Monday, March 17, 2014

March 2014 Textile Signtings on Facebook

" Unravel: A meditation on the warp and weft of militarism" is a sit and chat participatory work by York University PhD candidate Hellene Vosters at Cross Sections 2014 an interdisciplinary art exhibition that will be held at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre (MLC) at Ryerson University from March 14-26th, 2014, it is part of Intersections 2014: Thinking|Feeling a York and Ryerson University Communication & Culture Graduate Student Association Conference

Sunday, March 02, 2014

changing gears, new ways to share, different delivery platforms This is a test

Gateway Ribbons of Galla Placidia, 1996 collection of Artist
Quilts by John Willard: A forty Year Retrospective Feb 15th - Mar 30th, 2014 Burlington Arts Centre, 
Curator: Denis Longchamps
Well lets just start with facebook's way of embedding photo albums into different non facebook delivery systems and since it is a new year I will start by sharing the January and February Textiles Sightings Albums I posted on face book.

fQ January 2014 Textile Sightings.

Post by fibreQUARTERLY Canada on-line Textile and Fibre Arts and Crafts magazine.

while not knowing what this will look like i also have the option through e Blogger to format for a number of different cell phones so I will try that out, but it will be up to you to tell me what it looks like on your phone, since I don't have one. 

"Northern Spring"  joe lewis 2001 layered organza over stitched

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Into Spring 2014 Textile Exhibitions in Ontario

Opening Soon

Quilts by John Willard: A 40 Year Retrospective  
February 15 – March 30, 2014
Burlington Art Centre
1333 Lakeshore Road,
Burlington, Ontario
opening reception and artist talk on Sunday February 23, at 2pm.


Dorothy Caldwell, Walking on Tundra,
silkscreen and discharged cotton, dyed, stitched and appliqué,
66 cm x 134.62 cm, 2013
Silent Ice / Deep Patience: Dorothy Caldwell
Art Gallery of Peterborough,
250 Crescent Peterborough 250 Crescent
 Opening Reception: Friday, March 21, 7 pm

This new body of work developed by Caldwell continues her exploration of place, how we mark the land, and how it is visualized in mapping practices, both conventional and personal. The scope of her research included extensive travel in both the Australian Outback and the Canadian Arctic. There are strong parallels between Canada and Australia and how they each imagine themselves. Both have large central wilderness landscapes, and are technically both deserts. The Outback and the Arctic are harsh landscapes that the indigenous populations have learned to survive in. They are both powerful landscapes that inspire the imagination and the way we view the country.

“The works for the exhibition will be a response to these experiences and how they relate to my own sense of place. Ultimately one comes back to the familiar landscape with renewed perspective and ongoing questions about interpreting images and values of another culture in light of our own experience.” 
- Dorothy Caldwell

Caldwell maintains an active international exhibition and teaching schedule from her studio in Hastings, Ontario. Her travel and research in India, Japan, and Australia have influenced her work both as sources of dyeing and stitching practices and as places where textile artists share her beliefs in the integration of historical work in contemporary contexts. Caldwell has been recipient of the Saidye Bronfman Award.

She has executed major architectural commissions, and her work is in many permanent collections including the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

Silent Ice / Deep Patience is an AGP touring exhibition and will be accompanied by a publication.

Both John Willard and Dorothy Caldwell exhibits will present workshops with the artist for more information check out each gallery's websites and book participation through them.


Images on invitation all details from Clockwise left to right: Peggy Mersesau, Bulls eye 2003, J. Lynne Cambel, Gift # 1, 1993, Ilse Amyas- Sailkauskas Mountain Memories, 1987, Barbara Brown, Ink Scribbles 1988, Linda Pinhay, New Orleans (Blanche’s Trip). 1996, David H Kaye Grounds to Wander The engaged Relief Series. 1982, Ted Hallman, Death Grip 1996,

25 Years of Collecting
January 24 - February 23, 2014
Cambridge Galleries IDEA | EXCHANGE, 
Queen's Square and Design at Riverside

