By Laura Goldstein
Like icicles dissolving into an imaginary landscape, Jaan Andres’ blown glass Crystal Curios are alive with movement: while ridges of sediment have built up at a glacial pace over eons of time, the patterning in Coded Bowls mimics a kinetic energy that appears to swirl at a dizzying speed. Textural squiggles collide in a frenetic decorative motif. Their fragility is juxtaposed by the timelessness of Andres’ design.
“Everything around us is speeding up,” says Andres at the crowded opening of his first public Exhibition in the SwitzerCultCreative showroom. Recently, my work uses both sedimentary and, what I perceive as its opposite, accelerated textures.”
His sculptural pieces are the culmination of work he produced during this past summer’s artists’ residency at the prestigious Museum of Glass at the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington. It attracts a select group of internationally known and emerging artists to their intensive Hot Shop in which glassblowers work in teams exploring new techniques and styles.
Having grown up in the picturesque Haliburton region of Ontario, Andres was indirectly influenced by his uncle, celebrated Canadian abstract painter Jaan Poldaas. After moving to Calgary he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from ACAD and a Board of Governors Award for glass in 2007
“About the Knee is by far the most complicated piece I’ve created,” confides the Vancouver-based glassblower. “It’s all about the curve that culminates in an unbelievable infinity point,” Andres explains. Exquisitely lit, the sculptural piece casts a shadow that dances in its own reflection and would make a beautiful lamp or hanging pendant. “It’s the perfect marriage of glass and light,” he says. “Like every glass artist in the world, transitioning into lighting is a natural progression and I absolutely will be exploring that more in the future.”
When not creating his own commissions at Vancouver’s Terminal City Glass, Andres continues to teach classes there and blowing glass for Omer Arbel’s international contemporary design and manufacturing company, BOCCI.
Photographer Vince Hemingson’s Bodies of Work: Ten Years of Photography is an evocative interpretation in black and white of a woman’s lifecycle and her analogous relationship to the physical landscape.
Born in Manitoba. Hemingson has lived on Vancouver Island since 1973. The award-winning photographer worked with National Geographic making documentaries for several years, before transitioning into photography. His fascination with body image and illuminating inner identity began with The Tattoo Project, published by Schiffer Books. “I shot 350 portraits in studio in colour so for my next project I wanted to do something completely different,” he explains. “In 2010 I turned 50 and went to 16 countries photographing many wild animals and when I got back I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be interesting to shoot people as if they were wild animals’. I liked the idea of photographing women as fierce, wild creatures in nature where they could feel free to express themselves.”
The first in the Nude in the Landscape series was shot in 2011 at Wreck Beach and Pacific Regional Park, west of Vancouver. Hemingson chose ancient driftwood etched with gauged striated textures and smooth, time-worn boulders washed by waves as his set design on which models reclined. In one photo a model is crouched in a fetal position wrapped in a womb of tree roots and branches.
Tree of Life photographed in August of 2019 depicts women in various seasons of their lives as time alters their bodies, including pregnancy. The photo has already been viewed online by over a million people.
“Most of the women aren’t professional models and range in age from 19 to 70 -years- old. I hope Tree of Life reflects the ethnicity of women in the community and all body types,” says Hemingson.
Walking through the photographic Exhibition with Hemingson in the showroom of SwitzerCultCreative, revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes commentary:
“This is up in Snowshoe Park on Cypress Mountain,” he explains of a model posed in the snow. “What you don’t see there is a whole infrastructure to protect her from the cold hidden from view. A plastic tarp is down on the ground and wool blanket wraps her feet so the model just had to pose for about 60 seconds.”
In another photograph, a model appears in an underwater ballet, blending seamlessly with the light-dappled rocks and sand. “You find a model who says ‘I always wanted to be a mermaid,’ and you ask them to dive under the water 200 times because you can never plan what it’s going to look like,” laughs Hemingson.
“As a photographer, I’m transfixed by optics and caustic ripples. What happens is when you have an uneven surface of water the ripples act as prisms. It reminds me of abstract Expressionism and the interplay between the conscious and unconscious worlds. “
“You know, it was so interesting for me as a man working on this project because it’s amazing how little we as men know about the lives of women,” he says candidly.” “I was very shocked at how all these women, who I thought were all very beautiful, were so critical of their bodies! Ninety percent of women aren’t happy about their own bodies and I think that’s kind of tragic.”
TIMELINES is showcased at the SwitzerCultCreative showroom, 1725 West 3rd Avenue until December 31st, 2019.