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Ordinary to Extraordinary: Denim wigs & flowers into insects | Exhibitionists S03E24 Full Episode

Ordinary to Extraordinary: Denim wigs & flowers into insects | Exhibitionists S03E24 Full Episode

♪ ♪ On today’s episode we’re
meeting artists who are taking something ordinary
and transforming it into something extraordinary. ♪ ♪ I’ve cut up so many books,
that I almost look at all books as if they’re
material for a collage. Jimmy is just the most
beautiful person. He’s the most charismatic
person I’ve ever met. ♪ ♪ Hello and welcome to CBC
ArtsExhibitionists, the tv show that is dedicated
to introducing you to the coolest
people in the world — artists. I’m your host
Amanda Parris. Today we’re meeting artists
who take everyday materials, the ordinary things we
see in our daily lives, and use their creative talents
to transform these things into extraordinary
works of art. We start our journey
in Sudbury, Ontario. Those of you born after
the year 2000 probably don’t know this, but
research for a school project used to require something
called an encyclopedia. These were usually very
large books packed with tons of information
and, if you’re lucky, very colourful images. The Internet has now made
encyclopedias obsolete, but this artist is bringing them back
in a meaningful, new way. ♪ ♪ I’m Sydney Rose, and
I’m a collage artist in Sudbury, Ontario. I like to re-combine images
that had a previous meaning and take them out of their
original context and see what kind of stories you can
tell by re-combining them in new ways. ♪ ♪ I’m from Sudbury. I was born and raised here. There’s something
about Sudbury. When you leave, something
draws you back in. And sometimes you need to
get away a little bit to realize what
Sudbury has to offer. It’s a really neat place to
be, and a really neat time to be in this crater. We can make it what
we want it to be. After my grandparents died I
moved back into their home to help my family kind
of sort through all of the leftover stuff. There was a lot of stuff
that needed to be donated or thrown away and
sorted through. But a lot of what was
left over was fabric and books and things that
you can’t really donate. And there was alot of that
left behind, and I kept alot of the books around because
I thought I would like to read them. But there was also these
encyclopedias that I remember when I was a kid having to
do little research papers for school. So flipping through them
again I had that nostalgia. And I wanted to give the
images a new life again. I felt it was a shame for
these beautiful illustrations to be hiding in the dark
in a basement and not see the light of day. I think it’s important to
keep track of where we’ve come from and we’re going. ♪ ♪ While it’s a shame in some
ways to cut up something that may have value or
may have importance or a history to it, I think as
long as what I’m creating tells a new story that’s worth
telling, I don’t feel so bad. I’ve cut up so many books that
I almost look atallbooks as if they’re material
for a collage. ♪ ♪ I hope that my artwork and
my collage work encourages people to just try
to make things. I like collage a lot
because anybody can do it. It’s very accessible. I’d like people to know that
if you’re interested in art at all, or even if you
don’t feel like you have any talent that collage is
probably a good place to start. There’s not much pressure on
the collage-making process. It’s very easy.
It’s very relaxed. I think that’s what I’d like
people to take away from my work is that art can be
playful, it can be accessible, and it doesn’t have
to be so serious. The worst that can happen is
you make a piece of bad art. But even bad art
is worth making. ♪ ♪ Our journey continues in
Calgary where this next artist creates these really
cute and fuzzy animals. They were all made by our
exhibitionist in residence, an artist whose work we’ve
chosen to showcase this week. I’d like you to meet
Dena Seiferling. I’m an illustrator and
fibre artist based out of Calgary, Alberta. I really like to sculpt
and draw animals. And that’s mostly because
I’m inspired by them. I also create characters
with them that people can connect to. Lately I’ve been experimenting
with how animation can help bring life to those
characters even more. I think that the element
of movement really inspires imagination and believability. And the GIFs work really
well on Instagram. ♪ ♪ We’re moving from the animals
that run around in our backyards to the plants that adorn them. You may recognize
this next artist. We visited him a few weeks
back when he showed us his signature insects. Today he’s showing us
his step-by-step process for how to turn the stuff
that’s in your garden into extraordinary works of art. ♪ ♪ My name is Raku Inoue. We’re going to make
insects out of plants. ♪ ♪ Picking the material. You know, it’s always about
finding interesting shapes, interesting colours. And also at the same time, it’s
also about cleaning our garden. So, you know, when you have a
garden you have to trim out some excess branches anyway,
so instead of just throwing them in the compost I will
use them for my arrangements. During summer we have
much more choice. As you can see, pretty much
everything is dead right now. But there’s still beauty
