Archives for category: storytelling

The Urban Foragers got together for the first time as a group to share a communal meal made from the food sources they each carry in their self sufficient dresses. The Mobile Garden Dress, aka Madame Jardin, The Nomadik Harvest Dress, aka Miss Cornucopia and the new kid on the block, The Traveling SeedBomb Dress, aka Agent SeedBomb got together at California State University Fullerton for the Ego Eco exhibition at the Begovich Gallery. The day began with the dresses walking around campus and interacting with students about sustainable food practices and also promoting the exhibiton. They then settled into the courtyard in the Visual Arts Department where they set up camp for the day. Madame Jardin and Miss Cornucopia helped Agent SeedBomb set up her teepee and then they began preparing the meal. They traded foods to enhance each others recipes and each created a dish to be shared. The Mobile Garden Dress made a salad from the veggies in her over 40 potted plants hanging from her hoop skirt  and added pomegranate seeds from the NomadiK Harvest dress. The Harvest dress in turn borrowed fresh herbs from the Garden dress to add to the soup she made from the many vegetables harvested from the Fullerton Arboretum. She also made a tasty fruit salad topped with Coconut from the SeedBomb dress. As it was her first time making food, the SeedBomb dress prepare a simple dish of energy snacks by crushing nuts and seeds with a mortar and pestle and rolling them into balls. She also shared some of her fresh sprouts for the salad. After inviting friends to join them in their communal meal, they told stories while soaking their feet in the pool and then later retired, each to it’s own comfy little shelter to bed down for the night. The event was held beside  Richard Turner’s “Wall Gazing Gallery”, a open structure with a corrugated roof with water falling from it into a pool surrounded by peach coloured Bougainvillea trees.

The whole process was filmed and is now available to view here or click on the You Tube icon to watch in your browser.

The Urban Foragers camp

The Urban Foragers camp

Credits:
Agent Seedbomb: Alice Tokunaga
Ms Cornucopia: Andrea Harris-McGee
Madame Jardin: Megan Eras
Artist and photographer: Nicole Dextras
Videographer: Kirk Dickinson
Curators: Emily Tyler, Allison Town
Makeup: Dusty Germano
Support crew: Gaby Castillo, Marty Lorigan, Martha Rocha, Mark Uspon
Special Thanks to the Fullerton Arboretum Staff and Lou Arnwine

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The Mobile Garden Dress, part of the Urban Foragers series 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
 

 

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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If you missed our show last year, then this is the perfect opportunity to come and see our all ages performance on Granville Island. 3 shows per day for 2 days. Free with wrist bands, which are allocated from at 11am on each day. Space is limited to 25 per show. Concept and design by Nicole Dextras and storytelling and choreography by Naomi Steinberg. Click HERE to see photos of last year’s show

Dates: Saturday, February 26th and Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Time: Daily, 12 – 12:30pm, 2:15 – 2:45pm & 3:30 – 4:00pm

Venue: Railspur Alley Park on Granville Island

The False Creek Bride is a multi-disciplinary performance inside a domed structure resembling a large white dress. Through storytelling the audience is guided on the mythical journey of Serena, a magical fish captured in a fisherman’s net. As the tale unfolds, she must bargain for her life by promising to supply the fisher with her bounty from the sea. The premise of the story is based on traditonal Celtic Silkie and the Inuit Sedna folktales and is given a contemporary twist as the fisher struggles with the communities need for his fish harvest. It is a tale woven with passion and enchantment; it aims to entertain while encouraging awareness of the environmental impact of our rivers and streams.