Tatamagouche, NS - When Sydney Blum was creating works of art in her quiet Tatamagouche studio she had no idea they would end up in some of New York’s most prestigious shop windows.
Pieces from her Icarus-Colour-Space series are now in windows of Saks Fifth Avenue. Representatives of Saks discovered her work at the Kim Foster Gallery, in New York, and felt it would be ideal for their displays.
“They treated my work with the utmost respect,” said Blum. “It was given stature as art.”
The pieces from the series are created from paper chipboard and are wing-like in shape. Blum used the idea of Icarus flying toward the sun as inspiration and she has attempted to create the sensation of flying in solid form. She cuts pieces into small components, paints them and reassembles them with wire and creates shape. A mechanism is used to cantilever them from the wall, creating the idea of flight.
“The material I select is based on what I’m trying to do or say,” she said. “I try to find material that will work.”
When she needed fuzziness to her work, for her ‘Fuzzy Geometry’ series, she used wire and coloured synthetic hair.
She said she tends to be solitary and works in her studio about six hours a day, seven days a week. Her dog, a cairn terrier called Lulu, ensures she takes a few breaks.
“It’s just part of my fibre. It grounds me. There’s a meditativeness to the process but sometimes it’s excruciating.”
Blum grew up in rural New York State but started the immigration process in 2005 and has been in Tatamagouche for eight years.
“There were some political reasons I wanted to move, and where I was living I was priced out of art studios and living space,” she said. “I like privacy and simplicity; I like the way of life here. I’ve never been a person who fit well into the intensity of the art scene in the U.S.”
She grew up in a family involved in both academics and arts and considers herself a sculptor who does some abstract painting and drawing. Her work has been exhibited in North America and Europe, and discussed in international art journals.
“I will work on art a long as I’m able,” she said. “What scares me most is growing older, and if I can’t to do it what will happen? What will I do?”
Blum’s work can be seen online at http://kimfostergallery.com/sydney-blum/ .