In October 2019, I began a collaborative process with Cally Booker, a weaver located in Dundee, Scotland. Through the Dr. Sandra Alfoldy Craft Institute at NSCAD University, five craft artists from Scotland were matched with five craft artists in Nova Scotia were matched and met in Halifax for the kickoff to the SHIFT project.
Cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaboration is the backbone of the SHIFT project between. Central to our exploration are the commonalities between our respective crafts, our personal identities and thoughts on sustainability, and our desire to push our art practices forward. By delving into these, we arrived at adding a third discipline to the project: animation. This third element has allowed us to exchange information in a digital manner and prioritize process over product. Without the disciplinary knowledge of animation, we are forced to navigate the unknown territory together.
As collaborative partners, we, Cally and I are both motivated by questions of identity, community and belonging, coming as we do from families with a history of migration, and having established our own lives through relocation and ‘coming from away’. Our collaboration is centred on applying the new lens of animation to our work, enabling us to take the spatial framework of textile design and use it to explore narratives of identity and transformation in a temporal medium.
Cally Booker, Identity Shift, still.
We decided to repurpose offcuts of high-tech fabrics from a Nova Scotian rainwear manufacturer, Faire Child. Cally cut it into thin strips and integrated it as high loft pile to a woven wool back; the wool was sourced local to Cally near Dundee. These woven fabric is 5 metres in length and is looped and hung from the ceiling in exhibition installation. Hundreds of hours of weaving and tying knots led to her meticulously photographing stills of it to achieve an animation. You can see her final animation, Identity Shift, here.
I used the offcut fragments as wholly as possibly, using multiple shapes that were the same to “frame” moving circles. The circles were applied using a reverse appliqué method. I had 142 fragments in the end, that were photographed to form a stop motion sequence.
Andrea Tsang Jackson, Unknown, animation process.
The physical objects that we produced over the period of the pandemic are on view at the Inverness Museum and Gallery in Inverness, Scotland from April 28 to June 19 2021.
Unknown, by Andrea Tsang Jackson
Artist Statement: How do we approach new entities in our lives? New people, new ideas, new environments? Hesitancy, curiosity, acceptance and/or embracing? Unknown is a child-like representation of how we perceive and approach unknown entities and how we all search for belonging.
The textile fragments are created from remnants from a Nova Scotian rainwear manufacturer, Faire Child, found in multiples as a result of the garment production process. The series of movements are strung together in a stream of consciousness manner.
Cally Booker, Identity Shift.