Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

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Alice Crawford – WHO’S AT THE PARTY? (2)

Poster Descriptive Text This poster advertises info for an art show by Alice Crawford opening at AANM Gallery 329 Cumberland Ave on May 3 from 6-9 pm. The title of the show “WHO’S AT THE PARTY? 2” appears in orange hand-printing font. The artist’s name in white and the show info in orange appear in the bottom right corner. The logos for AANM and the Province of Manitoba are along the lower border. The main image of the poster, front and center, is a party scene populated by hand-crafted ‘dolls.’ The dolls have large round heads and thin, whimsical bodies. The main character is in focus in the foreground, sporting a purple hearing aid above their ear. The other dolls are fuzzy in the background, colourful and vibrant.

STATEMENT

“Who’s at the Party? – Take Two” is a further exploration of the representation of Alice Crawford’s understanding of the people around her, from the bits of information she gleans from a noisy party environment; this time with the help of an assistive listening device.

Making connections is difficult; background noise interferes with conversation. Words become broken sounds, like a single vowel. Parts of words are not heard and have no meaning. Hence, conversations can be misconstrued, leading to frustration and isolation.

She has included a representation of herself into the show. Alice often catches incomplete bits in introductions and snatches of conversations that colours her view of the personalities there.

Challenges of communication and understanding people in noisy environments and the way an assistive device can help partly increase understanding.

Crawford’s love of nature comes from living along the Ottawa River in northern Ontario and the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg, both teeming with wildlife camouflaged in the background. She is also concerned about the disrespect that some of the population exhibits for our natural environment. With that on the forefront of her mind, Crawford’s figurines are all made from reused materials or found objects from her home.

Headshot of Alice Crawford, and older light-skinned woman with light grey hair, wearing blue framed glasses and a sleeveless white top. She smiles at the viewer. Grass and shrubbery can be seen in the background.
Photo Credit : H. Michael Franzmann

BIO

As a partially deafened emerging artist with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design, Alice Crawford reconstructs spoken language. These images become a visual representation of her world.

She creates unexpected imagery through innovative printmaking processes, with her main focus of typography, as well as collage, collagraphs, etc., on different mediums; translating auditory perceptions within her surroundings by incorporating letters/words into images. Exploring dialogue reveals how miscommunication can occur when she is interacting in groups.

She is a graduate of two BSc degrees from the University of Manitoba and an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design from Red River College. In 2013, participating in the Making Our Mark program at Martha Street Studio expanded her knowledge of printmaking skills leading her to explore the many possibilities in mixing printmaking with other forms of art. Her art is on display in private and public collections across Canada and the USA.

As a Featured Member of the Month in September 2014 by Arts Culture Industries Manitoba (ACI) now Creative Manitoba, Alice has been mentioned in a number of newspaper articles, the most recent The Winnipeg Free Press in February of 2020. She has exhibited in four solo shows, and several group exhibitions across Canada. You can visit her artwork at Martha Street Studio, and Gallery Lacosse in Winnipeg. Alice is the Project Director for Deaf Arts Manitoba. She lives in Winnipeg with her family.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildtypeprints

