New Video: News Clip

New video uploaded: Giant Pods Discovered in Fish Creek Park!

This is a short segment of Morphopodia: A Strange New World in Our Own Back Yard.

Morphopodia Screening Tomorrow!!

Just a reminder that if you want to see the finished version of the film, it will be playing tomorrow, Friday, September 16th, at 7:00 at the Plaza Theatre in Kensington, as part of Resonant Frequencies, Emmedia’s 2011 Production Access Screening.

Unfortunately, I won’t be there, as I am currently doing the Gushul Residency in the Crowsnest Pass (which is pretty AWESOME), and don’t have a vehicle, so…. I’m staying here.  If you do happen to go to the screening, please let me know how it went!  I’m sorry I’m going to miss it!

Here is a short clip of the film (which I believe I have posted before…). Enjoy!

Foraminifera from Jennifer Akkermans on Vimeo.

The Official Screening: Resonant Frequencies!

The Official Screening for EMMEDIA‘s Production Access Program Participants will be Friday, September 16th, at 7:00 at the Plaza Theatre in Kensington!

My film, Morphopodia: A Strange New World in Our Own Back Yard, will be showing, along with work from the other participants, including Rosanna Terracciano, Aran Wilkinson-Blanc, Laura Wayne, Teresa Tam, and Bogdan Cheta.

While the Gushul Residency is an amazing opportunity (and so far, an amazing experience), I am sad that I won’t get to see my film at the Plaza.  THAT would also be an amazing experience.

The event is FREE, and, from what I’ve seen of the other participants work, there will be a wide and wonderful range of work to be seen.  I wish I could go…

The Film is FINISHED!

Morphopodia: A Strange New World in Our Own Back Yard is FINISHED!  There are only a couple of little things that need to be done (as in, getting and adding logos from funders from EMMEDIA) and it is completely done!  At 18 minutes and 24 seconds, the thing is huge!  It was definitely a major undertaking, and I have realized that there is, in fact, a medium that is slower than textiles.  (I love fibre, but sometimes I wish it was a little more efficient.) Film is even less efficient….. 4 months of work to get 18 minutes of film.

But, overall, it is what I wanted, and I think it looks good for my first film.  There are definitely areas where I know my skill is not up to where I’d like it to be, but, over all, a success.  See what I mean below…

Anyway, here’s a clip!  In the finished film, there’s clips on most of the Morphoids, poop, bones, and eggs, eye witness accounts, and an interview with myself.  There’s only a couple things I didn’t get to do that I wished I could have… a Morphoid Petting Zoo, and the “Eggs” clip would have been better with the easter egg hunt footage, because as we all know, the Morphoids lay their eggs around Easter, and depend on small children mistaking the eggs for Easter eggs in order to migrate.  Anyway, Foraminifera.

Just in time, too…. I leave for Gushul in less than a week! Lots to do, lots to do!

Working in the studio…. eggs, poop and bones!

So I’ve been making props, both for animation, and for content for the IMR.  Some of these are things that I haven’t totally decided what I’m doing with them exactly, but I’m learning that that’s the way my practice is working lately.  I seem to work really intuitively, and then re-evaluate, add and subtract, and pinpoint things later on.  I didn’t use to work this way, but maybe…. that’s my process maturing?

Anyway, here we have:

A giant paper-mache “egg” which I have since painted teal, and intend to use to animate something hatching from.

Morphoid poop and bones, made of Apoxie Sculpt.

Eggs (which I still plan to paint), and some paper-mache bone trials.  I don’t think I’ll be using these- they are not delicate enough for what I am intending.

There you have it.  Some more experimental work…. to see what might possibly do what I need it to.



Photo by Jeff Chan
Panel information.  There is a skin sample on the actual panel.

This is my work in the ACAD’s Grad Show.  I dressed up in my lab coat and name tag, and talked to people about the Institute of Morphoid Research, and handed out my informational brochures.  (Barb said her sister was confused, because she had never seen creatures like these where she lives in British Columbia.  Point illustrated!)

Coming Up Next…. An exhibition of contemporary fine craft by emerging artists.

I’m in an exhibition!  The Alberta Craft Council has been hosting this show for at least the last few years, and this year, when I was finally eligible to apply, I got in!  I’m sending them three morphoids, Sepal (on the postcard!), Pteropod and Scarabaeidae.  And they’ve requested IMR brochures!
Coming Up Next….

