Welcome to the worldly adventures of SEVEN

SEVEN is a collective of multi-disciplined artists from rural Nova Scotia. Collaboration is the foundation for creativity, where each artist responds artistically in her own medium to a selected theme. Through collective discourse, various elements combine to form a much richer body of thought - adding new and perhaps unforeseen levels of creativity and interpretation.

Rurally routed to their tidal landscape, SEVEN knows, what goes out, does come in.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Things are moving

Hey! Hey! When I say things are moving I mean it. Back in July I moved residence. It's a cool little flat that I love. I have a nice big room to work in with big windows and southern exposure. Right now I'm mostly painting in it. Lots of floor cloths that I love doing and have tried a few canvases but nothing I'm happy with. That's OK. I won't force it. Deborah and Angela have been very inspirational for me to try to paint but there's no way I can keep up with them. After an interview with a friend in Halifax who does film, video and digital editing I am encouraged to go back to school to learn some computer skills. It's a lot embarrassing how little I know - especially since I started using macs when they first got used for desk top publishing. It was back when I was switching from being a graphic artist to a metalsmith. So here it is 20 years later and I'm thinking it might be a good idea to really sink my teeth into the medium. Computers might be the next big thing and I don't want to miss out on it!! I'll be registering at NSCAD University for a couple introductory courses this summer. I'll let you know how it goes...

I'm also very happy to say the other thing that has moved is the copper out of my body! After my third hair analysis test it shows the copper levels in my body have dropped to (almost) normal. Now with all the detox I have been doing I have also dug up the lead and cadmium out of my tissues and getting that on the move as well. It was a little surprising to see those levels go up from one test to the next but my naturopath says it means I'm getting rid of those too. So all my hard work is paying off - it's not quite over yet and I still have a way to go but I feel better than I have in a long time and that will keep me going on the right path.

And now for another move. Starting January 3rd. I'll be flying to Copenhagen to start my European whirlwind trip. I have been skrimping and saving and selling artwork so that I could go galavanting across the continent for 2 months. I have been agonizing over it because I could really use a new computer and some other stuff but I really need to do a trip like this because I may never get the chance again. Other than rent, I don't have any responsibilities so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! I do have a responsibility to my girls in SEVEN for our show at the Craig Gallery next April. I have another to treat myself after a few difficult years of divorce, death of my mother and the death of my metalsmithing career. I don't plan to just look around and lollygag in Europe. I'll be busy figuring out what they do that we in Canada don't. I'll be drawing and taking pictures and getting work ready for the Craig show. I'll be playing my Ukulele, writing and gathering bits of paper for another costume to perform in. I'll be people watching and going to some amazing places and looking at art and architecture and eating some great food too. It's also doctors orders that I find some places to get a sauna and mud bath!

Well, that's my update. I won't be blogging or doing much contact other than letting people know I'm alright. I'll be sending my own hand drawn postcards to a few friends and SEVEN peeps but I'm saving the best for the show at the Craig Gallery at Alderney Landing next April. Then if I can get some funding I'll be putting on a multi-media show at the Al Whittle Theater in Wolfville next fall. I'm not bringing much technology with me so you won't be able to follow my travels. Somehow that's like watching a trailer for a movie that gives you the whole story without having to go see the movie! Now I have to go do a trial suitcase packing. 'Ere we go...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Opening day of Exchange in Kerteminde

Opening day in Kerteminde, getting up and getting oneself organized inside and out for a few hours of SEVEN talk and enjoyment.
The weather is fairly nice, no rain around opening hour at noon.
We had decorated the bushes outside with our extra Canadian and Nova Scotian flags for this opening of Exchange.

Entry to the art store, museum and gallery.

The view when walking towards and into the gallery space.

Jane Nielsen, our contact person with the gallery had come from Aeroe to officially open the exhibit. She gave a short introduction of the group
To the visitors and talked about the importance and excitement of sharing work and thoughts across borders, and how important she felt it was that we, a Canadian group, was there to show the audience of the gallery what we do and how we do it. Then she asked me if I would be kind enough to give a more in-depth presentation of each of the artists of SEVEN.

Our welcoming buffet, grapes, white wine and pop, at a good height and easily accessible.

Taking full advantage of the opportunities the gallery had to offer. One being several plinths for exhibiting pieces up high and fairly freely and also some glass tops to protect smaller pieces of work, which worked out absolutely beautifully for Marie's Bitty Bawdies as well as for some of my felted fruits.

We found a shelf which could hold all our information + the guest book, which I hope people will see and sign during their meandering through our exhibit.

