Friday, November 20, 2015

Nouveau Louvre

How To Live Series:  Be Born   block print,needle prick, Judy Martin 

Hundreds of piece sof artwork fromlocal and out of town artists will be on sale during the 2015 edition of the nouveau louvre.

November 21 - December 23 2015
Galerie Du Nouvel-Ontario
Sudbury Ontario Canada
How To Live:  Survive Love and Loss    Block print, needle prick by Judy Martin 
Each year, the GNO invites artists to show their work and put it up for sale at the nouveau louvre.  EAch work of art is for sale at the single price of $200.  As the artist-run centre's most important fundraising activity, the profits are shared between the artist ($1250 and the GNO ($75).  It is the ideal occasion to acquire an original work of art while supporting the GnO and a community of artists.

Opening at the GNO  Saturday November 21 at 2 pm.
Shop online.  Click gno-org and scroll down to see all the art.

Friday, November 13, 2015

slow stitch continues

Slow Stitch continues every Thursday between 1 - 4 pm at the United Church Hall in Little Current, Manitoulin Island.  Currently, there is no common project.  We are just bringing our own stitching and connecting with each other.

Judy Martin leads the group when she can.

When Judy is not able to be at Slow Stitch, one of the group opens the meeting place.

This post shows the variety in the work brought in between September and November 2015.
 Karen finished her moon piece.
 Maureen visited Scotland over the summer and purchased this plaid fabric.
Siska has several projects under way.  Above, she uses fabrics that she has woven together in combination with crochet, cheese cloth, eyelet stitch (detail)
Siska's project b is a watery table runner for her wooden canoe.
Jocelyne made a kantha from dyed fabrics over the summer
Jocelyne also has several projects.  Above is one of her pieces that uses domestic cloth.  It's hard to tell from this photo, but there are two embroideries of a tree, one of them on sheer fabric overlay.
 Jackie put quilt blocks appliqued when she was a teen together with modern fabrics.

 Sally uses silk that she has dyed with plants and prefers raw edge applique
Judy is making a small picture inspired by a 1796 Swedish folk embroidery

Join us on Thursdays if you are in the area.
The United Church Hall is on Robinson street, down town Little Current, Manitoulin Island Ontario.
Email Judy Martin if you have a question about attendance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quilts=Art=Quilts 2015

Lake was juried into Quilts=Art=Quilts.
This is an annual exhibition of art quilts held at the Schweinfurth memorial Art Centre in Auburn, New York.  The jurors this time were Mary Anne Jordon, critic and professor at the Kansas City Art Institute and critic, Linda Colsh quilt artist from Belgium and Cynthia Corbin, quilt artist from Washington state.
The exhibition is open to the public October 31 2015 until January 3, 2016.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Wild Pure Aesthetic Wonder exhibition in Woody Point, Newfoundland

from left to right, I Dream of Wild Places by Rachel Ryan, Coyote felted sound mask by Jennifer Galliott, Spora, a wall mounted sculpture by Barb Daniell and Beginning with Time by Judy Martin (side view)
I imagined plant spores as terrestrial asteroids, colonizing new environments"  Barb Daniell
Beginning With Time: reclaimed wool blanket, wool cloth, plant dye, wool thread 78 x 90 inches by Judy Martin

"I want to create immense areas of emptiness filled with repetitive small marks, like the cliff faces in Gros Morne"  Judy Martin

Gloria Hickey at the closing reception of the exhibition.  Gloria gave a walk through, sharing personal anecdotes of the process of curating this innovative exhibition.  Background, Barb Daniell's Spora, foreground, Jennifer Galliott's Coyote.
"In an increasingly urbanized and technologically advanced society, wilderness may well be our most rare and precious resource.  Pristine wilderness cannot be manufactured.  Wilderness is as the heart of Gros Morne and the challenge for this exhibition was for the artists to bring the wild into the heart of their art"  (from the curatorial statement)
Foot Rest of the Earth: Serpantine periodotitte and Cushioned from the Past: Lichen Encrusted Granite, both by Linda Hope Ponting.  Wool yarn, knitted, woven, felted and needle felted.  These are the size of boulders, the top one 38 x 20 x 6 inches, the lower one 34 x 28 x 20 inches.
Rosalind Ford, with one of her two suspended elder ducks.  Fracked, screen printed cotton, embroidery and plasti-dip. 
"The proposed fracking activity presents a large undetermined threat to the birds in the area." Rosalind Ford
Into the Boreal by Shoshanna Wingate   ecoprints on fabric, stitched and embroidered.  Birch, alder, larch leaves, raw silk, original poems.
poet and artist Shoshanna Wingate
poem by Shoshanna Wingate inspired by birch leaves
"Engagement with the natural environment is a foundation for my own work and I hope to find a new way to expand tradition." Shoshanna Wingate
Beginning of Time by Judy Martin, seen from reverse side.  Both sides are the right side.
The Wild Pure Aesthetic Wonder exhibition closed on October 18, 2015.  It had hung all summer (from May until October) in the Woody Point Discovery Centre in Gros Morne National Park.  The Discovery Centre was visited by 25,000 people.  Each of the pieces was created especially for this exhibition.  The co-curators were Gloria Hickey and Philippa Jones, the sponsors of the exhibition were the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador and Parks Canada.  View or download the catalog of the exhibition.  There is also a curatorial essay available , click here to read it.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Meditation Panel Workshop Gros Morne, Newfoundland october 16-17-18 2015

Judy Martin is teaching Meditation Panels at Fibre Arts Newfoundland.
The three days are packed.
Day one:
bead stitch and introductions
looking  at the Manitoulin meditation panels
reverse applique
digital presentation of the archetypes
stitch and flip foundations

Day two:
show and tell of participant's work
eyelet stitch, stem stitch
digital presentation on how the meditation panels were constructed
making visualization foundations
quiet work
presentation of texture magic
hand stitching practice
Judy Martin showing her french knot sample in Newfoundland
Day three
more hand stitch practice
digital presentation on stitch
covering large areas with piecework
using the design wall
quiet work, quiet work
digital presentation of the instructor's own work
critique and plan what will happen next with your work

Friday, October 09, 2015

Mended World exhibition is reviewed on Day In & Day Out by Karen Thiessen

Karen Thiessen of Day in Day Out Blog has written three thoughtful reviews of the exhibition of the Manitoulin Circle Project panels last May at Homer Watson House and Gallery in Kitchener Ontario.