A special expanded edition of the annual Select Works exhibition has been created as the finale to the Cambridge Galleries IDEA | EXCHANGE ’s 35th Anniversary celebrations. for more information

Karen Thiessen, Hamilton Ontario, The Journey Series: Forgiveness #6 1999, Cotton, dyed and distressed, quilted.
Acquired with assistance of Starry Night Committee 2001
You can see photos from this event and other shows that opened in January on fQ's facebook page 

Transformations: Taking Felt in New Directions

  Maggie Glossop and Andrea Graham
21 January, 2014 ~ 15 March, 2014
Norah Rosamond Hughes Gallery,
Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
3, Rosamond St. E.
Almonte, Ontario
Image on Invitation "Not to Know But to Go On, (detail) 2010 -2013, found fabrics, cotton embroidery floss, artist canvas cotton tape, hand stitched.
 Judy Martin: Mended World
January 19- March 2, 2014
Art Gallery of Sudbury
251 rue John St.
Sudbury, Ontario

visit Judy Martin on line to find out more about her work.

Title: Hamilton Sample, installation, 2014, collage of digital and silkscreen prints on fabric, found objects and photographs, hand embroidery. Size: 180x300cm
Photo by Istvan Zsako, provided by Anna Torma

On Thursday feb9 2014 I saw new work by Anna Torma at Hamilton Artist Inc. [becoming] The Logic of Memory: Corinne Duchesne, Peter Horvath, Anna Torma, January 23 – March 1, 2014, the show is very well shaped the combination of Images/ artists work very well. A catalogue essay by Tara Bursey can be downloaded

From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru
Jan 29, 2014 - Apr 11, 2014
Textile Museum of Canada
Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Curated by Barry Till 

There are two other exhibitions on at the TMC
Telling Stories Until Apr 13, 2014

Fictions and Legends: Heather Goodchild and Jérôme Havre  Until Apr 13, 2014

 South African artist Fiona Kirkwood's work in the bar / dinning room at the Gladstone Hotel is part of Hardtwist. note the people sitting down to dinner if you need a size/ scale reference point see more of her work on her website

Hard Twist 2014 – This is Personal
Thurs Jan 23, 2014- Sun April 27, 2014
Queen Street West and Gladstone avenue
The Gladstone Hotel’s 8th Annual Juried Textile and Fibre Arts Exhibition. Hard Twist 8: This is Personal showcases works exploring the nuances, complexities and politics of that which is individual, private and intimate.

Cloth is personal. Cloth speaks of the person cocooned in successive layers of textile that communicate who they are, that tell of their dreams and aspirations. And occasionally betray their secrets.

Radiating out from underwear – intensely personal, usually hidden, and sometimes surprising – through the various layers that signal origins, social position, hopes, fears, sexuality and aspirations, Hard Twist 8 – This Is Personal encompasses the gamut of the human with signals wrapped in cloth.

I will be interviewing the curators Helena Frei and Chris Mitchell who have been organizing this show since it began in 2006 to coincided with the Textile Society of America's symposium Textile Narratives which took place at Harbourfront Centre in October 2006.

Marcel Marois, Tapestry Les angles d’un site, 1994-1995 high warp, wool, Gift to the Cambridge Galleries collection from the Cadillac Fairview Corporation 2013 
  When I attended the opening of  "25 years of Collecting" Cambridge Galleries. to see this tapestry was both a shock and a joy to see this Marcel Marois, Tapestry Les angles d’un site, 1994-1995, has been on display in the Bay King corridor in Toronto. This and other Tapestry have along with the Mies van der Rohe designed TD Centre (where this piece lived) given this area the prestige late modern architecture should have. Unfortunately they are disappearing as these building become renovated generic office towers out side of the history of Architecture. the joy comes from seeing it has found a new home. 

Since 2006 when I published a story called "Who made that: a question about Public (Textile) Art in Canada?" in fibreQUARTERLY Volume 3 Issue 1 / Winter 2007  I have been following the adventures of the tapestry works hanging in the Bay King corridor of downtown Toronto as they slowly disappear. Hopefully they will all end up in public collections where they can be seen. 