And a cosy corner was created with Kelly's poem on the dvd player and right next to it the basket I borrowed from a friend, so our big international crochet project has a home to sit in between all the times people pick it up and add some of their preferred colour or texture to the piece by crocheting their own little free spirited pattern onto what has already been scrumbled there. A note accompanies the basket and it's content explaining our hopes and wishes for the growth and progress of the piece.

And finally another view of the exhibition grounds. This is truly a beautiful spot, with good energy and gentle people around. I do hope our exhibit will be well visited and that our out-reach will be well received.

Greetings from the last member of SEVEN still in Denmark for a while.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Preparing for opening of Show in Kerteminde, Sept. 12, 2010

We had an early start driving across Sjaelland, across the bridge over Store Baelt and finally up along the highway for the north east part of Fyn, where Kerteminde is situated. We were let in by Lene B the woman at work in the store, museum and gallery on this Saturday. Empty space what to do with it all.

Our Danish poster was up on the wall, reminding us why we were there!

As it was when the crate had arrived with the shipper from Copenhagen to Kerteminde midt August a small problem had occured. I thought I had measured the doors and the crate, assuring myself and the woman at the office that day that all was well and the crate was safe in the spot we had chosen for it. Ah, but sometimes unforeseen happenings take place and so it turned out that the crate was too wide when lifted on the forklift and it didn't fit through where we expected after all. Thus the freight man had followed the office lady around until they found a suitably wide door which the crate would enter without hesitation or problems.

And here is another surprise. When we opened the door through which we had been told to enter to get to the crate .......... This monster was sitting there with a smug grin, well, I thought so anyways. And it was effectively blocking the door which we were planning on entering through. We managed to pull the monster back a bit, open the door and upon entry discovered that fortunately there was another set of doors so we wouldn't have to balance in and out of a very tight place with our works, risking scraping and denting. That was a grand relief.

Kim, one of my two faithful helpers, staring at this magnificent crate, and finally asking me how I was planning to move the crate. I had forgotten to explain that the plan was to put some of the work in the back of his car and drive it the 200 meters to the back entry of the gallery. Other pieces which were too big to fit into the car were to be carried one at a time for this distance.

And so we opened up the lid and started to unpack the goodies once again.

Slowly, slowly everything was moved to the gallery space and the next step of the unpacking process got started, all the wrappings were carefully removed first from the pieces they were covering and next put out in an adjacent room so we could begin to see some order in the madness.
This is one of the strange and madening things when hanging a show in a new place, a lot of time is needed to feel, see and decide where what is going to go, there is no way that this can be planned beforehand.

Having a chat with Lene B the felting lady tending the shop today, she was so excited on our behalf, but keeping her distance at the same time knowing from experience that hanging a show and chatting to visitors about what is going on at the same time is not an easy task at all.

I have to say that SEVEN is rather thankful that Lone and Kim, good admires and friends of us all were willing and able to drive with me to Kerteminde to hang the exhibit for its third and last showing in Denmark.
Looking at the room I thought, ah well, it won't be excruciatingly difficult to hang this, it will be ok. And it was ok, except it took us 6 hours from start to finish. Six good hours of listening to the pieces and the walls and the plinths and deciding who needed to go where and why.
Lone was our trusted photographer, making sure that everything was recorded by camera for posterity.


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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pit stop in Sweden and bus travels

I left Norway on a beautiful sunny afternoon after a walk through a well known park with good friends. Had decided to travel back to Denmark via bus, not by air or boat.
I had booked my ticket in advance and got dropped off at the bus station in good time before bus departure. It was a fun easy ride, with many washroom and smoking breaks along the way.
This was the fourth or fifth stop, I hadn't needed to get up yet, but now it was time. It was a great stop to have chosen for ....

This is what I saw when instead of a smoke I took a small walk around on the paths laid out around the playground. A beautiful bird bath, I think in some kind of stone, I was so surprised and delighted to find this beauty out here at a rest stop along the highway that I didn't even touch it!

