art installation

Every Friday is Gallery Nite

Summer is here and that means a lot of art to see and experience on Cortes Island, since we happen to live surrounded by an abundance of talent. I am so grateful to live here and have the opportunity to engage with all the amazing local artists and feast my eyes all season long – whether it be at the weekly  markets, one of our many events, or at our wonderful little gallery (where everyone can become a member and all our visitors/guests of the community are more than welcome to visit). The Old School House Gallery, which is run by volunteers and donations, puts on a minimum of 8 shows every summer. Hours are Fridays from 6pm to 9pm, and Saturdays & Sundays from 2pm to 6pm.

We started the season off on Friday June 30th with a beautiful show featuring 2 weavers and one textile artist… and trust me when I say that it is stunning. Here are a few of my favourite pieces! For more info please check out the link www.cortesisland.com

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P.S. There is a saying here on Cortes Island, “Every Friday is Gallery Night” – all season long @ The Old School House Gallery, there is either a vernissage or an artist talk – come join us!!!

The Cortes Island Museum

As many of you know by now, I was involved in The Curators’ Workshop for which the museum received a grant to support locals to get involved and learn about or further their knowledge of curating for museums, art shows in its myriad aspects: researching, hanging, grant writing and so much more. The workshop, led by well-known BC artist, author and historian Judith Williams, has been a wonderful experience from beginning to end! I learned so much, made some great new friends and I know the skills I learned will prove useful to me in the future. I would like to take a moment here to extend my gratitude to  the Cortes Island Museum for this opportunity.

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I would also like to invite local and visiting folks to check out the show Refugee Cove  – Moving with the Tides. I am really proud of the work we did as the team of intern curators; a lot of time and effort went into the show by everyone involved and I am very happy about how it turned out.

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A Staycation!!!

What does that word mean to you? Have you ever taken one of those? And if so, what did you do? Or what would you do if you took one?

So I just had a staycation right here on Cortes Island… and I think it’s a really interesting thing to do and would suggest everyone to give it a try – whether it means taking five days, two weeks, or a month off your regular routine. Mine ended up lasting two weeks and instead of jetting off somewhere you have been before or on to an new adventure, try Staying Where You Live!!!

So I obviously stayed on Cortes Island, in  beautiful BC, Canada. I did this for many reasons: 1st – I love where I live as there are many activities to do here that I enjoy but don’t always give myself the time to enjoy… I am often too busy to – shall I say – smell the flowers and chillax. 2nd – I had a desire to slightly change my routine. For one thing, we went through a very long, cold winter which saw us spend much time inside, and then I co-produced an art event (Expose Yourself) that had me working from September to March and kept me at my computer more than I usually want or desire. I also created an art installation that grew beyond its original scope to something much bigger than planned, which meant a lot of work inside my studio (which I love!), and with the sunlight rising earlier and setting later, I started to feel antsy for the outdoors. And 3rd – I needed to not be distracted from who I really am, take some well needed time in my own brain to figure out what my next move/chapter/mission really is and figure out what do I love, what am I really into, what and who did I really want to vote for (politically as we just had an election in our province), what do I really stand for?

So of course, my staycation meant staying in my own environment – my home, my studio, and my brain! And with my family and away from social media (there were a few moments, I do admit, when I did go on social media but only for very specific reasons). It was refreshing in so many ways. Yes, I missed seeing what my friends were up to, chatting on my network because I do live in a very rural area and can be quite isolated. Taking a break from the computer however, helped me realize how much distraction there is on social media; it can take up so much space in your mind and leave little space to see how to get to the next step, or makes you lose focus and forget what your goals are in the first place.

My staycation turned out to be very interesting in ways I did not expect: For one thing, I saw things on Cortes Island I had never noticed before and will certainly share on some of those things in future posts. And the list of what I did accomplished during that time is quite extensive: I finished my online classes and started a new introductory class at the School for Aromatic Studies, which I also finished (this was very inspiring and brought me back to my roots in so many ways, but that’s for another blog post). I got all caught up with my spring work in my gardens. I  started installing the show that was created during the Curators Workshop for the upcoming season at The Cortes Island Museum on Refugee Cove. I brought out my hula-hoop again. I went boating on the Salish Sea. I went out for brunch with friends and had a beautiful dinner with my sweetheart at our local restaurant at the Gorge Marina, and spent countless hours walking up and down all the different white sandy beaches with my family. Yes, the one down side of a staycation is that you still have to do your chores, run your usual errands but at the same time, you know you will be sleeping in a clean and comfy bed and enjoy the food! So all in all, it was great and I am now ready to move on to an enjoyable rest of spring and a fruitful summer ahead, and keep working towards the next chapter of what “creating art” means to me. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to try a staycation someday because it was a thoroughly refreshing experience that taught me a lot about myself and my goals.

And here are a few photos of my staycation!!!

xoxo Laura Balducci

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Meet Indigo

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Indigo

Indigo is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin”. I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering. She is the art doll that is brought to life by my live doll, Namchi Bazar, who performs in the video below with musician Del Riviera. The body of the doll is made with polymer clay, her hair is black merino wool, and I recycled some material to craft her skirt and then added lace accents and Ostrich feathers. I also  recycled a lamp shade to create the skirt hoop and her sidekick mini Roxy the Rabbit is made with textile, fabric paint, wool, and polymer clay for her eyes.

I had a lot of fun creating this art installation and learned a lot in the process. To experience the full art installation coming to life for yourself, please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera!!!

 

Meet Ms. Boutika

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Ms. Boutika

Ms. Boutika is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin.” I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering.  Ms. Boutika was created and inspired by the idea of a flower shop. I recycled an old vintage lampshade to craft the skirt, first by gilding it with gold leaf to imbue it with the luxury of being surrounded by flowers; I then used dried flowers from my garden that I pressed myself, placed them on the lamp shade in the hope of creating a beautiful shadow when the light shined through it… and I am glad to say that it worked!

