Saturday, October 17, 2020
Saturday, August 8, 2020
Peter Neve Cotton
Originals 1918–1978 5.5 m
Peter Neve Cotton was one of Victoria's most distinguished architects. He designed many contemporary homes and business complexes, but was best known for his restoration and heritage architecture. Among the buildings he restored were Craigflower Manor, Craigflower School House, Emily Carr House, Point Ellice House, and St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Cathedral. He also refurbished the old post office in Duncan (now Duncan City Hall).
Cotton was born in Merritt, B.C. on 12 March 1918. He spent his boyhood in New Westminster and attended local schools. He worked in the design departments of several large retail stores in Vancouver and in 1939 enlisted in the Canadian Army. He went overseas with the Seaforth Highlanders, then transferred to the British Army Intelligence Branch. He served with distinction in Egypt and Italy and was discharged with the rank of captain.
At the end of the war, Cotton enrolled at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He graduated with a degree in architecture and was instrumental in the founding of UBC's faculty of architecture. He afterwards studied design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and art history at the University of Victoria. A keen historian, Cotton also devoted considerable time to independent research at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Provincial Archives of British Columbia, and various American institutes and academies.
Prior to settling in Victoria in the late 1950's, Cotton and fellow architect, Alfred Staples, designed and manufactured furniture in Vancouver. Their modernistic pieces were marketed under the name "Perpetua." Cotton then joined the architectural staff of the provincial Department of Public Works and was involved with the rebuilding of Government House - an experience which sparked his interest in historical architecture. That interest was expressed not only in his heritage building projects, but also in his manuscript history of B.C.’s vice-regal mansions.
In 1961 Cotton set up his own architectural practice, one of which he subsequently conducted from his own heritage home on Admiral's Road, Esquimalt. His practice grew substantially in the late 1960's, as public interest in historic buildings increased. Cotton's practice and reputation increased further in the 1970s, despite the fact that Cotton suffered from a circulatory disease. The disease cost him his right leg, which was amputated in 1977. The disease also contributed to his death on 31 December 1978.
The collection chronicles the whole of Cotton's life and reflects his many interests and activities. Records include: diaries, daybooks, school report cards, undergraduate papers, and personal correspondence inward plus letters written by Cotton while serving with Canadian Army overseas, 1940-1945, financial records, business correspondence, and project files relating to Cotton's work as architect and interior designer, along with notes, reports letters, and sketches relating to heritage buildings in British Columbia (primarily in Victoria).
Architectural drawings transferred to Map accession, CM/C2008. An on-line finding aid for CM/C2008 is available by searching the WWW pages index on the BC Archives Website. Photographs transferred to Visual Records accessions 198208-64, 198303-40, 198308-7, and 198410-14. Accession 198208-64, contains items transferred from 197812-16 related to Peter Cotton, and includes ca. 105 prints of unidentified people and members of the Cotton and Neve families. A box list for accession 198303-40 is available at the end of this finding aid. Accession 198308-7 contains 124 prints and 123 negatives of Peter Cotton, friends, and family members. Accession 198410-14 contains 300 black and white Cotton family photographs, ca. 1890-1969. Paintings, drawings, and prints have been assigned Visual Records item numbers PDP05433 to PDP05470 and PDP02183. These items include: designs, drawings and watercolours, and an ink and wash on paper portrait of Cotton in uniform. Additional information about Cotton, Christmas card designs and a Perpetua furniture catalogue is available in the BC Archives artist file. Samples of wall coverings and curtain material (used in the restoration of Craigflower Manor) have been transferred to the Heritage Conservation Branch, while architectural magazines and technical journals have been donated to UBC's School of Architecture.
Related records: see MS-0351 which contains rough drafts, notecards, galleys, etc., of Cotton's unpublished history of Government House entitled "From the Ashes" and photograph accession 198207-44, Craigflower Manor restoration. The publication Craigflower Manor: Volume 1, The Structure, The rationale of decisions made during the restoration of the manor in 1968, Peter Cotton, architect in charge is located in Old Manuscripts, call number G/V66/C82. Additional photographs and colour transparencies of historic architecture in Victoria may be found in the Cotton collection of the Maltwood Gallery at the University of Victoria.
The Peter Neve Cotton collection was donated to the Provincial Archives of British Columbia (PABC) by his sisters, Mrs. Mary Small of Salt Spring Island, B.C. and Mrs. Patricia Jarvis of Bellevue, Washington.
