“I was intrigued by the idea of when people are using technology to alter their bodies and themselves, like cyborgs. You can see that throughout all the works, there are ones that do it explicitly and others that touch on that theme in an elegant kind of way,” she says.

She cites the work of participating artist Sarah Fuller as particularly representative of the concept.

“(Fuller) made these suits with a print of the environment. There are photos of her wearing it outside and using it to hide in the environment. She’s crafted this object and made it so she can transform herself into something she has wanted to be,” she says.

Both Boodoo and Rawluk stress the stimulation of ideas and the generation of discourse as the ambitious exhibition’s primary intent. While perusing the gallery, viewers may question: is this craft, or is this art?

“Craftwork is something so human in all of us, making something with your hands and tools. For the average viewer, it’s the humanness in the act of making that you are going to see,” Rawluk says.

Check out the free drop-in patch-making workshop on Feb. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the C2 Centre for Craft (1-329 Cumberland Ave.), along with the Remold exhibition. 

Published in Volume 78, Number 16 of The Uniter (February 1, 2024)

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