The Bomford’s tap into their Inner Child at Family Sunday

Every third Sunday from October to June, the Gallery’s Family Sunday Program welcomes guest artists and promotes a hands-on introduction to art.  On November 20, the event was inspired by the collaborative work of Vancouver Island based artists Jim, Nathan and Cedric Bomford.

In conjunction with It’s in the Making exhibition, the Bomford family made a rare Gallery appearance with their children to celebrate their installation piece, The Best Laid Plans, and facilitate activities with participating families.  The Best Laid Plans challenges ideas about space and structure, and was a huge success with the younger crowd who explored the interactive piece with delight.

There was also an array of exhibition-inspired activities that encouraged families to transform everyday objects into new things by using collage, tissue transfer painting, weaving and sculpture.  A ‘construction’ station was set up where kids were provided with wooden blocks, cardboard and tape to create their own ‘installation’ work.

While the Spencer Mansion was a riot of tissue paper, cardboard, tape, leaves and glue, the labyrinth of the Bomfords’ installation called youngsters back to the Founders Gallery.  The structure acted as a pathway to discover other dynamic works from It’s in the Making exhibition. Vibrant mixed media works by Angela Teng and Jess Willa Wheaton hang within the walls of the structure while Nicholas Galanin’s thought-provoking and ethereal installation Imaginary Indian floats on the wall to the entrance of the exhibition.

The Best Laid Plans not only invites interaction but was expressly built with that purpose in mind. Pieces of the installation are moveable, a small door has been created to go under the stairs and the loft is easily reached by a ladder.  No less than six children piled into the loft, squealing with joy – this piece was the ‘mother of all forts’ on Family Sunday!

When asked earlier in the month about the safety of the installation, Cedric Bomford responded: “Everything we build is up to code for any anxious parents”.  Good thing too, as participants were uninhibited while interacting with the piece and it was fascinating to watch the typically quiet Gallery space turn into a play area for families. The liberties that the children took with discovering the piece also prompted the adults to take a second look and discover something for themselves (like a hidden stash of empty cans and bottles inside the lower ‘shack’).  It was inspiring to watch adults tapping into their inner child – especially the Bomfords who enjoyed revisiting their work in this capacity.

Images featured in photographs above:

Jim, Nathan and Cedric Bomford, The Best Laid Plans (installation view), wood, salvaged material, building wrap, 2016.

Angela Teng, Golden Boy (installation view), crocheted acrylic paint on aluminum panel, 50.8″cm x 40.65″cm, 2015.

It’s in the Making exhibition features artists who use the act of making as a process of thinking. They investigate relationships between ideas, materials and things. They take familiar materials and ways of making things and present us with new kinds of objects. Whether it is crocheting with paint, building structures that de-stabilize our preconceptions of space, or transforming found images to create a new idea through collage, these artists challenge set ideas of how things should be.

It’s in the Making | October 29 2016 – February 12 2017 | Curated by Haema Sivanesan and Nicole Stanbridge | Founders and Drury Galleries

Click here to learn more about Family Sunday.