August 2011


"Scrag-ends" consists of a series of decaying willow mannequins: twelve were originally made in 1997 for use as display forms in "Fashioning Textiles", a travelling exhibition in celebration of "Canada's Year of Asia Pacific".  In a future blog entry I will write about the history of the pieces.

Three have remained in my possession, silently marking the metamorphic passing of time.  "Scrag-ends" is a derogatory expression used in England and refers to waste or rubbish.  In my work I deal with environmental issues and the juxtaposition of various energy sources created through new uses and recycling of a multitude of diverse materials.  The "Scrag-ends" are made of locally collected willow and recycled metals, clay, and debris found in the area.   

The installation at fieldwork will be in situ for a year, allowing the pieces to start the decay process over the seasons.  I will document and blog about their gradual decay over the fall, winter and spring.  Visit the "Scrag-ends" in person and send me your comments and photos at

Jennifer Ryder-Jones

Lots of New (Re)Seed Photos

fieldwork, (Re)Seed, Susie Osler

Lots of flowers that were 'dispersed' from the (Re)Seed installation (by Susie Osler) at the New Art Festival (Ottawa) have been re-seeded and photos have been coming in.  You can check them all out with descriptions of where they have been put by going to the (Re)Seed Photo Gallery.  New photos will continue to be added as they trickle in so check in every now and again!  And big THANKS  to those who have participated so far!

Fashioning a SCRAGEND

The genesis of the Scragends project goes back a while, 1997 to be precise, with twelve willow mannequins that I made for an international fashion show "Fashioning Textiles" that travelled across Canada for "Canada's Year of Asia Pacific".  All twelve mannequins, fashioned from branches and found objects, were a size 8 and were clothed in the works of various designers. 

Over the years those mannequins moved around with various people and to different places, but my interest in them remained so I began an effort to gather the group back together.  The remains of seven of the mannequins are back in my possession now, some of them having nearly faded away to nothing (a  size 0?).  Collected in my yard, they were awaiting a new life when the concept for the Scragends installation began developing.

The term “Scragends” comes from an English expression for rubbish.  I’ve had a consistent interest in dealing with recycling in my work, and the beauty of repurposing found and natural objects.  The Scragends, like the mannequins, are compiled of various recycled objects – some will disintegrate, and others not.   While the Scragends endure their lifecycle in the elements at fieldwork, I continue to hope that the absent five mannequins can be secured, so that the original twelve will be recycled and reunited once more. 

Jennifer Ryder-Jones

Upcoming Event

fieldwork-karina bergmans-ooh, ah, wow

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo: Karina Bergmans

Playing with words and exploring belonging: new projects at fieldwork, fall 2011

In partnership with the Ottawa-based, Coalition of New Canadians for Arts and Culture (CNCAC) as well as textile artist, Karina Bergmans, fieldwork is thrilled to host a very special day of creativity and fun on Sunday, September 11th, 2011. This is a free, public event and fieldwork welcomes your attendance and participation!

Following last year’s successful G40 Wheels to the Fields Tour, fieldwork has partnered with the CNCAC again. On September 11th, creative artists from around the world, who are now living in the Ottawa area, will come together to create a collective sculptural piece at fieldwork, a rural outdoor art space near Maberly, just west of Perth, Ontario.  The inspiration for the partnership between fieldwork  and the CNCAC has been to create opportunities for a diverse group of Ottawa-based artists to travel to rural Ontario, to explore the fall fieldwork installations, to network amongst each other, to share stories and skills, and to create sculpture.

Maria Gomez Umana, CNCAC Operations, Partners, and Members Director, describes the participatory work, Rooting through Creation, as “a day of collective creation in our search for identity as New Canadians. Led by Zimbabwean artist, Chikonzero Chazunguza, the group will construct several collective sculptures with all natural materials. The making of the sculptures will symbolize the individual and group process we go through as migrants who are working on rooting and thus become part of this land”. The finished pieces of art will remain on the fieldwork site as a record of the artistic experience.

Following the CNCAC’s Rooting Through Creation, (11:00am to 1:00pm) the group will have a pot-luck lunch. Bring your lunch and any natural materials you would like to contribute with for the sculpture. The event will be documented with photos and a short video which will be posted on the CNCAC website.

After lunch, fieldwork is pleased to host the opening of a new fall 2011 installation, OOH, AH, WOW by Karina Bergmans.  As Bergmans explains, “As a multi-disciplinary artist, I work in the mediums of fiber art, sculpture, and installation. I collaborate with the community through performance art and public craft projects. I thrive on redirecting the original purpose of material and recontextualizing it through a conceptual idea. Themes in my work are based on our collective experiences of language, communication, text and word play”.

The sculptures that Bergmans has created for fieldwork have challenged her to create work with hay and tarp materials, and in large scale, for an outdoor fall/winter season installation. In selecting words for this exhibition, Bergmans says,”I considered the palindrome (a word that can be spelled backwards and forwards i.e.: racecar), but I also looked at letters that can be flipped vertically and be the same letter i.e.: U, T, A, O, W, H, M, X, Y, V, because the work will be viewed from front and back. Influenced by graffitti style font and lettering, I chose the words OOH, AH, and WOW because they illicit excitement and isolate the graffiti tagging aesthetic to a bucolic environment”.

Karina Bergmans’ will present a brief discussion of her work followed by the opening from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

Hope to see you out in the field!