Karina Kalvaitis & Jo Ludwig
September 5-29, 2019
Circle Craft invites you into the whimsical world of our own Jo Ludwig, and guest artist Karina Kalvaitis, as they take you on a journey through a strange –yet familiar– parallel world filled with creatures both real and imagined in our September gallery installment, “Animalia”.
Jo Ludwig’s work pays homage to the strange, yet familiar, with his Flights of Fancy sculptures, assembled using found objects and recycled metals to create fantastical, artificial creatures that ring true of a world different, but parallel to ours. These vessels often offer a glimpse into this world through the use of lights and miniature scenery that can be seen through the eyes of these mighty flying impressions of a creature. These imaginative sculptural works oft give the impression of ages past with the integration of technology that could not have possibly existed in our world, but rather one parallel.
The glimmering rainbow wings and eyes of these creatures are complimented with brightly coloured “Things of Beauty”, small and glittering vessels created through pressing layers of glass –including one layer of dichroic glass– into a mold and firing in a kiln.
in Jo’s own words: “Although I have a cynical streak a mile wide, my work is happy and optimistic, and I hope it makes you smile, even chortle.”
Karina’s work with strange imaginary animals began several years ago, starting as a series of graphite drawings. In 2015 she turned to recreating these drawings as mixed media animal sculptures. Over time she developed her own technique that combined the tactility of wool with various clays to add fine details. The wool bodies of the creatures are made with a combination of needle felting and wet felting and are stuffed with wool and glass granules, often over a wire armature. Elements such as noses, eyes, nails, and fantastical horns are added in epoxy clay and mixed media such as glass. These sculptures are created in small limited edition “litters” which are never repeated. There are variations between each animal that you can see when comparing faces, colouring and details, giving each one a unique personality.
Originally from Alberta, Karina majored in sculpture at the Alberta College of Art and Design and later studied theatre prop building at the Banff Centre in Alberta. Karina has lived in Victoria since 1996 and works as an artist full-time (with short stints in the world of theatre props and sets). She has shown work in solo and group shows in Canada and has her sculptures in private collections across Canada and the United States. In 2016 she was a finalist for the Salt Spring National Art Prize. She is a studio member at arc.hive Artist Run Centre in Victoria, BC.
“Animalia” will run from September 5th through September 29th at the Circle Craft Gallery on Granville Island in the Net Loft, open from 10am-7pm every day.
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