MATERIAL MEMORIES

A Special Gallery Exhibition Featuring
Internationally Acclaimed Contemporary Artists,
Kim Henigman Bruce & Naoko Morisawa
March 2 – April 2, 2017
Opening First Thursday, March 2, 2017 6:00-8:30 pm

MATERIAL MEMORIES explores personal and cultural memory, metaphor, and mission, through work created in simple, ancient materials – beeswax (Kim Henigman Bruce) and wood or paper (Naoko Morisawa) – made relevant to a contemporary era. Both artists draw from their personal lives and their respective cultural history – Henigman Bruce is from Calgary, Canada and Morisawa, raised in Yokohama, Japan, currently resides in Seattle, WA.
Both women are highly skilled, independent artists from two distinctively different cultures and backgrounds, who share a common practice of art as a transcendent force for consciousness, social progress, and our common humanity.

Kim Henigman Bruce grew up in Calgary, Alberta, where she currently resides and received her arts education at The Alberta College of Art and Design and The University of Calgary. Her mother’s love of books was an early influence, and they’ve played a critical role as the key unifying object in her sculpture’s narratives. Books became a metaphor for knowledge; a message she’s honed well over many years as a professional artist with numerous international exhibitions. Her work speaks predominantly to girls and women; often from cultures in which women have no choices other than those pre-determined by the culture’s tradition. “Knowledge is power and knowledge is empowering. There’s choice. When there is no alternative there is no choice.” (www.kimbruce.ca) *Ms. Bruce has elected not to attend the show’s opening in protest of this administration’s still-pending travel ban. The gallery stands with our artist and supports her decision without reservation. Her statement can be found here: http://kimbruce.ca/finding-my-conviction/

Naoko Morisawa, born in Tokyo, raised in Yokohama, Japan, and now residing in Seattle, received her BA in Design and Ceramics from Tama Art University, Tokyo. Her wood mosaics are contemporary updates of the traditional art of Japanese wood mosaic, yosegi, popular in Japan’s Edo Period (1615-1868). Drawing inspiration from this ancient cultural history, her hand-crafted mosaics – meticulously composed of hand cut wood and/or paper, and stained in brilliant, complimentary hues – reflect the spirit of Edo Japonism; Noh and Kabuki theatre; ukiyo-e; the traditions of Kimono design; and reverence for nature; as well as more personal, whimsical subjects. Morisawa, who also taught art in Tokyo and Yokohama, has created several public, site-specific installations throughout the Puget Sound region, has been featured in numerous juried national and international gallery exhibitions, won dozens of awards and honors, and was selected for The Dublin Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Dublin, Ireland. Immediately following the opening of “Material Memories”, she leaves for Texas where she’s included in the Women’s Invitational Exhibition 2017, at The Eisemann Center of Performing and Visual Arts in Richardson, TX. (www.naokomorisawa.com)

HENIGMAN BRUCE – JUSTICE, Encaustic, fabric, book pages & string, 16.5″h x 4.25″w x 4.5″d

NAOKO MORISAWA ENERGY VII – ENLIVENED, UNITED (2017) 40″ x 30″ Mosaic Collage – Oil Stained Wood & Paper, Acrylic, Oil, Washi on Board


FREDERICK HOLMES AND COMPANY
GALLERY OF MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART
309 OCCIDENTAL AVENUE SOUTH
SEATTLE, WA 98104
(206) 682-0166
WWW.FREDERICKHOLMESANDCOMPANY.COM

Finding My Conviction (Canadian artist refuses to attend her show in USA)

I light of current political events in the USA that are deeply affecting the entire world, I have the following statement regarding my upcoming show in the USA.

From my artist statement…
My work is full of visual puns, double entendre, symbolism and satire. It references the dichotomy of my early life expectations to conform to a traditional woman’s role, when in fact, reality for me, was the need to be self-sufficient and support myself as an entrepreneur and business owner. These contradictions allow me to expose my private self through veiled metaphor creating objects significant beyond function. The underlying message – the essence of my work – speaks to the roles and rights of girls and women.

Keeper of the Faith, Encaustic, copper pot scrubber, glass vials, book pages & string, 23″h x 4.25″w x 5″d

My work has meaning. It’s about choice. It’s about girls, and boys too, but mostly girls, who, due to tradition or religion, don’t get to choose. They are married off as soon as they hit puberty and often left to fend for themselves and their children because of war, strife or circumstance.

