The Mobile Garden Dress made 2 appearances during my StoreFront, objects of desire installation at the Lansdowne Centre in Richmond. The dress was animated by Nita Bowerman, who invited people to water the edibles in her skirt, talk gardening and then make a salad. If the shopping centre is the new community church then camping in a dress covered in edible plants is a great way to bring people together and bring some genuine connection to the retail experience.

 

Madame Jardin comes to life inside the StoreFront window display.

Madame Jardin comes to life inside the StoreFront window display.

Big and small help water the dress' garden.

Big and small help water the dress’ garden.

Engaging with shoppers about gardening and food production.

Engaging with shoppers about gardening and food production.

Sweet cherry tomatoes; Comparing the store bought version to the organic plant.

Sweet cherry tomatoes; Comparing the store bought version to the organic plant.

Once out of her skirt, Madame Jardin unhooks her bamboo bowl to begin preparing her lunch.

Once out of her skirt, Madame Jardin unhooks her bamboo bowl to begin preparing her lunch.

Picking tender purple cabbage leaves

Picking tender purple cabbage leaves

Community salad; everyone   shares in the experience.

Community salad; everyone shares in the experience. Salad ingredients include lettuce, basil, chives, cabbage, peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Food tastes much better on polkadot plates!

Food tastes much better on polkadot plates!

The Mobile Garden Dress comes to life inside the StoreFront window display

The Mobile Garden Dress comes to life inside the StoreFront window display

Sharing salad with shoppers

Sharing salad with shoppers

Madame Jardin and her friends take a nap in her skirt/tent

The salad has been made and eaten and so Madame Jardin invite some of her new friends into her skirt/tent to tell stories and take a nap.

StoreFront, objects of desire was  an installation at the Lansdowne Shopping Center in Richmond BC that blurred the line between consumer culture and art by displaying ephemeral objects in a retail window setting. Here dresses made from live flowers and shoes made of leaves are presented on mannequins as if for sale. By presenting simulated fashion articles within an existent shopping experience the viewer was confronted with having to negotiate the space between desire and ownership. I was on site at the mall periodically preening and adding new elements to the window displays. There were also public interventions in the shopping centre on weekends: The Mobile Garden Dress made a salad and shared it with the public, Sir William the Explorer went looking for gold and timber in the mall and Madame Nicole came out of her nearly 30 year retirement to do Extra D’Extras MakeOvers with shoppers.

StoreFront window display with signage

StoreFront window display with signage

Dates: July 1st to the 31st, 2013
Location: Lansdowne Shopping Center in Richmond BC
Store #960, Kiosk Court, see directory here

This project was presented as part of the inaugural artist residency at the Lansdowne Shopping Centre and supported by the City of Richmond’s Public Art Program.
Lansdowne Centre
City of Richmond Public Art
 

 

The Nomadik Harvest Dress was part of the Flatlanders and Surface Dwellers exhibition at 516 Arts in Albuquerque New Mexico. Curator Lea Anderson invited me to come down and give a talk about my work and so I took the opportunity to also have the Ms Cornucopia, this time embodied by Korie Tatum, cook up a dish of Cholla cactus buds. I met with local native plant forager, Amy White, who took me out to gather plants, which was the highlight of my trip. We also went out to the desert to take some photos of the dress in it’s natural habitat. Special thanks to Rhiannon Mercer Simpler and her husband Trent for having us in their home and also to Marge and Wolf for letting us onto their land. I had been to ABQ a few years ago for the Land Art Symposium and since then i had imagined one of my pieces in this sparse but rich landscape. Thank you to all who helped make this vision possible. Go to this Flickr page to see more photos and Special thanks to gallery assistants Teresa Buscemi and Claude Smith, who took photos and brewed up a large pot of Navajo Tea for the event. View video of the Tohono O’odham picking Cholla, one of the desert’s super foods.

Nomadik Harvest Dress in the Desert

Nomadik Harvest Dress camping and foraging for local native plants in the New Mexico desert

Cholla buds taste like a cross between and artichoke and asparagus. They have a slippery texture like okra or aloe verra.

Cholla buds taste like a cross between and artichoke and asparagus. They have a slippery texture like okra or aloe verra.

Cholla stir fry with veggies. Local and nutritious.

Cholla stir fry with veggies. Local and nutritious.

