Tuesday, December 25, 2007

From there to here...

The last time I wrote here, I was struggling with producing a show. Now, having produced and exhibited 3 solo shows and been in one group show this year, I needed to decompress. Can Serrat is a residency near El Bruc, around 40 km from Barcelona. It seems to an ideal place to get reaquainted with myself, rest, and get spiritually centred. I feel that next year will be a gargantuan whirlwind of activity, although I have no idea why I say this.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Frumpy Mood

I now remember why I am not a painter. Having to 'waterproof' my work for the show tomorrow is a nightmare. First, the original colour I chose, the colour of Texas cream limestone, I thought, dried differently than the swatch in the store. So back to the store to get marine white.

Just waiting for paint to dry, when a very heavy object fell. One of the pieces mysteriously found its way to the floor. Emergency repair job. Spray some white into the centres, where the brush wouldn't go in the first coat. Now I can't breath in the room - and waiting for the second misting. Still have to measure/design the stands... for the 2 architects coming a 8pm to help me cut wet wood, donated to me by the gallery because- they were going to throw it out anyway.

Very tired - working from 6 or 7 to 22 or 23. And tomorrow I have to cook for the invitees - still don't know how many to cook for. First come - will have a taste... More painting now... Harumph.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Venice Show

Venice Show

23/10/2007 -

Canal – Ebb and Flow, is a sculpture installation at Associazione Culturale Spiazzi by Debora Alanna. The work is about a concept of passage, and the oscillation between waning energy and fluidity in uninterrupted movement of conscious and unconscious thought. Inspired by the wake from the vapporetti, and gondolas on the canals of Venice, the movement of the boats breaking the water‘s stillness, unrelenting, moving forward distorting surfaces; the water remains unchallenged. The canal holds all surface warps and entwining penetrations, and remains an unaffected system, a way to and from somewhere. Coming or going, the surface is thrust into undulating forms. The work is a steadfast concentration on forms that do not fluctuate, that are statuesque, in that they impose stillness upon the viewer, requiring concerted enquiry. There is no geography or architecture to give it reference. This work is about movement, but does not move. It is ceremonious as a meditative offering, discovering form and content, allowing the undulations of ebbs and flows to be still for sustained viewing. The canal is the emotional space that is created by the expectant forms that have optimistically emerged as sculpture. d_alanna@yahoo.caper saperne di più sul lavoro di Debora AlannaGli eventi sono organizzati in collaborazione con il Comune di Venezia – Assessorato alla Produzione Culturale/ Cultura e Spettaco Associazione Culturale Spiazzi Castello 386530122 Venezia infospiazzi@libero.itwww.spiazzi.info Tel. +39 041 5239711

Creating Quality of Being... d_alanna@yahoo.ca

Embellish4art Canal: Ebb and Flow
Exhibition of Sculpture Friday, 26th of October, 2007 6pm
Debora Alanna

Ass.ne Culturale Spiazzi, VeneziaCanal - Ebb and Flow - Canale - Flusso e Riflusso Istallazione dell‘artista canadese Debora Alanna nella corte interna di SpiazziDal 26 Ottobre al 21 Novembre - Vernissage venerdì 26 Ottobre alle 18.30Un’installazione dell’artista canadese Debora Alanna. Il lavoro esplora il concetto di passaggio, e l’oscillazione fra il descrescere dell’energia e la fluidità in un ininterrotto movimento fra pensiero conscio ed inconscio. Tutto prende ispirazione dalla scia che le barche lasciano sui canali veneziani, quel movimento che provoca una “rottura” nell’immobilità dell’acqua, che sposta e distorce la sua superficie; un’acqua che anche se provocata non accetta la sfida. Il canale trattiene tutto l’intreccio simile ad un ordito che vi si specchia mantenendo però la sua pura inalterabilità, una via per e da qualche parte. Da o verso la superficie viene spinta nella direzione delle forme ondulate.Il lavoro è una concentrazione costante di forme non fluttuanti, statuarie, in questo esse svelano a colui che le guarda nella loro immobilità.Non c’è alcun riferimento alla geografia o all’architettura. Questo è un lavoro sul movimento ma non si muove. E’ come se scaturisse da un’offerta cerimoniale, che scopre forma e contenuto e che permette alle ondulazioni del flusso e riflusso di placarsi davanti ad un intenso sguardo. Il canale può considerarsi lo spazio emozionale che si crea dalle speranzose forme che ottimisticamente emergono e diventano scultura.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The reason for this title, besides the obvious geographical reference, is the concept of passage, and the oscillation between waning energy and fluidity in uninterrupted movement of conscious and unconscious thought. The wake from the vapporetti, the movement of the gondolas breaking the water's stillness, unrelenting, moving forward with surfaces changed, but the water remains unchallenged.
The canal contains all penetration, and remains a way to and from somewhere. Coming or going, the surface is thrust with undulating forms. This is where the inspiration for my series here comes from.

But this is more than living in Venice, and observing its functionality. The work demands a steadfast concentration on forms that do not fluctuate, that are statuesque, in that they impose upon the viewer, requiring concentrated evaluation. In the video barrage of contemporary culture, this act of concentrated viewing may be unfamiliar. There are no buildings to give it reference, such as the statues on cathedrals or cherubs on ceilingwork.
This work is about movement, but does not move. It is ceremonious as a meditative offering, discovering form and content, allowing the undulations of ebbs and flows to be still for sustained viewing.