There were no birds im the bath, but plenty of sound and chipper to be heard from the surounding woodland.
By now I did have to visit this house

And once again I had to readjust some of my expectations. Oh, I thought as I stepped inside, I hadn't realized this was actually an outhouse .... Who digs the new holes when it is needed?
But couldn't really spend much more thought on that idea, since I needed to go and thus as I sat down and raised my eyes this is what I read

This was a composting toilet and the note reminded people to not dump unsuitables into then toilet since, the urine/liquids and solids were all being used for fertilizer and redistributed to Mother Nature, well, you have to excuse me but in my humble opinion that is completely brilliant since making a septic system in a rocky area way out in the boonies is just not really financially wise.
By the way when we drove out of this spot I noticed a beautiful large egg of the same material as the birdbath situated in front of a bench and there were other paths leading to what I assume now could very well have been other points of artistic beauty.
Next a little fat pony and a strong workhorse in a field rolled by and a second later the butt and back of a horse and rider far down a little country road meandered along.
Paying attention again, suddenly, the tv screen above the driver was turned on and I hear some talk in a for me incomprehensible language. It is an american movie with I think Bruce Willis and some person on a tape is doing the translations/voice over as the movie goes along, in what I think is Polish.
There are many seasonal Polish workers in Norway (and Denmark and probably Sweden too) and some of them are on the bus with me back to Copenhagen.
A surreal experience since right then I was writing the initial part of the sailing blogs, on a bus from Oslo to Copenhagen and we are on the highway in Sweden. Well, I am just saying this truly is international travels and I am loving it, even the parts I don't get at all due to language limitations on my part.
Safely in Copenhagen I got my suitcase from the storage room, realized that the rest of the group were all continuing on the bus, (the trip had been a little more than 9 hours by now) - I on the other knew that my bed was near, I sped up my steps and pulled at the rolling little suitcase and caught the #1A bus which it spite of it being almost midnight took me to my sister's abode with no hickups in very little time.
I love public transportations sytems!

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Friday, September 3, 2010


Interactions abound, there are so many opportunities for ... Fast Food and Fresh Water!

A grey crow on a bathing warf on the way to Kerteminde. He/she liked rye bread a lot!

Hungry Gulls in Kerteminde, when we were there to look at the gallery we will be exhibiting at in a little more than a week.

Young gull relaxing in a fountain in Kristiansand, a good place for a freshwater drink after having travelled the salty ocean for a while.

A strandskade (Danish), Tjeld (Norwegian) and ... I don't know what in English, however he and his buddy/wife sure enjoyed and got themselves a few nice worm-snacks in this little sandy area right next to the old fortress by the bay in Kristiansand.

Around the next corner was a beautiful fountain and once again someone was taking full advantage of the fresh water opportunities, and right on top of the fountain too.

All ocean birds, well except the thirsty pigeon, happy to keep their thirst down with fresh water and also I am sure, even for the ones who are not on top of the table, keeping an eye on any other available piece of nutrition in their vicinity.
Posted from my Ipad in Oslo, Norway

Thursday, September 2, 2010

a photo of Morten Grue

It was an incredible series of serendipitous events that brought you to Franka Rasmussen, Pam.  Here's Morten signing your book.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Found treasures

I have come home from Copenhagen with an unexpected treasure. It feels like a reward for past research and gives me such joy every time I see it.

Way back in January 2009 when we decided to do this trip I was wandering through the art texts at the Acadia University Library and was drawn to a large volume called Beyond Craft : The Art Fabric - by Jack Lenor Larsen and Mildred Constantine. I renewed this book many times intrigued by weaving techniques, scale of the work, dedication to a large project, simplicities, complexities and creativity. Many of the artists' works in this book were the inspiration for the work I created for 'Exchange'. One of the featured artists I admired was Franka Rasmussen.

' In the morning I walk about looking, and I think: surely this could be better. 
Or : what muck you made yesterday...all the little talks one has with oneself. And then one goes shopping and finds four lamp shades.....I think it may be the only ability I still haven't lost in my ripe old age: I am still able to find things'
 Franka Rasmussen  (1907 - 1994)

During our first days in Copenhagen, Deborah and I decided to spend a morning in the heart of the city finding galleries she had earmarked as worth a look. We had a blast loosing and finding ourselves. My respect grew by leaps and bounds for her navigationally adept brain. We came across Folk Kunst, made a mental note to return, took a photo for an additional reminder and carried on. Then it eluded us for a few days and when you are trying to fit many things into one day, going around a block more than once just isn't time efficient.

a table runner
'It is a tremendous strain to teach while making something yourself, but I couldn't do without either: getting to understand other people's way of thinking, getting new ideas started...I called it 'composition', later it became 'form and colour'...I simply tried to improve their vision, to teach them to see what they see.' Franka

Eventually, in the last week, around one more corner where many triangular blocks met, that sweet little sign showed up again. Inside was a gentle man named Morten Grue, shop owner, puppeteer, artist, maker of found object mobiles and a past student of Franka Rasmussen. This tiny little shop had some interesting vintage folk art AND some work done by Franka. Morten had purchased her summer home with contents (they were friends) and the last pieces he had of her's were in the store. They were here... and available, two wall hangings and two table runners. It just felt right. To see and touch them seemed to fulfill a quest and complete the project. It would be a few days before I decided to purchase a piece to bring home but I am happy every day that I did.