Saturday, February 1, 2020
But let's leave that subject behind so as to have a brighter outlook. My studio has calling for my attention, for sure, despite my ignoring said calls. It is in much need of clearing-out and freshening-up, thus creating a clean slate to start anew. I am overwhelmed by the prospect of the purge, but will gain more energy for climbing out of hibernation and digging-in as our days get longer with more hours of light...ah, the light...we need that light.
Thanks for sticking with me despite the lack of posts. Keep checking is as I may just surprise you...and thanks for your patience and persistence in pursuing these pages...your attention and support are much appreciated.
Here is a close-up detail of a piece I did a number of years ago...
BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON - seems appropriate for the moment.
Thursday, November 7, 2019
My apologies for being absent...sometimes life, full of facets, pulls us in other directions...
However, here I am to share more of my creative nature...better late than not at all.
Bainbridge Arts & Crafts Gallery is under the guidance of a new director, Steve Tremble, and appears to be moving toward exciting higher visions. They previously went through some rebranding with identity and name changes and the like which resulted in a lot of various pains, but ultimately they've come back to their home-ground and have returned to who they were since they were founded in 1948 and grew from, Bainbridge Arts & Crafts Gallery.
Thier recent October 2019 invitational group show, PAPER: TEXTURE AND FORM, in which I participated, was focused on the versatile applications of paper. Here is the description from the BAC website...
PAPER: TEXTURE AND FORM - The beauty of paper is in the range of possibilities it invites and diversity of work it generates. This is reflected in this exhibition of 17 exceptional artists: Mary Ashton, Danielle Bodine, Jeff Brice, Heather Griffin, Victoria Foster Harrison, Lois James, Linda Jarvis, Tracy Lang, MJ Linford, Linda McClamrock, Nikki McClure, Dorothy McGuinness, Shane Miller, Debbie Peek, Jean-Marie Tarascio, Sande Wascher-James, and Helga Winter.
Artists were asked to write an Artist Statement for this show. This is mine :
I have worked with many natural materials, paper being one of them. So having been presented with the invitation to participate in the Paper Show, it naturally felt inherent…Paper is a very fascinating material that can be manufactured or created in your kitchen or studio. Handcrafted papers from the pulp of wood or other fibrous materials carry a wonderful quality that can easily be individualized with play and experimentation. Paper’s versatility ranges from being used for drawing, printing, writing, or for wrapping as well as other artistic and imaginative applications. It is one of my favored media.
The one paper I am most taken by is that of the paper which paper-wasps artistically create displaying color, patterns and fantastic designs born of various wood fibers they collect for building a nest. Intriguingly I have collected many abandoned wasp shelters over the years for use and examination. Undoubtedly, they are superb works of art in and of themselves. Using my inborn intrigue with this amazing raw element of natural material I created INGENIOUS ARCHITECTURE. Envelopment by the artfully crafted fibers creates a residence, a home, a dwelling.
Nature is miraculous and never ceases to amaze me and keep me in awe. Paper is of nature as are we all.
Much of my work has utilized paper. I've only dabbled in paper-making, but I've collected a various array of art papers, some of which are hard to part with.
This first piece is one that gave me much pleasure and intrigue into the beautiful paper that the industrial paper-wasps make for building their dwellings.
I started with a wonderfully weathered 4 X 4 block of wood I fashioned into a house shape, handcrafted paper for the roof, paper-wasp paper on the surface of the wood, beads for feet and a twig representing where the wasps build their homes. It was my commentary for bringing awareness of our natural world that is being blanketed by human-kind conduct and actions putting our environment, wildlife and various pollinators in jeopardy, thus being smothered, by our ways and negligence.
All my work consists of mixed media. This piece started with a house shape I created from foam-core board with an inset then covered with art paper, 2 bi-fold cardboard pieces for the roof, square brass tube, flat disc beads, poppy pods, brass tacks, sticks, scrabble tiles for feet. In the inset niche I placed the beautiful seed pods of Genus Lunaria, aka Money Plant or Honesty branches. It progressed into my statement with regard to our protecting what is left of our natural world and wilderness'.
PAINTING THE NIGHT SKY WITH NEW CONSTELLATIONS
I enjoyed playing with the markings or from my perspective, "constellations" on the tissue-paper pattern used for sewing. It is covering foam-core board that I constructed into a house shape, aluminum sheeting for the roof, aluminum foil covered make-up brush, street-sweeper metal brush bristles, tacks, mica for the windows and beads. I am in awe of our continued discoveries of our cosmos and galaxies and stars and planets...oh my!
