Tuesday 27 November 2012

My Open View To Art

My artistic process begins with a concept based on human thought or behaviour and then translates it into a visual representation of the experience. Working either from sketches or directly on canvas, the process then conveys the interplay between the conscious and subconscious. With open dialogue and feedback the work takes a life of its own and expands into the deeper layers of the original notion. My belief is that each individual has an inner creative being that allows us to analyze, play and create; which for many is lost or suppressed as they enter adulthood. In my work with children I foster the notion of the creative individual to help them see that perspectives on life are art forms, and that each of us has a unique outlook that can be displayed in different artistic forms. The creative energy in my students is inherent in all of us, and my work seeks to get to the core of the inner creative self.

Over the past few years I have expanded my work into series that have a common thread, both visually and conceptually. I begin with life experiences that cannot be seen and place them in different visual formats. For me art is a response to life, a way of processing these events and it’s psychological impulses.  I see my work expanding in the use of materials and scale, which will allow me to transform my drawings into 3-D installations which viewers can walk through and experience with all their senses. The ability to walk through, touch, smell and listen to the work the work will allow people to feel a deeper connection to the piece as well as its mood and intended meaning. Experiencing my work in such a rich format will compel people to more broadly reflect upon the concepts being presented.

My current goal is to establish a solid body of work which will provide a foundation for me to connect with other artists and collaborate on shows that examine similar themes related to the human psyche and how it connects to the energy and the unseen worlds that surround us. The way that we respond to experiences that are unseen—in particular our feelings, intuition, fears and decision-making—is closely linked to what we have been socially constructed to believe. Yet my art strives to encourage people to break out of these response patterns.

 To see more of my artwork visit toniacordi.com

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Nagata Shachu Work Songs

It's been a long three years since I last saw Nagata Shachu.  The growth from the group was significantly recognizable. The more elaborate costumes and story telling set the stage but as always the amazing energy, synchronicity and sheer talent kept me on my toes the whole performance.  I literally had to catch my breath after each song.  The group has been in full force for over ten years with changes and growing success.  I am grateful to have seen those changes and look forward to continuing to watch their creativity advance and develop.

Each song told a story of work and as I listened and watched intently I could see factory machines making music. The songs were composed by the group and each song embodies deep cultural significance.  The songs refer to and were inspired by different work environments and celebrations in the Japanese culture.

Without knowing anything prior to the show, I could feel and see how each song mimicked the rhythms in out bodies and the world around us. Each following it's own pattern yet connected. In the context of work, the individual is connected to both machines and other humans.  As for most of my creative work and personal philosophy I believe that perspective is the key.  Work can be seen as repetitive, lethargic and unfulfilling.  Imagining the group members in a rural area or in a factory I could see them breaking the walls of these ingrained negative views and using them to create music, unity and fun.

The levels and depth of their performance goes beyond ability and executes rhythmically stunning stories.  It is their ability to create music that on its own is simple, yet when put together with the combination of their drums creates elaborate patterns that grew and collapsed.

Being an artist comes naturally and with practice it evolves and strengths regardless of the medium.  Not being a musician I have such great respect for individuals, like Nagata Shachu, that can perform such complex pieces yet remain strong, energized and show such love for art form.

I look forward to seeing them again, sooner than later, especially since they have their first concert series.  You can check them out on their website, twitter or facebook.

Video Links
This video give s glimpse into the world of Nagata Shuchu.  Seeing them live truly captures the art and their ability.

Sei Gai Ha

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Queen West November Art Walk

Museum of New
123 Bellwoods Avenue (rear)
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
M6J 2P6

Tucked away in behind Queen and Bellwood Ave is a diamond in the rough.  The Museum of New was created in 1998 by artist Joseph Drapell and poet Anna Maclachlan, It is a place of changing view points and open dialog for artist with once a month discussions. 

I had the pleasure of visiting the gallery on my monthly Queen West Art Walk with Betty Ann Jordan.  I am always struck by at least one artist on the walk and this one was no exception.  Lumir Hladik had the balance of stunningly beautiful work that also left ample room for interpretation and open dialog, my favourite.  After speaking with him, he mentioned that he sits in the middle of conceptual and traditional art.  I feel the same in that art is a balance of problem solving with materials to create visually pleasing work but that also has something to say.

I was struck by his drawings and the connections between our works. We both allow the hand and subconscious to take over to create endless unplanned images that can be reflected on throughout the process. It’s this play between the conscious and subconscious that in the end creates an open dialog with the viewer.

The layers of paper were one of the many doors left for interpretation, and to me they reflected the unseen worlds underneath each layer of bark, dirt, leaf and rock.  Small universes that speak to us through burnt holes that have been created first and then drawn on top with black pen.  The lines dance through each piece like water yet the work lends itself to many interpretations visually and metaphorically.  

His intention of the hidden layers was to refer to the 13th gate he grew up hearing in fairy tales as a child.  Surprisingly 40% of the drawings cannot be seen and are hidden under the many layers of paper.  For Lumir, the concealed imagery represents the vast knowledge of the universe and how we can never know everything and that some things are to be left unknown.  

I rank this show an 8 out of 10.