Gender inequality exists. It exists in Canada, the USA, throughout the western world, but is most prevalent in developing nations. I want to bring awareness to the importance of education and the role it has in shaping future generations. If girls are educated and given choices, they can influence the world.


I’d like to share a few stats with you. Plan Canada and its subsidiary Because I am a Girl states that…

1. For every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 10 to 20%
2. A girl in the developing world receiving 7 years of education marries 4 years later on average and has fewer, yet healthier, children
3. If all women completed primary education, there would be 66% fewer maternal deaths

Knowledge is power and knowledge is empowering. There’s choice. When there is no alternative there is no choice.


Why am I telling you all this? Because I am part of a 2 person show opening at Frederick Holmes in Seattle on March 3. It means I get to take my white privilege and cross the border into the United States from Canada. I have a Canadian passport, so I should be able to travel unhindered.

EXCEPT, how in good conscious can I travel unhindered when the rights the very people my work speaks to are being detained and turned back?

An incident on Feb 4 had a Canadian woman turned away from U.S. border after questions about religion. She was turned back because she’s muslim. We were told that if you had a Canadian passport there would be no problem crossing the border. They forgot to say you also had to be white, and show no outward signs of your ethnicity.

I could go to the opening and speak about education for girls to a handful of people who already know how important it is. Or I can take this stand and just say NO, it’s not right.

I know, little ol’ me, who is going to notice. Simple. I am going to notice and it is me that I have to live with.

I am very grateful for the support from Frederick Holmes on my boycott of my own show. He works tirelessly for his artists and will be my standin.

Here is Fred’s statement:

 “As her gallery dealer the last few years, and one who has come to know Kim Bruce’s passionate dedication to the mission of her work – as well as an American citizen concerned about the marginalization of people by gender, faith, or race – I support her decision absolutely and without reservation. Her presence at the opening will be missed but her work will speak for her.” – Frederick R. Holmes

As individuals, as artists, as Canadians, as citizens of the world, we must find our conviction.

My conviction says NO, we must stand united.

Further reading:
22 refugees entered Manitoba near Emerson border over the weekend

5th Canadian reports being denied entry to U.S. after questions about Moroccan roots, Muslim faith

Pre-clearance bill would give U.S. border agents in Canada new powers

All my Ancestors were Immigrants.

All my ancestors were immigrants. In fact I would not exist if they had not immigrated. My grandmother would not have met my grandfather here in Canada if she stay in the Ukraine. 

Simple as that.

Kim Henigman Bruce - Merged

“Merged”  now resides in the home of a judge.

I have always been proud that my mom’s mom (featured in this portrait) came to Canada alone when she was 26 and could not speak any english.

I often wondered why at 26 she was not married and what if anything happened that made her make such a journey. But we did not ask those questions growing up, it just wasn’t done.

My grandfather on my mom’s side immigrated from the Ukraine as well. They met in Drumheller where my mom and uncle were born and raised. It’s one of the reasons I was happy to have had the show “How I Got Here” at the Western GM Drumheller Gallery. I think my grandma would have been proud.

I think of this image of my grandmother today because I used her passport photo to create the piece. This piece was purchased a couple of years ago by a judge, which I find ironic considering the current ban on immigration put in place by the Trump administration in the USA. 

 

 

 

Transformation: An Exhibition of Altered Books

Exhibition: September 14 – November 27

Meet the Curators, Judy Daley and Supria Karmakar – September 18th, 2:30 p.m.

Kim Bruce - It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village, Encaustic, false hair, silk ribbon, hand made clay beads on a book, 11″h x 15″w x 2″d overall

When is a book not a book? When it’s been transformed into a one-of-a kind work of art! This fascinating artform dates to medieval times and artists of today are reinventing it to create thought-provoking works of book sculpture. This exhibition features over 50 artists from Canada, the US and Europe. Transformation has been generously supported by Dale and Dave Cox.

