A New Exhibit at the George Fry Gallery Interprets the Seven Deadly Sins
The recently christened George Fry Gallery at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design will open its second exhibition this week. Seven features the work of six local artists, including five NBCCD alumni, and photography by Lance Kenneth Blakney. Among the five alumni are Dee Wilkie, surface designer; fashion designers: Adrienne Goodine, Bronwen Robbins, and Michelle Duncan; and fibre artist, Alexandra Keeley.
Seven focuses on “the individually interpreted darkness of the seven deadly sins communicated through whimsical high fashion garments ranging in styles from early 1900’s costume design, avant garde felted gowns to sophisticated silk capes”.
“Dee [Wilkie] was the instigator for this whole thing,” said NBCCD’s Karen Ruet. “She’s an alumni surface designer from the college and has been collaborating with fashion designers and Lance Kenneth Blakney.”
Wilkie graduated from NBCCD in 2012 with a diploma in surface design and was inspired to create Seven after coming to terms with her own experience with envy.
“Last spring I started to feel really envious towards a couple of local artists,” said Wilkie. “I didn’t really like his feeling so I decided right then and there I was going to turn it into something creative.
“I had worked with Lance [Blakney] the summer before and loved his work,” said Wilkie, “so I reached out to him and asked if he would be interested in shooting an ‘envy’ concept that I had in mind. He was very enthusiastic right away and then the wheels in my head started turning.”
Wilkie’s work for this series was inspired by the seven deadly sins – lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. With a concept in place, she reached out to a number of local artists to help fulfil her vision for Seven.
“Being a surface designer and not a fashion designer meant I was going to need some help,” said Wilkie. “So from there, I went on and recruited a handful of local artists including fashion designers, fiber artists, hair and makeup artists, and models. Each artist was given a sin to portray, and I hand-dyed silk for each sin.
“I guess his whole project was about turning something ugly into something beautiful,” she said. “I wanted to change the envious feeling I had from something negative into something useful and productive. I also wanted to give these artists some exposure and create and opportunity for them that they might not be given otherwise.
“Sometimes it is hard being in the fashion world in Fredericton, and we need someone in our corner encouraging us and telling us to push harder.”