when we look closely. I come back inside. Usually at that time I pour
myself a second coffee. And by drinking the coffee,
I just let my creative thought go. So the goal is to
really be free. I guess, creative freedom
is what I was seeking. ♪ ♪ I usually start with
interesting shapes, so then I will start
selecting, I will start trimming what’s nice
and what’s usable. At that time usually I
have a general direction I want to take. So I usually just pick an
insect or just a basic shape, and I’ll try to fill that
shape up with materials that I just picked. I am making the horn now for my
Japanese rhinoceros beetle. I usually try to do this
without glue, without tape. There we go. And then I’ll just
start adding to it. But like everything
in nature, sometimes it’s
hard to control. So controlling was never
part of this exercise. It was always meant to go
with the flow, I guess. This fits like
a small puzzle. I just try to
find the pieces. This is Ikebana scissors. They’re very useful to
cut any type of branches. Just clean up…
and it’s done. Complete. I make sure it looks nice
from above because when I take the shot, I take the
shot from bird’s-eye view. ♪ ♪ Coming up, an artist whose
photography has a far greater destiny than a gallery wall. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Welcome back. In a typical exhibition,
photographs are printed, framed and hung on a wall. But for Jeff Bierk, he
had a different vision. He wanted his work to live
in the world, not just in the gallery. So he printed his
portraits on blankets and gave those blankets
to his collaborators who have made sure that
his photos turned up in the most
unexpected places. The Back Forty is my home. I’ve been here for twenty
years in the Back Forty. I’ve slept here,
I lived here. I have a home now, but
I’m still back here because it’s my
second home. The Back Forty is like
a secluded parking lot that is behind my apartment. And it’s just this place
that is secluded and relatively private. And so a lot of the work
I make is documentation of things that have happened
in the Back Forty, or it’s about relationships that
were fostered in the Back Forty. ♪ ♪ My name is Jeff Bierk. I’m a photographer
and a human being. For Contact Photography
Festival in Toronto I’m doing a public installation
where I’m making 10 blankets in collaboration with two of
my friends, Jimmy and Carl. It’s taking place in
two neighbourhoods, the neighbourhood that I live
in and the neighbourhood that I work in. It’s a collaboration in the
sense that I’ll be making blankets of my friends. So it’ll be a photograph
printed on a fleece blanket. There’ll be a sort of dance
or exchange where I’ll give the blanket to my friend. We’ll photograph it and
then kind of let it exist in the world and
see what happens. Like this, okay? Okay, leave this hand
like that, yeah. [camera shutter clicking] Yeah, that’s perfect!
Beautiful. ♪ ♪ I was taking a lot of
photographs of people sleeping on the street
without consent. I saw it at the time as
like a kind of evidence of poverty in Toronto that
I thought people needed or should see. At the time I was trying
to articulate my experience of loss and death
and addiction. I was taking pictures
of other people to try to talk about those things and make
sense of those things for me. I got an offer to publish
that work in a book, and I became really, really
uncomfortable with the idea of showing or publishing
this work of people’s faces and images that were
taken without consent. And I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t
publish the work. And so that marked a big
change in the way that I was making photographs. And so when I started to
photograph Jimmy, it was beyond just asking if it was
okay to take a photograph. It was taking a photograph,
showing Jimmy or whoever the image of themselves. You know, letting them know
that I was putting it on Instagram or whatever
kind of Internet platform. If I was printing work for
a show, it would be like a collaborative process
where we would pick the image, the subject or the person
would be comfortable with the image we were using. They would sometimes
help with the title. So there was like a complete
transparency in the way that I was making
the images. I have hundreds and hundreds
of photographs of Jimmy. Jimmy is just the most
beautiful, beautiful person. He is so funny. He’s the most charismatic
person I’ve ever met. You know, that’s why I was
initially drawn to Jimmy. He’s a panhandler, he
washes windows in the Annex, and he’s just hilarious. He’s so funny
and beautiful. ♪ ♪ Hold it up. Check it out, Jimmy. Get a haircut.Youget a haircut. Okay, you’re going to
do this one, Jimmy. Come here. See, take this. I love photography. How long you been
taking pictures? Oh, for a long,
long time. What do you
think of that? I love it. It’s really cool. ♪ ♪ In my opinion, Jimmy
deserves to be honoured in this neighbourhood, this
neighbourhood that he’s been in for such a long time. I’m so grateful that we’re
friends and that we have this nice kind of
like exchange. It’s great. That story made me feel
really good about how art can bring people together. But this next story may be
offensive to some viewers. It’s about a topic that is
