They share an interest in exploring traditional methods using new materials and innovative approaches. Their individual expressions and explorations overlap in a series of conversations that speak to the specifics of materiality, methodologies, ideas of repurposing and transformation. Their common inspiration is nature, natural materials and contemporary life. As much as they share in approach, they equally diverge in practice. Padrov and Simpson find imagery and resources on the forest floor, while Jenkins finds hers on the floor of her studio. Jones’ altered skateboards and Padrov’s ceramics exhibit the effect of human strength to shape, capture and still energy using pre and post-industrial materials, while in the artful conversation between form and function in Jenkins’ work, form dominates.
“I could no longer resist returning after a sojourn as a cafe owner in Fredericton, to the creative art of weaving. I looked around my studio and saw that what I had a lot of was magazines and so started my exploration of alternative ways of weaving non-textile materials into pieces of art”. I-Chun Jenkins
“Glaze chemistry is a mix of science and magic. “The complexity of materials that come from the earth, like fieldspare, minerals, metal oxides, when mixed in different proportions and exposed to the transformative power of fire, leads to unpredictable results. I have been working with volatile and unpredictable glaze materials trying to achieve lava and lichen like surfaces, or to produce the trompe l’oeil effect of wrought iron or stone”. Maja Padrov
“My work has a traditional wood turning feel, infused with a twist of colour. By removing the original function of the material and repurposing it into a different form, I am transforming energy. While I strip the old skate decks I can see and feel intensity and the history of the board and its skater. It is an extremely challenging material for traditional woodworking techniques”. Steve Jones
“It is my innate interest in the natural world that inspires my work. My baskets, vessels and sculptures arise from a deep curiosity and emergent understanding of my chosen materials.My work varies in style and form but what resonates in all my pieces is the underlying investigation into ways that plant materials can be used to spark interest and insight into the natural world”. Ralph Simpson