Helson Gallery, Halton Hills Cultural Centre
9 Church Street, Halton Hills, ON. L7G 2A3

The Helson Gallery is open Weds – Sun: 1 – 5 pm; Thurs 1 – 8:30 pm

For further information please contact: Judy Daley, Helson Gallery Curator 905.877.7915 x 2536

Transformation Invitation - Helson Gallery (1)_001 Transformation Invitation - Helson Gallery (1)_002

installation-kim-bruce-halton-hills-1 installation-kim-bruce-halton-hills-2

This is Not a Book – Chapter 2

henigman-bruce-this-is-not-a-book-san-jose

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
Focus Gallery
560 South First Street San Jose, CA
Jun. 5 – Sep. 11, 2016

In collaboration with Seager Gray Gallery, the ICA will present This is Not a Book: Chapter 2 in the Focus Gallery.

For the past decade, Seager Gray has taken the lead in presenting art related to books and recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of their now widely acclaimed Art of the Book exhibition, which takes place each May at the Mill Valley gallery. The ICA’s presentation culls from that rich history and continues where the ICA’s 2001 exhibition This is Not A Book left off. The current exhibition is curated by Donna Seager.

The typical anatomy of a printed book is text and/or images on paper, bounded by glue or sewn together. On the interior pages, authors write stories and information about places, memories, facts, and images, and on the exterior, a cover details the title of the book, name of the author, and often offers a teaser summary. In This is Not a Book: Chapter 2, 28 artists expand on the very essence of a book. The ubiquitous objects on the shelves of our homes or libraries have been astonishingly altered into wondrous sculptures. One might still discern the materiality of the pages and the characteristics of the covers. However, they are now transfigured into inventive forms, from intimate, finely carved objects to large-scale installations to glowing cubes. With curiosity, whit, and play, artists in This is Not a Book: Chapter 2 create sculptural objects that question our assumptions about book design, the future of the book, and our relationship to these ordinary, but important and cherished publications.

View all artist images

henigman-bruce-this-is-not-a-book-catalog

My page from the catalog.

View the catalog

The Art of the Book

kim-henigman-bruce-art-of-the-book-seager-gray

The Art of the Book

Seager Gray Gallery presents the 11th annual Art of the Book.

An exhibition of book-related material including fine press, hand made and altered
books featuring new works by gallery favorites as well as some exciting discoveries.

May 3 – June 5, 2016
Reception for the artists:
Saturday, May 14, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Artists included in the exhibition are Jody Alexander, Islam Aly, Alice Austin, Ken Botnick, Sarah Brown, Kim Henigman Bruce, Inge Bruggeman, Valérie Buess, Julie Chen, Marie Dern and Danielle Giudici Wallis, Alisa Golden, Andrew Hayes, Helen Hiebert, Meg Hitchcock, Charles Hobson, Lisa Kokin, Jacqueline Rush Lee, Emma Lloyd, Suzanne Long, Sharon McCartney, Emily Payne, Maria Porges, Kazuko Watanabe, Beata Wehr and Barbara Wildenboer.

Kim Henigman Bruce, what’s with the name change?

kim-henigman-bruceSince 1979 I have been known as Kim Bruce. But in 1979 we didn’t have the internet and Facebook, Twitter and all those other social media sites that have made the world seem very small indeed.

I always thought Kim was a unique name. There was only one other Kim in my class at grade school and she was a Kimberly. Me, I am a straight up KIM. Short for nothing and sweet to boot.

I have gone by Kim my entire life but my real first name is Sharon (there you have it, my secrets out). Why, you ask, did my parents not name me Kim Sharon rather than Sharon Kim? Because Sharon Kim rolls off the tongue better than Kim Sharon. Huh? Yup. The only problem, after almost 60 years on this planet, is that I am still waiting for someone to call Sharon Kim out loud. No one ever has. I do get called Sharon officially by the gov, banks and other institutions because Sharon is my legal first name and appears on my official docs that way. Thanks for a really cool second name though, mom and dad.

So that’s the goods on my first name. Now for the real reason I’m writing.

For those of you that know me, the noticeable addition to my name is Henigman. Which is my maiden name and it’s not really all that common. It is Austrian in origin. I’m not really sure what it means but I imagine that my ancestors were hen and egg men. Makes sense, right?

Bruce on the other hand is right up there with the Smith and Jones’s. Well maybe not but there’s enough of us. It’s also weird having two first names. I very rarely remember having to spell Henigman but Bruce, very single time. I think because it’s too obvious and people think they heard it wrong. Then there’s the reaction of some when I answer the phone and they say they thought I was male and were expecting an Asian accent. It has happened, more than once. Kim is a very common last name in Korea and they put their last name first.

