Thursday, June 25, 2015

P0P F0LK T3XTIL3S at Campbell House Museum in Toronto June 26-August 9 2015

Feel Better installation by Judy Martin, part of POP FOLK T3XTILES  exhibition 
With Feel Better, Judy Martin explores the act of wrapping, and its healing, feel-good effects. For her, the process of fabrication in textile arts is something that is strongly tied to familial relations, and there are many traces of this in her installation, which includes, for example, wrapped bundles, each with four twigs at their core- corresponding to her four children. Having started to explore wrapping in her art after the passing of her mother, Judy makes the reference of caringly wrapping a baby in a warm blanket, or wrap­ping a bandage for someone who is injured - in both cases, the act of wrapping becomes something that is helpful to another, and that we can associate with compassion, care, and feeling better.                                                                           Sophie LeBlanc  curator of P0P F0LK T3XTIL3S 
POP FOLK T3XTIL3S opens June 26 6 pm reception
Campbell House Museum
160 Queen Street West  (corner of Queen and University)
Toronto  M5H 3H3 and it continues until August 9

The exhibition is in partnership with Le Labo gallery, curated by Sophie LeBlanc.  There is a catalog with curatorial statement and essay on pop and folk art by Sophie LeBlanc.
The artists in the exhibition are:
Judy Martin
Mariana Lafrance
Danielle Gignac
Greta Grip

The goal for P0P F0LK: T3XT1L3S was to find artists who were interested in, or that practiced the use of textiles as an art medium, and to put together a showcase that would consider the relationship between textile practice and popular art.

By using a '133t' language, of vowels replaced by numbers, for the title of the exhibit, I also made reference to numerical coding, and of informational technologies that are integrated in our everyday lives, as much nowadays as artisanal traditions such as the fabrication of textiles would have been in the past.  These digital technologies allow the evolution of craft practices and give new ways of communicating them.  That said, the whole of the project also considers the techniques of textile practices, themselves technologies, as well as the effects of contemporary technology on these traditions, notably in terms of their presence in contemporary art.

The question of popular art, or pop art, also took an interesting turn in the ensemble of the projects.  We find in each work some element of daily life, whether it is a quilt that would cover the bed in which we sleep, or old socks that we have walked distances in.  Presented in the context of fine arts/contemporary arts, this element (of daily life) takes on a new shape: it no longer simply fills a need for warmth or protection for example, but offers a critical spectacle to those who observe it.
The projects chosen showcase an eclectic and interdisciplinary mix of artworks and mediums, all relating to textiles and making reference (either directly or indirectly) to the origins of textile fabrication practices as popular art.  For the artist Mariana Lafrance, the fabrication of textiles is motivated by a return to nature and to our ancestor's practices.  Using natural materials for dyeing, a quiltmaking technique and a three dimensional presentation, she transforms recycled sheets into an optical masterpiece.  For the artist Judy Martin, the fabrication of textiles becomes a ritual, even a spiritual practice that relates to familial life.  Her presentation of wrapped twigs resonates a reflection on mourning and healing processes.  Knitting artist Greta Grip is interested in the integration of new technologies with textile practices, by knitting igital QR codes that link to video documentations of the original resources that allow these fabrications (sheep), by informational diffusion.  Finally, artist-architect Danielle Gignac then explores the role of textiles as shelter, and as an active player in our experience of home.  She creates a tent structure made from recycled socks.

Sophie LeBlanc curator, P0P F0LK T3XTIL3S

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very interesting show ! Don't know if I'll get there, but hope you will have more photos to share ;)