From Apr 18, 2012 - 12:00 AM till May 06, 2012 - 11:00 PM at The Fort Gallery
Package Deal at Fort Gallery opens the box on consumer design.
Packaging? It’s stuff we barely glance at before throwing it away: it’s the wrapping around the real goods nestled inside, a nuisance factor in our daily lives that clogs our recycling bins and landfills, a gorgeous distraction concocted by marketers to lure us into the consumerist mindset.
For artists Claire Moore, Jo‐Ann Sheen and Diana Durrand commercial packaging in all its gaudy, upscale, brash and crinkly forms has become the material of art in a show called Package Deal at the Fort Gallery from April 18 to May 6, with a reception April 21 from 3 to 5 p.m.
The three have approached their subject matter from different perspectives, but the unifying theme is to find meaning beyond the obvious – and not so obvious – commercial messaging in the plethora of package designs we are exposed to every day.
Moore bases her works on the interiors of ‘informal settlement shacks’ from the 1980’s and 90’s in her homeland of South Africa. The shacks were often wallpapered with the print run ends from packaging manufacturers. “I became curious about the ability of a label or packaging to elicit emotion, sentiment and memory and to evoke a specific time and place,” she said. “The ubiquitous and everyday becomes significant and meaningful, and in the plethora of visual signs around us we create personal connections.”
Sheen, a printmaker, used a process called collagraphy to re‐contextualize discarded packaging materials so we can stop to look at them in a new way. “I have taken these discarded items and changed their context, examining their materiality in a different form,” she said. “They have been rescued from the recycling bin and transformed into two dimensional images.”
Durrand has unfolded a ubiquitous fast food icon – the Macdonald’s French fry box – and juxtaposed that image with the gorgeous designs of 17th Century Japanese kimonos. “A recurrent theme in my art is the discovery of beauty in ordinary, even discarded things,” she said. “I explore the relationships between design and beauty, function and art, intent and subconscious outcomes.”
Be sure to take in the show. It will help you discover the relationships between packaging and what’s inside.