This one stayed at the store.
Morten kindly gave me the book with my purchase.

Franka Rasmussen -  'My attitude is that I will do things because the work is exciting in itself....that is the experience I want. The result however is not interesting. I have never kept a record or collected photos, because once a piece of work is finished, I'm on my way to the next one. It amazes me that I haven't felt the need to sell, but it wasn't necessary for my self confidence or for the reverence I feel for my work...It was this: I made the things for their own sake. That was the reason for working.'

And I have gone shopping and found................the end of a chapter....................Udveksling next....Pam

Friday, August 27, 2010

Intentions were good...

Sometimes life's adventures take up all of one's time, leaving little time to blog about life's adventures.  Such was the case during my adventure that began in Denmark and spilled over into these days since my return.  

I embarked on this artistic exchange, fully open to absorbing the Danish culture's art, design and aesthetic - consciously unaware at the time that these are, of course, methods of communication. I fully expected to return with a new clarity to “seeing” that one often experiences after time spent elsewhere. I certainly didn't expect to come back with a new-found awareness of intent in communication.

Placing visual communication aside, I quickly discovered that travelling with three other strong, independent women, places every nuance, word and expression under a microscope of scutiny. The situation challenges one to be conscious of word choices, tone, phrasing and even silences.

By immersing myself in this exchange with SEVEN, by stepping away from my usual surroundings, routines and companions, I gained clarity – clarity of my own communication shortcomings. I've been humbled to know that after 48 years, I'm still not the great communicator I was hoping to be.

But, through this exchange, the ground has shifted - or I've shifted. I can now see how deeply affected we all are by the intention behind communication of every kind. Our intent is paramount. No matter what form it takes - be it a piece of music, a speech, a painting or a conversation with a friend, what matters most is intent. Whether we consciously realize it or not, we all see through to the real intention - the true reason for the communication, which explains why we may be moved by one thing and not another.

My opportunity now is to enhance all facets of my communications, both visually and in my everyday conversations - to hold my intent close so I can keep an eye on it.   


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Snails, slugs, a different kind of beauty

When we were in Hoersholm at Elin Friis' homestudio on Saturday, August 14, 2010 we were really rather fortunate in many, many ways.
We got there and the weather was still dry, we go set up in a very focused short amount of time, we did have a few visitors and ...... For it was very inspiring that this place is actually situated right one the edge of an area of protected forest, Tokkekoeb Hegn.

There were well groomed pathways both for pedestrians, non motorized bikes and horses. The area covers 631 hectares and is magnificently green and luscious.

There are benches and pieceful spots to take a break from a meandering walk or a brisk trot. Lots of wildlife too.

Slugs from my childhood memories, large red and black ones, about two pinkies wide and 3-4 inches long as they were meandering along the path and much shorter when they were protecting themselves or resting somewhere safe

I am quite infatuated with the texture of these beautiful creatures. One of these days I will figure out why it is that they have sort of a saddle around the front part of their bodies and are so different along the back part, flexibility perhaps.

That is surely the case about their 'edges' which help propel them along in their search for mates, food and protection.

One of the black ones, making some kids think they are made from licorise - like my husband's brother who ate one when he was 4 or so and didn't feel too good for the rest of that day.

And last but not least we met this very busy little dung beetle who was working on his pantry project both on our way in when we passed him the first time and on our way back whe he seemed to be at a slight standstill.
As I am looking at these closeups of some of the creatures we share the surface of this planet with I also end up rejoicing at the gravel which inadvertantly show up in photos taken close to the ground, texture close to my heart!

.........................Beach rock and sand from another fresh walk. ............ Pia

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How not to post a blog!

And so this morning I put my mind to write a little piece about our exhibit in Hoersholm, just North of Copenhagen. And I had forgotten to put the rith adress in the posting which meant that ....
The posting is only on www.wonderouswoolerie.blogspot.com
I have tried to repost it but it didn't seem to work, thus, please click on the above link and enjoy it from that vantage point instead.
Have a great week every one

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How things develop and get our creative juices flowing

Marilyn and Pam had talks about crocheting and interesting vocabulary. Pam had found a new word on the internet which precisely covers what she does when she free form crochets - it is called scrumbeling and we have been using that word for quite a few days now.

In the view of the excitement of the scrumbeling word and the fact that we are all used to using our hands creatively, the fact that Pam had brought a bunch of crochet needles and the fact that Marilyn found a yarn store where she got herself and us some interesting yarn, well, a new exchange project came to life.

