Have you ever had a pair of shoes that you just couldn’t part with? What about a piece of clothing that you felt was completely you? The Cape Breton University (CBU) Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, SAVED, presents works of art by Belgium-born, Halifax-based artist Arianne Pollet-Brannen that examine the unique relationship that we have with our clothing.
Pollet-Brannen creates her artwork exclusively using donated and discarded footwear and cast-offs from fashion design students, which she carefully disassembles and reassembles into works of art that prompt us to reconsider our relationship with clothing and consumer values. According to the artist, the relationship between people and their material objects is sometimes extreme, bordering on fetish. “Since the shoe is often associated with fetishism, it has become an important part of my artwork,” says Pollet-Brannen.
She began the practice of using second-hand or discarded shoes by seeking out her source material in thrift shops as a student at Nova Scotia College for Art and Design. However, since the project has gained momentum she has had no trouble finding willing donors who want to see their favourite footwear transformed into art.
“Individuals, often artist friends, present me with their well-used and no longer needed but still treasured footwear. I love to hear their shoe stories. Their rejects become treasure again in my artwork,” she says.
SAVED, is curated by Laura Schneider, Director/Curator of the Cape Breton University Art Gallery. The exhibition presents 20 of the artist’s most recent works including pieces of wearable sculpture, works on fabric and paper and an experimental video.
The opening reception for the exhibition begins at 6pm on Friday, March 1. For those hoping to learn more about Pollet-Brannen’s artistic career, or chat with the artist about her work, an informal artist talk will be presented in the gallery from 1-2pm on Saturday, March 2. The exhibition runs until May 17, 2013.
As always all events at Cape Breton University Art Gallery are free to the public and everyone is welcome.