Saturday, September 29, 2007

Italy... Residency

The Venetian light was slow in appearing. Rain soaked bags up and down campos, after a ferry ride to Rialto, lugging heavy luggage up and down stairs, nearly into a canal, up narrow dead-ends and back over cobbled streets, finding 'Planet Bar', a rendezvous for the landlord... finally.

The 10 hours of travel from Casole d'Elsa

with 3 transfers prior to setting foot in this watery city proved to be eventful.

Trains changed platforms of departure continuously - while waiting for one train at #5 - it was changed to #3 and #1 within 15 minutes. One station - Pisa - had elevators. Florence, and the station on the mainland before Venice did not. Kind strangers felt inclined to assist with hoisting the heavy suitcases with me some of the time - up & down stairs, and onto and off trains, sometimes. Being a working artist, and carrying garments for 2-3 season and tools is a daunting journey, especially when there is any distance to be made en route to the destination.

The crisp autumnal air pervades, and sitting with an espresso dopio and vino rosso, there is some solace knowing where my designation is. After a 3 hr. search or the address, I found the gallery/residency/workspace, SPIAZZI.

Situated near Campo San Martino, at the end of a bridge on an estuary of a canal, it is an inauspicious doorway, signified by a fading print of its name on the side of the ancient door. The door number refers to a whole area of the Arsenale district.

Large felt curtains greet the visitor before entering the gallery.

Sitting in a plaza opposite a naval museum, one cannot help wondering if the patio this cafe is situated on was reclaimed from the canal. Porticoes seem eroded by the former waterways. A water taxi passes under a re-articulated bridge made of wood and metal steps, easing to the plaza with rounded stone steps. Cafe dwellers shoe away the birds, which seem to b uninhibited enough to light on tables and would perch on glasses, if allowed. Vegetation is scarce in Venice. A sad tree, some pots of flowers is all that is seen of any natural foliage, and habitation for the flying creatures.

Corroded and encrusted doorways, the smell of stagnation, giant lions and shlepers of boxes, creates, pictures and bags jostle between tourists hoisting cameras and knapsacks.

A parade of people looking upward - onward, staring unabashedly, drinking in history - the marvel that this place exists at all - and I am one of these.

Verrocchio show

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Verrocchio Art Centre - Casole d'Elsa, Italy

Looking through the wisteria aperture to the hills of Tuscany from Casole d'Elsa's Verrocchio Art Centre.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Restless Night

This is a view of what I see as I drive towards my studio. The Vancouver docks are a bustling place, and trains, seagulls, vehicular traffic create the cacophonous night. Sometimes there are people heard, but not to the extent heard in the 'West End', otherwise known as downtown Vancouver. This is an industrial zone, as opposed to a residential and commerical area.

But it is not the sound of the streetscape or dockside that keeps me awake. It is the dread, regret and projection of future confrontation, unresolved issues and deceit - most of all deceit, that keeps me from sleeping.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


When I returned to Vancouver, just 6 weeks ago, sitting on this waterway seemed an appropriate reacquainting act. The restlessness of hands occupied with the tasks of everyday living are not yet finding materials that make this artist functional.
A studio is secured, and is currently housing remnants of other's lives; sorting, discarding and repacking are the daily activities. I can see the floor, now, and am hopeful that by months' end I shall resume my work.
Beginnings and endings. Begin again.
End with a new beginning.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mediteranian Musings

This is a picture of a rumsteak dinner with truffles that I had in the neighbourhood restaurant a few days ago. I thought my
computer 'ate' the photo.

I have a few snaps of scenic jaunts around where my residency takes place I thought I would share.

To the left is a close-up of a cork tree. As I have been consuming wine with the stoppers primarily made from this tree, it seems appropriate to include this picture, taken en route to a quest for sculpture materials and tools. The harvesting of the cork bark may or may not be bad for the tree. I broke off a piece, as a memento - I doubt the tree will miss the bit I would like to bring back with me. Maybe customs will prevent that?

Departing from the harbour at Cannes...

A passenger on the boat to the L'isle de Lerins...

On the edge of the Mediterranean Sea... off the L'isle de Lerins

A few picture of the Fort Royal - Saint Marguerite...

En route to the rampart...

A view of Cannes from the gun-hold...


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Raku my World

Inserting ceramics
Creating fire bed

Ceramics ready for the fire

Firing up the bed

Water cooled ceramic
Removing burnt sawdust

This is was Raku day...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A.I.R. Vallauris - The beginning of the residency

Seems like another world has embraced me - a time where plagues were rampant, Napoleon landed, a time where tampanade and truffles are ordinary fare. Only the olive spread and dark aromatic culinary delight are the norm, as is the well-worn architecture.
A labyrinth-like geography, this town has four corners, a plaza on each. Cloistered in one of the towering houses, I share an Ikea furnished living space with two other artists, one American, another Irish. We each have a separate studio, and mine is shown above (exterior). I have only visited my converted donkey stable, and wonder what kind of work will be produced in this stone chamber.
Extreme sensory perceptions are rampant as I walk up the cobbled, steep hill to the place where I can concentrate on sculpture again. The heavy stones calm me from my mysterious angst. History presses on this West Coast inhabitant. I need to dig deep into my ancestral past to find the sculpture within me.