We asked anyone visiting us if they would care to crochet a bit on a scrumbeling piece which Marilyn and Pam started out. We had experienced crocheters who sat down and worked away with swiftness of hand and needle, shaping and twirling along.

We had some less experienced fibre enthusiasts who still took to the challenge and kept their tongues straight in their mouths and managed to crochet a nice piece on the now very communal scrumbeling piece which grew by bits and pieces, changing colour whenever a new set of hands picked it up

The hope is that when we exhibit in VaerkstedsGalleriet in Kerteminde next month, we can leave the piece in a basket and any person coming into the gallery will fell inspired and invited to pick up the needle and choose their yarn to crochet for a while.

Whether it will end up as a cape or a cloak remains to be seen, especially since we are hoping to have the same piece going in April 2011, when we do the exhibit showcasing our works at the Craig Gallery in Dartmouth, NS, inspired by the trip which we are right in the middle of experiencing this very moment in time.

And finally the grand finale which we didn't share with you the other day when the piece about the opening was posted. We were given a bottle of champagne and after everyone had left ........ Well we opened up the bottle and ......

It kind of exploded in our faces under much laughter and hooting. Next activity on the list was to clean up the floor and then we toasted and relaxed into the joyful feeling of an opening well attended and full of positive energy.

The days keep rolling by with many new experiences, tomorrow we are heading out on yet another expedition, this time to ... A different part of the country!

Cheers, Pia

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Djed and Nhh

At the opening on Thursday we were lucky enough to have at least one very keen poetry person, he also happens to be a passionate egyptologist = well versed in anything Egyptian and ancient.
He listened intently to Kelly's poem, paper in hand, and then he continued over to dwell by Marie's words. Before he left the gallery he pulled me aside and told me the following:
There were two different kinds of poetry in ancient Egypt
One is linear, taking you from one place to the next, it is called Djed
The other is rythmically rolling the words along in desciption and contemplation, it is called Nhh, there are no visible vowels in this word, you just at an e sound where you fancy, Jeppe said it sort of like Nhehe.
So what I wanted to say is that in our group of SEVEN we are fortunate to have a Djed poet, Marie and a Nhh poet Kelly, the way it has been in the past and the way it will continue to be in the future. Connections and exchanges, now and then.
Off to the gallery, Pia

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fernisering and Opening night in Trepkasgade, Copenhagen

Fourty eight hours ago we were cleaning up at the gallery after the many happy guests who had chosen to come and join us at this event had left us.

The following is perhaps not so much great litterature to read as it will hopefully be eye candy so you can see with your own eyes how delightful, fun and busy evening we had on Thursday night, August 5, 2010.

The window is decorated, examples of what our visitors can expect to feast their eyes upon when they enter the door to the magic wonderland of
Seven - a Group of Six Visual Artists and one Poet
and their take on the words: Exchange/Udveksling

The flags are up and festively waving at people walking, bicycling or driving by, gently inviting them to come and join us for a celebration of the initial exhibit of our big adventure.

We have worked on putting our best foot forward for quite a while and are hoping that we will succeed.

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of 6pm when the guests will start to arrive.

The first guests to arrive a little early, quite a blessing since we had someone to practise welcoming salutes and art explanations on.t

And as the rooms started to fill up with smiling guests, there were flowers and bottles of wine being places in our surprised and very thankful arms.

Greetings and initial looking over the art work which had grand wall space upon which to shine.

Conversations and thoughts about the pieces, I do believe the thoughtfull looks in this photo comes from checking out three of Deborah's cows peacefully hanging alongside each other on the wall.

Discussing prices on pieces, for after the show has finished its tour in Denmark and has returned to Canada, anyone who has fallen in love with one or several of the pieces can choose to purchase it/them and have it/them shipped back to Denmark.

Business and talk time in the middle room by the sink where more flowers were being put into vases and by the table where chips and grapes, fluid and chewy ones were being thoroughly enjoyed as well as the beautiful eye candy pieces from Angela Melanson, which received many admiring glances and looks, not to mention many words of high praise.

And here we are at the end of the evening, all guests have gone home and we are feeling rather tired but also very, very happy and thankful that so many people turned up, so many questions were asked and so many conversations about art, creative expression and its necessity for a happy life had taken place.

It has taken us a few days to post this, phew, for the next morning we were a little tired since ...we were invited out for a beer after closing and didn't get any shut-eye until 02am the next morning, for me at least an amazing feat to last that long before collapsing.

Cheers, Pia

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