When you Google Kim Bruce, the search engine returns are all about Kim Kardashian, Bruce Willis, Bruce Jenner and Bruce Lee. I come up too, somewhere. If you add “artist” or “sculpture” that gets me to the top.

So those are all the strange things about my name but the main reason for the change is that there are, to my knowledge, 4 other Kim Bruce’s that are also artists.

There’s are couple of potters, an equine artist and an abstract artist. Kimberley Bruce the abstract artist is also a client of mine at Artbiz.ca.

I thought it prudent to add the Henigman to help identify myself. It is becoming more important now, since I have more gallery representation and am getting into a few more shows, a couple of them solo.

As an artist my name is my brand, but more than that it’s what I will be remember by. At Artbiz I give pointers on how to select a good domain name and the first question I ask is “How do you want to be remembered by art history?” Well, if I ever get lucky enough to be written about in art history, I would really like it if my name was unique only to me. So I am taking my own advise and adding the Henigman. Kim Henigman Bruce has a ring to it don’t you think?

I am not going to bother changing it legally. From what I understand, as long as I use it consistently it will be acknowledged. Of course anything legal will still be Sharon Bruce.

Over the next few months I will be transitioning this site over to HenigmanBruce.com. But I will always keep KimBruce.ca because it has good rankings (sorry to disappoint you other Kim Bruce’s). Oh, BTW, KimBruce.com is a male realtor in the USA.

 

Disbound – Education for Girls

Exhibition Notes: Disbound – Education for Girls
April 21 – May 27, 2016
Harcourt House
3rd Floor, 10215 – 112 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 1M7
Phone: 780.426.4180


Books have always played a role in my life. My mom, an avid reader, passed on her love of books to me. When I touch a book and I am conscious of a world that exists only within those pages. A self contained world whose influence is in how I interpret the words. Everything we are and everything we know about the world is contained in a book somewhere. Books are precious.

I do not consider myself to be a “book artist” in the true sense. I do not create books. I am a sculptor that disassembles, deconstructs books and marries them with found objects. I play with puns, double entendre, symbolism and satire and there are so many when it comes to books. For example, the work in Jackets. Books have jackets just as jackets are articles of clothing for us. Some of the pieces where created to emulate “jackets”. Clothing is a reflection of who we are and books help shape who we are.

My statements are subjective and have open-ended interpretation. I want the viewer to be able to bring their own experiences to the work. I want you to find meaning in my work that is significance only to you. In that way the work becomes yours, personal and intimate.

Kim Bruce- Zero- Encaustic, mixed media, 8.5"w x 7"h x 2"dThe first in my series dealing with books was called Open Book. The work was created with wood where I emulated an open book with focus on the central spine. A strong vertical line is prevalent in a lot of my work and has to do with having strength – backbone. In essence strength of character.

As the work progressed it took a turn and has to do with my process. I work intuitively, spontaneously, totally in the moment without much of a plan. I don’t use a sketchbook to record or work out ideas. I let the work, work itself out. Some take longer than others to find their voice, some never do, others can’t keep their mouth shut. It is through this process of intentional intuitiveness that I realized I was starting to seal the books shut, closing them off, making them inaccessible, unable to open. That was when I realized what the work was truly about.

Kim Bruce - KnowledgeI was using books as my canvas because books are knowledge and knowledge empowers. I looked for a book term to describe what I was doing. I chose Disbound.

DisBound is an exhibition about education for girls. It’s about choice. It’s about girls, and boys too, but mostly girls, who, due to tradition or religion, don’t get to choose. They are married off as soon as they hit puberty and often left to fend for themselves and their children because of war, strife or circumstance.

Gender inequality exists. It exists in Canada, the USA, throughout the western world, but is most prevalent in developing nations. I want to bring awareness to the importance of education and the role it has in shaping future generations. If girls are educated and given choices, they can influence the world.

DisBound is a bookbinding term that means to remove the book pages from its bindings; I use it as a metaphor for removing girls from the bonds of tradition so they can get an education. Disbound should not be confused with unbound, which, is a bookbinding term used to describe pages that were never bound to begin with.

As with all my work, this series of books, references the dichotomy of my early life expectations to conform to a traditional woman’s role, when in fact, a reality for me, was the need to be self-sufficient and support myself as an entrepreneur and business owner. These contradictions allow me to expose my private self through veiled metaphor, creating objects significant beyond function. The under-laying message – the essence of my work – speaks to the roles and rights of girls and women.

