When I was asked to participate in a collaborative exhibit called “Star Searching” I racked my brain trying to come up with some ideas that would fit in with the solar system and space and still have fun with my medium and my style of figurative sculpture. I decided a little Sci-Fi and a little Steampunk would compliment the theme. What is Steampunk? According to Wikipedia it is a sub-genre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. But it’s more than that – it’s romance, fantasy and day dreams. It mixes old and new, fusing modern technology with the Victorian age.
It has reignited a love of “old fashioned” materials: brass and copper, wood, glass, mechanical workings, ornate engraving. The look has also influenced street fashion. Steampunk clothing typically adds the ‘best’ looks of the Victorian era to today’s most relevant street styles. I have to admit, I have a few pieces in my wardrobe that are definitely Steampunk influenced. The costume aspect of Steampunk is definitely an important part of the characters I’ve created for this current exhibit. “The Time Traveller’s Wife” incorporates a lot of these elements from leather corsets and frilly lace, burlesque style stockings and boots, and a pinch of goth, pirates and vampires.
There are five steampunk pieces in the Star Searching exhibit where they are interacting with Chris Banfalvi’s metal solar system and time travel vessels. You can see them in person at the Orange Art Gallery at 290 City Centre Drive in Ottawa from January 10-27th. Opening night is Thursday, January 10th. The work will also be available online through the gallery website at http://www.orangeartgallery.ca