Last Friday I was running around the city with my last stop being at the Alberta College of Art and Design for Jim Ulrich's retirement party/exhibition. However, what caught my attention was a student exhibition of fun colourful cartoon-like objects in a large sandbox. I took at few pics and off I went to Jim's party.
However, over the past week I have returned to the images over and over again on my phone and on my Ipad. They just make me smile. They remind me of my childhood as I had a large sandbox in the backyard that I am told I played in for hours. Do kids still have sandboxes? I remember picking the branches off the raspberry bushes for trees and making roads for my cars and trucks.
However, the installation was way more imaginative than anything I did. I loved the child-like innocence of the entire installation. In some ways it was like a travelling back in time to my childhood. On another level, it was travelling to a new imaginative place!
The works reminded me of the those of Calgary's Bee Kingdom collective of young glass artists. Maybe there is something in Calgary's water that makes us create colourful charming cartoon characters.
A quick check of the Marion Nicoll Student Gallery website at the Alberta College of Art & Design found the following information.
Jocelyn Reid- Sandbox
Marion Nicoll Gallery Main Space at the Alberta College of Art + Design, March 4-15, 2013
Sandbox is an installation of ceramic sculptures that all have multiple removable and interchangeable parts. Each sculpture references a mix of organic matter and manufactured objects, making them challenge notions of familiarity and foreignness, and adulthood versus childhood. Because each piece can be taken apart, I invite and encourage viewers to touch and play with the works. It is my hope that this will allow the viewer a completely different connection with the piece by engaging a sense other than sight. The audience can then go past the role of simply being a viewer, and, by touching and becoming part of the piece, become a kind of performer.
Rats! I didn't know I could have played with the objects. I would have still been there. I am told I use to play for hours in my backyard sandbox. Like most boys I loved by cars and trucks. This installation was way more imaginative than anything I could have ever thought of as a child. In some ways I think I am more curious and creative as I age, than as a child. But who remembers! I did leave my name asking if the work was for sale. Maybe I will get to play with the pieces yet!
Jocelyn Reid is a Calgary artist who has been working in clay for a number of years. She recently returned from an exchange at the Australia National University in Canberra, and will be receiving her Bachelor’s degree from the Alberta College of Art and Design in the spring.