Material Obsessions: Janet Morton and Evelyn Roth; curated by CCST candidate Julie Bevan

Saturday July 8, 2006 - Sunday August 6, 2006

Opening Reception: Friday July 7, 8-10. Show runs July 8 – August 6, 2006
Artist Talk: Saturday, July 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Material Obsessions pairs the textile-based work of two artists from different generations: veteran Vancouver artist Evelyn Roth and Toronto artist Janet Morton.  Though the works exhibited were created in disparate geographical locations and at different historical moments, they share similar sensibilities.  Their work takes up popular craft techniques of knitting and crochet to create large scale sculpture.  Each artist is concerned with collecting used materials and re-working them into new forms.  Morton and Roth invite a critical look at issues of excess; both in terms of the amount of time and repetitive work involved in the process of knitting and crochet, and patterns of consumption in a society characterized by a endless surplus of goods, and consequently, of waste.

Roth’s work of the 1970s incorporates salvaged materials including mohair and nylon, as well as videotape from the CBC, to construct moveable sculpture meant to be activated by the body.  Roth’s Environment for Living, a large tent-like structure made from 110 recycled sweaters, engages with notions of women’s work in the domestic sphere and how we construct our homes, while creating a space for social interaction.  Similarly, Morton’s work transforms familiar objects by reconfiguring scale and materials, often imbuing them with an element of humour.  This exhibition will show a selection of Morton’s work dating from the early 1990s to the present, including Memorial (Canadian Work Sock), a 16 foot long knitted sock that asks viewers to consider the nature of work and the types of labour society values.  This will be the first time Morton’s work is shown on the West Coast.

Material Obsessions is curated by Julie Bevan, a Master of Arts candidate in Critical and Curatorial Studies at The University of British Columbia, and made possible by the generous support of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at UBC, and the Alvin Balkind Fund for Curatorial Initiatives.

Janet Morton will present an Artist Talk at the Belkin Satellite on Saturday, July 8 at 2:00 p.m. Morton’s work is also featured in the concurrent exhibition Thrive By at the Richmond Art Gallery.