Last, but certainly not least is RED ALERT!
Many materials went into bringing this piece to completion...I painted a wooden egg red, added some dead lichen to a twig nest for it to rest in, all then set on a couple of paper discs from fireworks remnants, added feathers, a pastry icing cone, chipboard cone, aged paper-blind paper, wall-paper covered chipboard box, painted handcrafted paper covered chipboard nut container, more feathers set in aluminum tarp rivets, red/black boot lace metal canister top and map pins..
The show itself was beautiful and diversified. The opening was well attended, numerous sales, and many questions asked of the artists regarding their work and processes.
Thank you for revisiting this site. I hope I have not discouraged anyone from continuing to visit despite my sometimes being absent with new content...
Remember to click on any image to enlarge it to see more visual detail.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Stay tuned...and hopefully it will be worth your return visit.
Thanks again for your interest.
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Firstly, I hope this isn't too redundant from my post about the opening night of this show...here I go nevertheless.
I created this piece, entitled PRECIOUS, for the show, CONSIDERING CORVIDAE, that I was part of back in October of last year for Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery, which was closed for two months earlier this year for remodeling and renovation. It is now referred to as The Art Project. Visit their website to see what's new.
I hope this photo captured the essence of PRECIOUS. It was the second piece I created for this show...the first being CORVUS ENVY, posted in the promo announcement previously posted.
As many of us know, the Corvidae family very much like to collect objects, especially those that shine and reflect light and it was my intention that this piece convey that characteristic of this amazing family of intelligent birds.
Both of these pieces found homes pretty straight away, which I am happy about though sadly I didn't get to be acquainted with them for very long...only the connection I made during the creating of them.
PRECIOUS measures 10 X 11.25 X 1.25 and was created in mixed media using acrylic paints and India ink and various found objects.
As you may recall, if you come visit to these pages regularly, this piece below, CORVUS ENVY, was the piece I used in the announcement for the CONSIDERING CORVIDAE show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery, that I mentioned above is now The Art Project.
CORVUS ENVY is a mixed media creation and measures 10 X 10 X 1.75
For more detail information on this piece check out the previous posts.
Be sure to click on the photo to see a larger image.
Thanks for your interest, patience and continued support...
Friday, October 13, 2017
Thanks so much to all of you for coming back to view more of my work and read my musings. Your interest is very much appreciated.
Stay tuned to see what may come out of the imagination next.
Monday, October 2, 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017
All has been a slow journey. As far as my pursuit of re-entering creative energy, I guess the quest for a clean studio has been a good therapy for me, long and drawn out, I might add...do I need more than I thought? Hmmm. Each time I step into my studio I seek a sense of what is needed to bring me to a place where I can tap my imagination again to stir up the next new piece. So, I am tidying, purging, and reorganizing my work stations, a meditation of sorts, so I can think clearly and invite my muse to revisit me within all the chaos of our country, the world and within my studio. I have to say it is feeling really good to see beyond the disarray and confusion in this special space.
Creating again will be my next phase of therapy, tapping in to the realm of inspiration and creative artistry for healing and hopefully bringing healing to world outside me. Plus, there is the rising up, doing what needs to be done and by resisting...all are definitely included in holding a vision for our world. When I googled the term, "We will rise up", I happened to come across a Christian group that recorded a song by that title. Their group name is Soulfire Revolution. How perfect a title, if one were needed, for our movement at present! Our souls are on fire and our voices must be strong and we must and will rise up!
"The Future depends on what we do in the Present"
Addendum: I am adding this quote that was just shared with me today (1/30/17) by my good friend and artist, Shane Miller, as we ponder our actions towards changing the injustices that have been blanketed upon this world by our current "president". It goes hand in hand with the other above quotes...
"Do not lose awareness of the suffering that is going on in the world. Nourish that kind of awareness by whatever means possible: images, direct contact, visits, and so on. We have to do that in order to keep both the awareness of the suffering and compassion alive in us. But experiencing too much suffering is not good. Any medicine must be taken in the proper dosage. We need to stay in touch with suffering only to the extent that we will not forget. Then compassion will flow within us and be a source of energy that we can transform into action." - Thich Nhat Hanh
Then I became determined to find more quotes by those who have been showing us the way to bravery, peace and freedom...and on this quest the first person who came to mind was Malala Yousafzai. We are the ONE voice and with our numbers ever increasing, we become loader and magnified.
And then all our other sisters and many not shown...