Instagram: @wildtypeprints

 Larger than life, a long silver tube with a slit for the microphone at the top front with a green light over it. On the side is a toggle switch for settings marked in red and green with a clip on the back.
“Hard of Hearing Helper: Rogers Pen” A Rogers Pen is a Bluetooth wireless microphone for Hearing Aids that bypasses background noise to understand more speech in loud noise and over distance. 2022 Medium: Sculpture: Papier-mâché, Styrofoam, cardboard, paper, acrylic paint, green glass bead, copper wire. Height: 12” high, 1½” in diameter. “Never leave home without it when going to an event: You don’t want to miss out!”
Alice is standing in front of an open doorway on a small stand. She is wearing a fancy white and silver dress. There is a flower like brooch of glass and sliver attached to the back of her dress. She has lush brown hair of twigs sticking out around her head. A sliver wired “Why” decorates the side of the front of her hair. A “W” is placed at the back of her head. Blank green eyes are framed with dark eyelashes. Alice wears a purple behind-the-ear hearing in her right ear. On her left ear there is a red sequin capital D. Instead of arms, silver wired words “What”, “Where”, “Who”, and “When” are sewn around her dress. Her legs are red coated copper wire.
“Hello! It’s me . . . Alice” figurine 2024, Medium is Sculpture: Papier-mâché, Styrofoam, cork, cardboard, paper, acrylic paint, fabric, plastic sequins, copper wire. Hair: wood twigs. Typography: aluminium wire, silver acrylic paint. Doorway frame: pair of wood sticks wrapped with black, grey and white ribbons. Brooch: glass and silver. Height: 10 ½ inches tall. Stand: 12” square styrofoam covered with dark blue fabric.
Back view: shows glass brooch and wired typography
Back view: shows glass brooch and wired typography
Side views of ears: Left view: Hearing Aid in the right ear: Purple plastic sequin. Right view: on the left ear is a red sequin, “Capital D" for Deaf Ear”
Me to myself: “All dressed up for the party. . . Ready? . . . Psych myself up . . . I have some trepidation . . . Am somewhat hesitant . . . Will I have a good time? . . . Will I be alone with questions, Who, What, Why, Where, When . . . Will I be able to interact with people? . . . Alice . . . Take a deep breath. . . you can do this!”
The seven party figures, orange caterpillar and the sign above with colourful letters reading “Who’s At The Party” are very blurred. Alice is in sharp focus.
At the Party, Rogers Pen not turned on yet. Party people: Click on link to see the first show and the description of the seven party figures: https://aanm.ca/whos-at-the-party/The two ladies on the left have arms and hands and have wired typography on their bodies. The other five ladies have no arms, in their place is wired letters spelling out what I hear. “It’s really noisy in here! I cannot figure out who these people are with this noise! I’m fuzzy about their names. They look like they are having great time!” So . . . we have . . . Left to Right: Olive complexioned, black hair lady in black and purple lace dress with pink flowered shawl and black shoes holding copper wire flower. “Sue . . . I think?” . . . Ginger hair in green dress with neon pink sash holding a bouquet of flowers in each hand . . . “Gerlin . . .?” Pink face, straw coloured hair, black dress with yellow sash holding copper wire flower . . . “Mmmm . . . o…?” Dark skin complexion with pink flowered dress with dark purple and red wool curly hair. Has intricate copper cone earrings . . .”???” Pale, blond tall lady in light green dress with bright blue graphic flowers and bright blue capris with wild blond hair “Le . . .?” Pair at the far right: Pale tall girl with blue and purple hair holding a baby. She has a rust-coloured top and matching shoes with white and blue striped pants with embroidered flowers. The olive-skinned baby with blond wired curls is in a trailing light blue blanket. All I get is a “A lot of Babbling” and Noise.”
Alice is in sharp focus. Four of the ladies on the left side and the orange fuzzy caterpillar on the ground are blurred.
“I had better get the Rogers Pen out right now, I’m really struggling with names and getting to know who’s who.”
Alice is in sharp focus. Four of the ladies on the left side and the orange fuzzy caterpillar on the ground are blurred.
“Ahhh . . .That’s much better. I’m getting more out of this.”
Alice with her Rogers Pen and seven 3-D voice bubbles to the left beside her. Each 3-D voice bubble stand on different heights of thin white wire. The voice bubbles are different sizes. Shown is the backs of five of the bubbles and the front of two voice bubbles for “A lot of Babbling and Noise”. The backs of each bubble is covered with the same fabric of the lady it corresponds to. The little signs attached to the bottom near each voice bubble is what I hear without the Rogers Pen. The text face of each voice bubble captures what I hear through the Rogers Pen.