I truly hope you will find meaning in the work.

Materials Matter

I am so honoured to be included in my first group show at Seager Gray Gallery. The exhibition is called “Materials Matter”. Donna did a really nice write up about my work and all the artists in the catalogue

The show runs January 30 – February 28, 2016
Reception for the artists:
Saturday, February 6, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Wish I could be there, but if you’re in the San Francisco area maybe you’ll drop in.

Material Matters, Seager Gray Gallery, 2016 – Written by Donna Seager
Material Matters, the third annual exhibition exploring artists and their media is being presented at Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley. The exhibition includes works by 16 artists working in cut paper, glass, weaving, clay, polymer, found photos, paint, salvaged steel, casein, charcoal, wood, altered book, steel, thread, cast lead crystal, and video.

kim-bruce-materials-matter-catalogue

Click to enlarge text

The artists included are Lucrezia Bieler, Joe Brubaker, Kim Bruce, Squeak Carnwath, Lia Cook, Stephen Paul Day, Ellen George, Andrew Hayes, Margaret Keelan, Lisa Kokin, Ted Larsen, Sibylle Peretti, Alexander Rohrig, Jane Rosen, Tim Tate and Barbara Wildenboer.

How I Got Here

Exhibition Notes: How I Got Here
January 5 – 28, 2016
Western GM Drumheller Gallery
80 Veterans Way
Drumheller, AB
Phone 403-823-1371

It was very exciting to be offered the Drumheller Library Gallery to exhibit book sculptures from my Disbound proposal. Working with books has found a home with me and to be able to exhibit them in a library setting is extra special. The gallery is a beautiful space but the hanging system wouldn’t work to show my wall mounted book sculptures. So rather than forego the opportunity to exhibit, Janet, the library representative, worked with me to come up with alternative work that was compatible with the hanging system.

We all go through life in a progressive way, one step leading to another. This progression is very true for an art practice. One thing always leads to another, we learn and apply and move forward. Looking back on my work from the last 15 years I started to see how I got here, and it occurred to me that perhaps a retrospective was in order.

Having this exhibit in Drumheller is particularly fitting and special because Drumheller is where my grandmother and grandfather, who immigrated separately, met and settled. It’s also where my mom and uncle were born and raised. When my grandfather died of black lung from working in the coal mine in Newcastle, my grandmother moved the family to Calgary.

Woman's Work, 2010 Encaustic, false Hair on board 20" x 30" (22.75" x 32.75" Framed)

Woman’s Work, 2010
Encaustic, false Hair on board
20″ x 30″ (22.75″ x 32.75″ Framed)

They say all art is autobiographical and on some level I find the work I’m presenting here to be almost overtly self referential.  Starting with Family of Four which is a portrait of my maternal grandmother and then my mom in Being Thirteen. I comment on my exposure to religion in Class of 64, Saves 9, and Pegged. My experiences with being an entrepreneur since the 80’s is reflected in Glass Ceiling and Woman’s Work. And I make comments on the traditional roles of women in What Became and Casting the Net.

Even though this work reflects my life it also speaks to and for others who have shared similar experiences. That is what I believe is important about art; it’s a voice that conveys a message that not only helps people to feel that they are not alone, but one that speaks for those that have no voice. I am drawn to subjective statements and open-ended interpretation which allows others to bring their own experiences to my artwork.

Just Me, encaustic medium, just and found object on a book, 5.5" x 4" x 5.25" © Kim Bruce

Just Me, encaustic medium, just and found object on a book, 5.5″ x 4″ x 5.25″ © Kim Bruce

Understanding my past has enabled me to follow my voice to my current work with books. I use books as my canvas because books are knowledge and knowledge empowers. My books are unbound and immersed in hot beeswax. In this state I am able to distort and manipulate the shapes and seal the books shut. This closing off of the books is symbolic of education being denied to girls, and boys too, but mostly girls.

On a whole my work is full of visual puns, double entendre, symbolism and satire. It references the dichotomy of my early life expectations to conform to a traditional woman’s role, when in fact, reality for me, was the need to be self-sufficient and support myself as an entrepreneur and business owner. These contradictions allow me to expose my private self through veiled metaphor creating objects significant beyond function. The underlying message – the essence of my work – speaks to the roles and rights of girls and women.