An exhibition of contemporary fine craft by emerging artists.

About the Exhibition:
“Coming Up Next explores how Alberta’s next generation of fine craft artists will be shaping the future of the craft scene in Alberta and beyond. This juried exhibition is organized by the Alberta Craft Council and features the work of emerging fine craft artists who are within the first five years of their career or in the final year of their formal education. Spring is a time to celebrate all that is new and Coming Up Next has become a customer and gallery attendee favourite to find contemporary fine craft with fresh new designs in clay, fibre, metal and other craft media. If you want to see a range of promising new talents come and visit the Alberta Craft Council Discovery Gallery, 10186 – 106 Street, Edmonton.”

My fellow artists include: Alysse Bowd, Kaitlyn Brennan, Jane Durham, Brenda Philp, John Smith-Jones, Jenna Turner, Melissa Wong (Fibre 2011!) & Michael Yung (Fibre 2010).

The exhibition runs May 28 – July 9, 2011.  Opening Reception: Saturday May 28 from 2-4pm.  Wish I could go.

IMR Brochure

So things have been a little (crazy!) busy for me lately, with this being the end of my graduating semester.  I feel like I’ve made a great breakthrough in my work, and it’s really exciting for me right now, but I’ve needed to finish what I’ve promised I would finish.  But now that most of that’s done, except finishing up (as in “responding and reworking”) my grad piece, I can start on some of the other things I want to do.  (Well, soon, after I hopefully find a job so I can pay my rent, and you know, live.)

Anyway, here’s some work on the IMR…. I’ve gotten these brochures professionally printed, and will be handing them out at the grad show.  It’s like my whole portfolio in one neat little package.

I’ve also been working on the IMR website a little, although there is still a lot to do there yet.

Nudibranchia/ A breakthrough

So this year, as in the last few months or so, I’ve felt like I was having a bit of an artistic crisis.  While I was enjoying my work, I didn’t really know what exactly I was trying to do, or why.  I was trying to make my work about a really heavy topic (genetic engineering and the meddling of man), but my work is more…. light and a little bit funny.  I was told my artist statement didn’t match my work, which, in hindsight, I agree with. 

So I felt a little lost.   I kept making work, and continued to play with work I had already made (in my Stride exhibition, as well as other places), and there was no slowing of the ideas there.  But how do I formulate it?  Talk about it?  What exactly was I trying to do?

I spent time with the Morphoids, studied them.  I photographed them in nature, in my house, had other people photograph them in their houses.  I was concerned about display (all on the floor?) and how to present my work to get what I wanted across.  Problem was, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted.

And then I started doing animation.  I did a really short stop-motion animation this semester, mostly because I felt like I had been talking about it for so long, I had to do it before I was finished ACAD.  Again, I wasn’t really sure exactly what the animation would be about. My narratives tend to be really subtle, because we relate to the Morphoids much differently than we relate to, say, other human beings, pets, or even puppets that are intended to resemble human beings.  So I approached the animation with an idea about trying to just observe what the Morphoid might possibly do if we weren’t there.  

While I feel the animation is successful, especially for a first animation, there are some major problems with it, mainly that I don’t really know how to use my mother’s camera.  I had to figure out how to address the problems without redoing the animation, as I didn’t have the time to do it. I had other work to do, and the animation was to try it before I graduated, because I’ve talked about wanting to do it for a year now. The biggest problems  were the jumpiness of the film, the background, and the coloring wasn’t quite right.  So, I decided to frame it like it was newfound old black and white footage of a creature we’ve never seen before.  I think it’s quite effective in this way, although I still want to redo the animation, or do a similar one a little differently.

The timing must have been right with doing this animation. It seems to have solved my context problem.  I needed to sort of explain what the “footage” was and where it came from, so I introduced it as “presented by the Institute of Morphoid Research,” not really thinking too hard about it.  So now I have a context to work in, and am working on developing the IMR and framing my practice by the parameters I am setting up for the IMR. (More on that later.)

A role model of mine, artist Suzen Green said, in one of her recent blog posts, “As a teacher, when I see students struggling with the conceptual side of their work I always tell them to ground themselves in process and the answer will come on its own terms. Making is its own form of meditation. … Answers will make themselves known when [you’re] ready to receive them.”  

Sometimes the answer to a problem you have comes out of something else all together.