Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pop folk Textiles

Now on until April 18 is the exhibition Pop folk Textiles at La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario in Sudbury, Ontario.  Sophie LeBlanc, a young curator mentored by Thom Sokoloski, was inspired by her studies of world textiles to examine how ubiquitous textiles are in our everyday life.  She invited four artists to participate.
Danielle Gignac constructed a tipi made from trees and old socks gathered from Sudbury and other communities.  Danielle recently graduated with a Masters in Architecture from the University of Waterloo.  Her piece was entitled 'Walking Home' referring to the homeliness and sheltering quality of the socks on our feet.  The weaving of the socks through the structure presents a nod to the paths we travel on our way home.  During the exhibition opening children and adults were cozy inside the structure in their sock feet, reading story books.
Greta Grip knitted QR codes.  Each  of the four codes was knitted from the wool of a particular sheep and actually work to bring up an image of that sheep.  Her installation included two videos, one of the sheep in their environment and being sheared, and one of her own hands knitting.
Greta also showed a hand knit sweater made from yarn gathered from the four sheep, Sara, April, Sammy and Dot.  In her brief talk at the opening she spoke about her interest in contrasting the slowness of wool with the speed of contemporary tech.  " We live a life of instant gratification, with instant results, much like how QR codes are scanned and information is attained. This work relates what you are wearing to what wore it before you, and  who or what made it so that you could wear it." G Grip. 
Mariana LaFrance showed her first quilt, a traditional tumbling blocks pattern made with plant dyed re-purposed cotton sheets.
Mariana hung her quilt in an innovative way.  She wanted it to appear three dimensional.  Mariana's performance that connected sleep, dream, and regeneration was the highlight of the exhibition opening on March 13.
An interesting collage on the back wall was created by the curator, Sophie LeBlanc.   She collected photos and 'wise statements' from artists and art lovers in the northern ontario region and then Andy Worhal-ized them. (detail shown)
These dried queen anne lace plants (above) were collected by Mariana Lafrance on Manitoulin Island. She placed them behind her quilt to make the quilt appear bumped out as if some one were sleeping beneath it.  Mariana also used queen anne's lace seeds in her performance that showed how humans are connected to nature more than we realize.
Judy Martin's installation consisted of 74 bundles of cloth and thread around 4 little tree branches.
A video demonstrated how to make these bundles.  The artist's premise is that by doing handwork we feel better, and she provided materials for an interactive bundle making station.
Several people who attended the opening created their own bundles to take away.

As usual for La GNO, there is a video of the opening statements with an introduction by Danielle Tremblay, the gallery's award winning director.  I will mention here that La Galerie du Nouvel Ontario focuses on Franco-Ontario artists and most of the video is in the French language.  Daniel Aubin, communication officer for the gallery, provides English translation during the opening.  Each artist spoke for a few minutes.  If you are interested, Judy Martin speaks about her bundles in the middle of the 23 minute video (11 minutes in).

1 comment:

  1. the green dot fingernails belong to my artist friend, Beth Lindner, who attended the opening of Pop Folk and wrapped a beautiful bundle.