Here is what she wrote about Earth Ark (detail shown above).
Earth Ark has a visual weight. The title and visual elements hint at the Bible story of Noah and the ark, the rainbow as a sign of hope, and the dove going out and bringing back an olive branch. To me, the brown half-circle registers as an island. Earth Ark has a pleasing asymmetry with the ark/island off to the right.

I like what Karen wrote about the community aspect of the project.  The following is quoted from the second post, and I think that it really connects to the idea of a Mended World.  (the title of one of the panels and also of the resulting exhibition.
The MCP participants were a circle of people meeting in what was most likely a square or rectangular building and they made liturgical textiles of circles within squares: the gatherings mirrored the textile designs. While working together on textiles, heads are down and hands are busy, allowing conversation interspersed with moments of silence; this is a great way for introverts and extroverts to work together.
Karen's careful looking, photographing and writing about this body of work affirms it.  Thank you Karen.    All three posts about the project can be accessed from this link.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art

Judy Martin's work is featured in Claire Wellesley-Smith's new book, Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art.

It is published by Batsford and distributed in USA and Canada by Sterling Publishing Company. This beautiful hard covered book can be purchased from your local bookshop or online.

The book explores a slow approach to stitching on cloth.  The pleasures to be had from slowing down processes are multiple, with connections to ideas of sustainability, simplicity, reflection and multicultural textile traditions.  (from the introduction by the author)
Judy's work is pictured on page 96 and 97 with the accompanying text.

Canadian textile artist Judy Martin uses the idea of daily practice in her monumental work Not To Know But To Go On (the name of the piece taken from the writings of artist Agnes Martin).  For three years she used her practice as one might use the daily ritual of writing a diary. The design of the piece refers to her Finnish cultural heritage of rag-rug making (although the piece is stitched not woven).  Every day one complete skein of stranded cotton embroidery thread was couched over strips of found fabric from her own collection on to a cotton canvas backing.  She says, "Stitching gets me up in the morning.  I look forward to spending that quiet time with myself.  It's emotional therapy, as I stitch, other things fall into place; the time it takes helps me to be quiet.  Inner time goes backwards and forwards. Time is recycled."
This private and  controlled endeavor as Judy describes it, speaks to me as a visible record of time, making it tangible.  it is a dense, material representation of thought and making. There is great craftsmanship visible in the repetition exhibited in the work.  As I look at the densely stitched loops and coils of this work, so great in length after three years of daily stitching, I wish I  could touch it and properly engage with the physicality of the object.  Judy says, "I'm interested in producing something very simple and quiet and marked repeatedly with the human hand.  Not because it's a metaphor for anything, but just because it's an object that says, unequivocally, I was here.  I spent time with this.  Feel my touch."
The Manitoulin Circle Project is pictured on pages 116 and 117 with the accompanying text.

Canadian artist Judy Martin worked with over 140 people during the four year Manitoulin Circle Project.  Four large 'meditation panels' were created during the project: Earth Ark, Precious Water, Layers of Time and Mended World.  Each panel carries the message of environmental appreciation and reparation.  The work was largely made from donated and charity-shop materials: damask tablecloths and other domestic textiles, including crocheted doilies, women's handkerchiefs and wool blankets.  A theme of re-creation and also of reparation through the remaking of these materials ran through the project.  Every week during the four years of the project participants gathered in a church hall to work on the pieces, building community and personal friendships as they slowly created their pieces of work.
The Mended World panel is constructed using a string-piecing technique.  Using a sewing machine, four or five long narrow strips of a variety of textured damasks (from recycled tablecloths) were sewn together along their long edges to create a new striped fabric.  This fabric is then re-cut several times and sewn back toether to make a wide piece of new fabric.
The project speaks of time and has produced beautiful, meaningful work.  as an artist who works with communities, i am always deeply moved when I think about the other work that goes into producing pieces like this.  The other work is the conversation, the communication, the slowing getting to know one's stitching neighbour, the memories and skills shared, and the hours of committed thought and organization of the facilitator/artist.  Somehow the tactile cloth holds all of this within its folds, layers and stitches.  This work is a reminder that people and places mixed together, and the exchanges they have, can produce satisfying results.

Other artists featured in the book include:
Abigail Doan
Kate Bowles
Alice Fox
Pat Fuller
Lotta Helleberg
Roz Hawker
Hannah Lamb
Christine Mauersberger
Mandy Patullo
Celia Pym
Roanna Wells
as well as the author herself, Claire Wellesley-Smith (her work in progress shown below)
Claire includes natural plant dyeing, working with community, walking as a practice, and world textiles such as Japanese boro and Indian Kantha cloth in her writing about the topic of Slow Stitch. The cloth cover of the book makes me want to hold it all the time.  Several projects and ideas are presented by the author such as how to develop your personal stitches, making your own stitch journal and telling narratives through stitch and cloth.

Congratulations Claire Wellesley-Smith on a beautiful addition to the growing library of inspiring books about hand-stitching.  I am so pleased to be included and so are the women of the Manitoulin Circle Project.  Thank you.