incredibly divisive and very controversial. Pineapple on pizza. We teamed up with CBC
Radio’sAs It Happensand animator Hyein Lee
to bring the story of Hawaiian pizza’s
origin to life. And who better to tell
the tale than the creator himself, the
late Mr. Sam Ponopoulous. ♪ ♪Sam: The pineapple come up
over there while we were
working on it.There was a can of pineapples
on the shelf, you know.
We just throw it on.Interviewer: You just
had some around?
Sam: Yeah.We just pass them on top.At first I had a
bite and I like it.
I pass it in to some
customers that didn’t like it
to begin with.But after a while
they were crazy.
Everybody want it.Interviewer: Are there certain
other toppings that go best
with pineapple?Sam: Yeah.Everybody start putting
everything on it.
You can put sardines on it,
you can put salmon in it,
you can put green peppers,
onions, whatever you want
you can put today, and
everybody eats it.
Interviewer: So you agree
because the President of
Iceland also says seafood
is good on pizza.
Sam: Yeah, I think, yeah.But after my
pineapple, tell him.
Interviewer: Your
pineapple’s first.
Short hair, curly hair,
red hair, purple hair. But have you ever
heard of denim hair? That’s coming up next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ We’ve seen artists transform
encyclopedias, turn leaves into insects, and now we
turn our attention to denim. When you’re done with
a pair of jeans what do you do with them? Give them to Goodwill,
throw them in the trash? How about transforming those
high-waisted ‘mom’ jeans into a stylish bob cut? Renée Matthews works with
denim, burlap and other found materials to create
beautiful wigs that remind us there’s no limit to what
you can do with some discarded material and
a little imagination. ♪ ♪ You can change who you
are from, like, one minute to the next. And, like, hair’s the
easiest way to do that. Or make-up or the
way that you dress. But hair’s the most fun. ♪ ♪ My name is Renée Matthews. I am a multidisciplinary
artist. [ripping] Today we are deconstructing a
pair of jeans, piece by piece, to harvest fabric from them. ♪ ♪ My process for deconstruction
is basically just cutting out sections, deciding on
the length that I want, and just pulling
apart piece by piece. This is the most fun part. It’s the most tedious,
but it’s so much fun. When it gets more into the,
like, tiny picking apart that’s alot more headache
inducing, I guess. But still fun. My relationship to
picking has been lifelong, and I didn’t realize that
until maybe a year before I started doing this
I realized that I had been doing it my whole life. Like I’m even doing it now. But, yeah, it’s always been,
I think, just a stress coping mechanism. Like I automatically just
start picking at stuff. It used to be, like,
the bottom of my feet. When I was really young
I would pick at that. And then I think in high
school I was constantly rubbing my forehead. And then recently
it’s been my hands. So doing the denim
deconstruction felt good to kind of put it into,
like, a constructive and creative mode rather than
borderline self harm. Deconstruction opens up
an entire new way of looking at it. You’re not really thinking of
it as, oh, this is something that I could wear in a
completely different way. With the pin I’m just
separating or loosening the weave so that it’s easier
to get a grip on to pull out. Denim forms these strands
and just behaves so similarly to hair, it was
like, this is going to work really well as a wig. Anything that forms into
strands automatically can be manipulated and worked
with the same way as hair. Today we are about to
reconstruct all of the tiny little pieces of
denim that we took apart. ♪ ♪ The construction of the
actual wig itself would take about 26 hours. ♪ ♪ I just like the idea of it
being kind of like an everyday whatever thing
that you don’t think about and being able to make
something great or at least beautiful or
something from what you can just look at as
something that’s kind of ordinary to begin with. ♪ ♪ They’re not obviously
current replacements for wigs, but in a very, like, almost
Jetsons type of way I hope this is the beginning
of thinking about other ways that we can change our
hair and wear our hair and play around
with identity. ♪ ♪ If there’s an artist you
think should be on CBC ArtsExhibitionists,
let us know. Send us a message on Twitter,
Instagram or Facebook. Our handle is: I’ll be back next time
with even more artists, from Pembroke to Sherbrooke. Until then, keep
creating and innovating. But, before I go, I’m
gonna leave you with a time-lapse video of
artist Alexis Eke using Photoshop and Illustrator
to transform regular photographs into extraordinary
futuristic works. You may recognize the
person in her portrait. She has, er, great
hair, and apparently looks really good
in black lipstick. Peace. ♪ ♪

2 thoughts on “Ordinary to Extraordinary: Denim wigs & flowers into insects | Exhibitionists S03E24 Full Episode

  1. Re: Collaging: why not obtain those exact same images from the internet for free? There are LOTS of them – copyright-free. OR-why not photograph the encyclopedia images using your camera instead? That way you preserve and protect the vintage books. They are a heritage that deserved to be respected.

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