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For Earth Day 2013 I made a new dress, which began a whole new investigation into my Weedrobes series, namely working with the movement of the armature created for the garment. As often happens with this work ,I do not have much time to contemplate scenarios because the plants are in bloom and the window of opportunity is short. I did realize that the dress covered with fresh material and the dance with the armature where 2 separate projects, so I concentrated on making the fresh dress and the movement piece will come sometime in the future. The concept for the dress came from a cage-like hoop skirt by one of my favourite all time designers Jean-Paul Gauthier. I made the armature with fresh Willow branches from my yard and covered it with Magnolia leaves. The bodice was covered with Camellia flowers also from my garden. I discovered an abandoned Tudor house and the Tara {from Gone with the Wind} concept was born. A post-apocalictic eco-warrior, Miss Rosa Styles, returns to her home to rebuild. We had planned to also do a street intervention that day but it began to hail so we had to cancel that part but we did the photo shoot when the sun came out and the result was very cinematic. Special thanks to the crew: model: Nita Bowerman, Photo Assistant: Kathleen Loski, Makeup: April Beer, Video: Martin Borden, Transportation: Tanya Hockley and flower wranglers: Marina and Celia.

Miss Rosa Styles returns home

Miss Rosa Styles returns home

Camellia flowers, Magnolia leaves, Lilac flowers, Willow, Reed and thorns.

Camellia flowers, Magnolia leaves, Lilac flowers, Willow, Reed and thorns.

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My ice typography work was recently featured in BG Magazine. I love the layout of the images.BG-Magazine-72

View full article here: Dextras Layout

Best wishes to all in this festive season. Peace. Nicole

solstice-card-72

2013 calendar

2013 calendar

Start the new year off with the 2013 Environmental Art Calendar  by Amber Lotus Publishing. Photo Solar Resource is featured in February. I am in good company with other artists such as Steven Siegel, Patrick Dougherty, Chris Drury, Karin van der Molen,( whom i met during Land Art 360 Mongolia) Chris Booth (who exhibited during the Earth Art in Vancouver) and Diana Lynn Thompson (who lives on Salt Spring Island here in BC). What an honour!
http://www.amberlotus.com/productdetails.cfm?sku=13EA&isbn=9781602376113&title=2013-environmental-art-wall-calendar

Met up with Chris Bentzen from the Hot Art Wet City gallery in Vancouver for a chat about my artwork in my studio. Super nice guy who is doing his part in trying to keep the art scene alive in Vancouver with his gallery. Not an easy feat in this high real-estate town!

The Little Green Dress Projekt was an outdoor installation in the Earth Art Exhibition at VanDusen Botanical Garden in the summer and fall of 2012. For a full description of the project and to view photos please visit the LGD blog. I was on site for 2 months creating these pieces and installing them one at a time in the perennial garden. They were left to change and decompose over time to emphasize the process of nature. Each dress was made for an individual woman who supplied the leaves and flowers for her dress. Four women worn their dresses for the exhibition opening  on August 2nd. In attendance were the curator, John Grande and artists Nils Udo, Urs Twellman, Chris Booth and Michael Dennis. Many thanks to my helpers Nita Bowerman, Martin Borden and Ruth Wolf who made the armatures for each dress. Also special thanks go to garden director, Harry Jongerden who was responsible for the exhibition and his tireless assistant Tracee Jung. The exhibition was well received in the press thanks to publicist Nancy Wong.

composite of 21 dresses

composite of 21 dresses

 Martin Borden created a short video of the dresses worn on opening night.

Raymond Chan also created a video of the project

made from Magnolia leaves, Hydrangea flowers and Globe Thistle.

made from Magnolia leaves, Hydrangea flowers and Globe Thistle.

Barbara's dress after 2 months outdoors, turned a golden brown patina from sun wind and rain.

Barbara’s dress after 2 months outdoors, turned a golden brown patina from sun wind and rain.

Nomadik Harvest Dress with Lorraine Matheson Heidi

The Nomadik Harvest Dress was completed during a 2 week art residency at the McMichael Art Gallery in June 2012 in collaboration with the Fashionality Exhibition. This wearable architecture is the second piece in the Urban Foragers {house of eco drifters} series, which began with the Mobile Garden Dress. The design is based on the yurts I experienced while in Mongolia. The skirt is created from a folding bamboo fence and Willow struts sewn into a wool waistband.  The traditional felt outer covering is replaced with crazy quilt of woollen sweaters, which have been shrunken and dyed. The covering contains over 40 pockets that are meant to hold the plant materials gathered by the dress wearer. The skirt also acts as a shelter for camping in cooler weather and it also carries a portable Butane stove, pot and utensils for cooking the veggies. The piece was presented during the Canada Day festivities at the McMichael and animated by Lorraine Matheson Heidi, who interacted with visitors about the local edible plants in her dress.The NHD, animated by Nita Bowerman  was presented at the Sustenance Festival in Vancouver, where we made a soup with local vegetables and shared it with the public. Special thanks to Fred at the McMichael for teaching me about the local plants.

Nomadik Harvest Soup

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