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the dibble

arctic art pre-sales

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arctic art pre-sales

I’ve been accepted into The Arctic Circle Residency, a three week program on a boat sailing around Svalbard, Norway in October. It’s an exciting opportunity for me, a chance to make art at sea, to be in a very special and rapidly changing part of the world, and to connect with a new network of international artists.

I’ll be working on a multimedia project (combining photographs and audio recordings) while in Norway, and shooting lots of still images to incorporate into that work. Some of these images will also become prints and/or be integrated into mixed media work with encaustic wax, photo transfers, and paint. I can’t know exactly what the imagery will be like, but I’m anticipating subject matter that would include ice and icebergs, ocean, fjords, and perhaps even a polar bear or two. 

In order to help fund the residency, I’m offering pre-sales of original art work that will arise from this adventure. If Arctic-inspired items for your wall sounds appealing (along with a chance to be a patron of the arts), pop on over to my [other] website (clairedibble.com) to weigh the options.

* this photo is from the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina, shot on a solo adventure in 2005.

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from a million flowers

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from a million flowers

This time last year I was getting ready to hang a new collection of work, Honey Honey. Somehow, I didn't manage to learn my lesson about piling art projects on top of what is arguably the busiest part of my year and here I am again, covered in wax and making art. This new series is a close relative of Honey Honey, with many of the same photos and carefully selected words being transferred onto wood and wax. But this time the wax is pigmented with vibrant oil paint, so the collection is alive with color. Rather like a field of flowers, I suppose. This series, From a Million Flowers, will be hanging as part of a group show at the long-beloved Pynelogs Gallery in Invermere for the next two weeks. The opening is Wednesday, September 17 from 7-9pm and I'll be there to mix and mingle with the other artists (and you!).

The title comes care of Ray Bradbury, in the novel Dandelion Wine. “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”

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japanuary

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japanuary

If you need us, we'll be here. Amidst huge birch and deep silent snow. January in Japan is a fine thing indeed.

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honey honey

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honey honey

The project is complete, the show is hanging. At least, the project as defined by the grant proposal is complete. But I've gotta keep going. This was too good, too fun, too fulfilling to close the book just yet. There's more to come on the bee front. Watch out.

For those that want to see (and smell!) the artwork, swing on by the Art Gallery of Golden sometime this month. Here's what you would read on the wall when you got there:

The plight of the honeybee has been the stuff of headlines and news stories in recent years. There is a growing concern that the collapsing colonies of pollinators will have a regrettable impact on food supply and indeed on the human experience. Such a little creature, so easily forgotten and ignored, is garnering some attention at last.

This show is meant as a gentle visual reminder of the importance of bees, of their value over the generations, and of their fascinating ways. For thousands of years the bee has been revered, her honey cherished as food and ointment. Our cultural disconnect from food sources in the last century has put a rift between many of us and the mighty bee, a rift that I hope to diminish by a wing’s width with each viewer of this work.

But in truth, my intentions with the show were not entirely altruistic. The selfish and curious part of me wanted to explore the work of the bees and the work of their keepers, their stewards. I wanted to know more, and I wanted to eat more honey. I wanted to surround myself with their buzz, and when the shooting was done I wanted to surround myself with the smell of their wax. Spending time at my kitchen table with photographs, wood, and wax was a welcome change from hours at the computer, the darkroom of the digital age. In that sense, this project has been an escape and a complete gift. I owe the bees (and CKCA, the funder for this project) no small part of my sanity this summer.

I’ve been taking basic prints of color images, adhering them to wood boards and then coating them with encaustic wax (filtered beeswax mixed with damar resin). For the black and white images, I’m doing image transfers onto layers of golden beeswax on wood. Several of the pieces also have small quotes, phrases, or poems about bees from a wide variety of writers and thinkers.

If you can't make it to see the exhibit in person, check out the full collection of completed work here: Honey Honey. And for the full effect, sniff a beeswax candle while viewing.

A huge thank you to Sigi for letting me tag along, stick a lens in the hives, and ask a lot of questions.

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manitoba

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manitoba

We were prairie-bound last week. Made the trek east to Manitoba for a family reunion in the little town where Mike grew up. I'd never seen the prairies of Canada before, never driven east of Calgary city limits, so it was all new territory for me. Anyone who knows me knows I love new land. Love it. And thusly, I loved Manitoba. Loved watching the weather roll in, the big big skies, the vastness of it all. The reunion was out on an acreage where Mike's cousin hosted a backyard rodeo for the event. We camped in the yard, gathered with charming aunties, wandered amidst the elms, the canola, the sloughs.

The road trip was good, but the time on the road was, well, as exciting as expected.

The horse barn was built out of repurposed utility poles.

I was over the moon to find a Lada Niva parked behind the shed. I first fell in love with this vehicle during a semester of college in Cuba. I'd never seen one in North America, until this lovely little green gem. I think of this as something akin to a VW Golf on steroids and with 4WD. What could be better?

If you've stumbled upon this post precisely because you were at the reunion, and were hoping to see more people in the photos, send me an email and I'll help you find the gallery with the portraits. claire@dibblephotography.com.

After the weekend at the farm, we spent a bit of time in town checking out the old sites. The beach, the schoolyard, the Dairy Isle.

Four square. As it turns out, both Mike and I can't recall anything more exciting and important during recess than four square.

minnedosa-manitoba-05.jpg

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bees, take one

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bees, take one

I went out for my first real look at the hives with Sigi a couple weeks ago. He was just checking up on the girls, I was taking in a new world. I loved it. Even got an inaugural sting on one of the very few bits of exposed skin I had going. Wouldn't have been a good first bee shoot without a little sting.

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