The backs of each bubble is covered with the same fabric of the lady it corresponds to. The little signs attached to the bottom near each voice bubble is what I hear without the Rogers Pen. The text face of each voice bubble captures what I hear through the Rogers Pen. Okaaaay . . . So . . . Left to Right: ”Sue” is actually Suzanne and she’s a dancer. Wow! She really has heavy makeup around her eyes and somehow it suits her! Really like her yellow fascinator! “Gerlin” says she’s the Party Girl! and is really hyper! She wants to rock! Love her dark green mesh skirt shaped like flower petals! ”Mmmm . . . o” is French and Monica wants to know if I speak English” She looks distracted by the sign overhead. The “???” mark lady is Sophia! And she called me Darling! How sweet! And she’s an artist too and wants to know my name! She’s really pretty and I love her curly hair! “Le” is Leanne and oh that wild big hair! ha ha . . . she’s freaking out because of the woolly caterpillar!” Love her leather purse with the pink flower. I think the oversized dark teal earrings are a great touch to her look! Emma is the blue haired girl and she’s looking after the babbling baby. She’s telling a joke and as usual like everyone else drops her voice at the punch line. I never get punch lines . . .
View of the stand with Rogers Pen with six of the seven 3-D voice bubbles each standing on a thin white wire.Description: The fronts of the voice bubbles are visible for Sophia, Monica, and Party Girl. The backs of the bubbles are for Emma, Leanne and Suzanne.
“Sophia”: Typography is in elegant cursive writing and some letters and words fade out. “Hello Darling! I’m Sophia. I am an artist. How about you? What is your name?” “Monica”: Typography is in tight curly letters; some letters fade out. “Oui! Moi Monica! Excusez-moi! Do you speak English? Do you like the party?” “Party Girl!”: Typography is in letters with curly ends, some letters fade a bit. “Hey! I’m the Party Girl! Let’s Rock! Woot!”
The fronts of the voice bubbles for Suzanne, Emma and Baby are in view. The backs of the bubbles are for Party Girl, Monica, Sophia, and Leanne.“Suzanne”: Typography is in rounded serif type with a couple of letters a bit faded. ”Oohla! Suzanne here! Your friendly dancer here as you can see! Pleased to meet you!” “Baby”: Text is plain rounded letters, “Baaa . . . Mmmuummuum! Mumm! . . . Dada dada nnnuuummmm, numm! Bah baaah bahhhhhh!” “Emma”: Text is plain and parts of her words are missing. “Hi! I’m Emma! Wanna hear a joke? How did the baby tell her mom she had a wet diaper? She sen…..” punch line fades out completely. Not in View: “Leanne”: Type is in curly serifs. A few words fade out. “My name is Leanne Bell. I’m an actress with Cre(fade out) Actors Agency. OMG! Is that a woolly caterpillar!!!”
“Suzanne”: Typography is in rounded serif type with a couple of letters a bit faded. ”Oohla! Suzanne here! Your friendly dancer here as you can see! Pleased to meet you!” “Baby”: Text is plain rounded letters, “Baaa . . . Mmmuummuum! Mumm! . . . Dada dada nnnuuummmm, numm! Bah baaah bahhhhhh!” “Emma”: Text is plain and parts of her words are missing. “Hi! I’m Emma! Wanna hear a joke? How did the baby tell her mom she had a wet diaper? She sen…..” punch line fades out completely. Not in View: “Leanne”: Type is in curly serifs. A few words fade out. “My name is Leanne Bell. I’m an actress with Cre(fade out) Actors Agency. OMG! Is that a woolly caterpillar!!!”

All the ladies are in sharp focus under the “Who’s at the Party Sign”.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I am extremely grateful to Jenel Shaw, Executive Director of Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba (AANM) for her steadfast encouragement and generosity of her time, patiently giving me her insights to all my questions.

Many thanks to Sacha Kopelow in charge of AANM Programming for her helpful guidance for the set-up for the show.

To my husband, Mike Franzmann, he has my everlasting gratitude for his assistance in cutting the blocks for the display stands, lending the display turntable for the show, and being a helpful all-round guy.

A big thank you to my beloved Astro daughter, Erica Franzmann, who lent her skillful sewing to the making of Suzanne’s pink shawl and Leanne’s leather purse, her assistance was much valued. I’m also grateful to be able to bounce ideas off her and for her helpful thoughts during the construction of the doll figurines.

 

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