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Her body and her brown boots are made out of polymer clay. Ms. Boutika’s hair was naturally dyed with Queen Anne’s lace from my garden and I made her dreadlocks made from local Cortes Island wool by Joy Shipway. Back in the early 90s I had the opportunity to follow The Grateful Dead for seven shows and during that journey I made a necklace by sewing little red roses together with rose quartz beads; I had kept it all these years and decided that it was very suitable to adorn Ms. Boutika’s hair.

For your own experience of seeing the full art installation come to life, please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera!!!

 

 

Meet Lilac Rose

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Lilac Rose

Lilac Rose is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin”. I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering. Lilac Rose was created from recycled finds: a vintage candy dish and a drawing model doll, which were both found at the free store on Cortes Island. I started by covering her body with gold leaf (because one person’s trash is another’s treasure), I then used some of the cotton batting I use to stuff my art dolls to create a bubble bath and added dried pressed flowers to give the idea of a lush bubble bath. The ensemble is meant to wake up the senses that make every life worth living, or in this case, every item that deserves to be refurbished into a luxury thought brought to life.

To experience the full art installation come alive please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Rivera!!!

Senses That Sin

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Senses That Sin is a multidisciplinary art installation which includes three art dolls, two rabbits, one live doll, one accordion player, and a live performance!

In the live performance, you will experience Indigo coming alive for the first time, as she grows more and more enchanted by her senses as they are each awakened one by one by Del Rivera. Will her fellow art dolls Lilac Rose and Ms. Boutika watch in amazement as they hope that their time shall also come when they will be woken up!?! To watch the live performance please click on the video, and on the link to the page on my website to learn more about the performers Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera.

I took my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings and their ability to tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offerings.

In the next few blog posts, I will be introducing you to each doll in the installation and share my process in their creation, but for now enjoy the performance!!! xoxo

For my page on Senses That Sin, click here!

Expose Yourself – a Complete Success!

It with great pleasure that I report the amazing success the Expose Yourself art festival was last weekend! We had sold out venues, all the workshops were well attended, and everyone had a lot of fun. I want to thank Powell River for the hospitality and all the artists who exhibited their work and contributed their talent and presence to the event. Also a big shout out to all the people who came from near and far to attend and make this event a success. Here is a a sneak peak of my multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin” which I premiered at the Expose Yourself event! This video clip was shot by the talented Claudia Medina and shows Indigo, the living doll,  with her rabbit Roxy as they make their way to the venue – with a little twist at the end!

That said, I want to give everyone a heads up that due to other projects that are drawing me home, I am stepping out of my role of co-producer for Expose Yourself as of now and wish all future events the greatest success. It’s been a riot! Stay tuned for more details on last weekend’s event and my upcoming projects.

Video © Claudia Medina – claudiamedina@enmedia.ca

 

 

Sense That Sin

My new multidisciplinary art installation called “Sense That Sin” will be presented for the first time in Powell River, BC , at the Expose Yourself Art Exhibition from March 16th to 19th – with a special live performance on Friday  March 17th. My contribution to the art show includes 3 art dolls, one live doll and an accordion player. My inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience was flowers and their surroundings with all the lushness this implies for our senses when we allow ourselves to fully experience them.

But who – might you ask – will be performing at the special live show? Well, without any further ado, let me introduce you to Namchi Bazar and Del Riveria !!!

Namchi Bazar impressive career started with her early training with the Royal Vancouver Ballet Academy, which was followed by years spent with the Arts Umbrella Youth Dance Company. She would then move on to more exciting training at the West Coast Ballet Institute with special tutelage under Crystal Pite. Namchi completed her BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University and pursued a career as an independent choreographer and performer, pioneering some experimental venues and performances, including Piss in the Pool with Sasha Kleinplatz, Andrew Tay and Dana Michel.  Namchi dabbled in the wonders of the circus arts with special performances for Cirque du Soleil. She also spent years studying different types of Classical Indian dances and folk styles from Rajasthan. Namchi developed her love for collaborative projects and continued to forge new pathways in Indo-fusion dance aesthetics, working with diverse artists and mediums including Beats Without Borders, Adam Shaikh, and Tarun Nayar. Namchi has most recently worked with Meinsje Vlaming and the Dream Caravan from Cortes Island, BC who blend elements of flamenco, gypsy and belly dances with theatrical circus arts.

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Del Riveria is a man of few words but of serious talent! He has collaborated with Laura Balducci on her last few art installations, The Stuffy Collection and The Other-Side presents That Wall, gracing them with his accordion improv. Del also plays with The Slim Milky Band from Powell River and The Improv Choir… Singer, songwriter, composer, accordionist/pianist, actor, impresario, busker, improviser and (from an early age) parade instigator, Del Riveria is a performance artist extraordinaire!

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Senses That Sin

I have a new art installation called Senses That Sin which will debut on at  the Expose Yourself Art Exhibition in Powell River from March 17th to 19th. Senses That Sin consists of 3 art dolls and one live doll! Indeed, I am taking my art to the next level with the inclusion of a live performance on March 17th by Namchi Bazar and Del Rivera. As you can well imagine, I can’t share all the details at this time but I can say that it’s been an exciting learning curve to create the many stages and details involved in this project. For now, I offer you a sneak peek at the plate forms that each Doll will stand on!!! Nudge nudge, wink wink… I really look forward to seeing the completed vision and sharing it with you at the art exhibition!

For more info on the Expose Yourself Art Exhibition, check out their  website  www.eyexhibition.com

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