While I am sure there are more exhibitions featuring textiles such  as Born of the Indian Ocean: The Silks of Madagascar curator Sarah Fee which is on for a limited time in the Middle East / South Asia Special Exhibit case, 3rd Floor Lee-Chin the ROM (I have not seen it yet) and there will be coming up these are the one's that I have been able to track down.

Try and get out and see some beautiful historic textiles and interesting contemporary work and bring some colour and light into these horrible lingering days of this seemingly never ending winter.

From  From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru at the Textile Museum of Canada detail of: Disassembled Kimono, Silk, gold thread embroidered, painted. Gift of Mrs. Fumi Suzuki, SC 1114AGGV,

For cleaning. A kimono would be disassembled and its standardized, narrow panels sewn together into one long strip up to 11 meters long. After cleaning it would be stitched back together by hand

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Save and Retrieve, "Arlene Stamp: 1983+30 " reviewed

Detail of:  Arlene Stamp, Now Won’t You Listen Dearie, 1998, woven laminated inkjet prints
58.4 x 58.4 cm, Collection of Nickle Galleries, gift of the artist, photo: John Hails
Arlene Stamp 1983 + 30
18 October, 2013 - 4 January, 2014
Organized from the collection of the Nickle Galleries,
curated by Christine Sowiak with assistance from Katie Green and catalogue essay by Chris Cran.
Nickle Galleries Floor, Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary

Save and Retrieve, "Arlene Stamp: 1983+30 "

Arlene Stamp, painter (b at London, Ont 4 June 1938). Stamp studied art at the Alberta College of Art and Design (1974-76) and the UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY (BFA, 1979, and post-graduate studies from 1979-80). Previously she had studied mathematics at the UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO (BA, 1960). *1

While people that know Calgary based Arlene Stamp's work would argue that it has nothing to do with textiles they would be ignoring the obvious in her body of woven strips of laminated InkJet prints not to mention her manipulation of the grid. With “Arlene Stamp 1983 + 30” the Nickle Galleries at the University of Calgary has organized a retrospective of this artist work that, while inclusive of the different approaches to materials and methods of creating as is representative of their collection, for me this exhibition provides a small glimpse into her wide reaching conceptual thinking. Stamp came of age as an artist when there were many shifts in attitudes towards and in art making. It was an exciting, volatile and confusing time. Feminism was gaining ground. Many female artist were claiming that handicrafts : such as needle work, china painting and other “Decorative” arts along with weaving and quilting which were assumed /assigned to be woman's work, whether it was traditionally or not as an avenue of explorations. Just as many female artist where rejecting these handicrafts /mediums and expanding ways of approaching the pictorial surface and codify painting in order to reassert its position in a new hierarchy where conceptual work held primacy. Arlene Stamp's work is concerned with that pictorial plane/ surface.

Arlene Stamp, Plaza, 1991, vinyl tile on Masonite, 365.76 x 731.52 cm
Collection of Nickle Galleries, gift of the artist, photo: courtesy of Arlene Stamp
 I first came across Arlene Stamps work in Toronto's corridor of power in one of the bank towers at Bay and King.Binary Frieze (Squeeze)” and “Bianary Frieze (Stretch)” are 1993 pieces installed in the Ernst & Young Lobby, Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto, Ontario. They are made of  vinyl tile on aluminum. While many of the bank towers in this neighbourhood have had tapestries hanging in their lobbies (as was the fashion of the era in which these buildings where constructed), following the postwar “modern” architectural movement which followed La Corbusier’s clarion call for “tapestries to decorate the walls of the new architecture” (*2)  Not wanting to be thought none modern Toronto designers followed suit. Unfortunately with the renovations which  the buildings in this neighbourhood  have had in recent years many of the  emblematic modern era tapestries have disappeared from street level, public view including Binary Frieze (Stretch and Squeeze). The retrospective includes two pieces constructed with vinyl tiles: JumpShift 1993, (wall piece) 152.76 X 248.92, vinyl tile, mahogany veneer, gator board and aluminum stripping, and “Plaza” 1991, a floor piece 365.76 X 731.52, Vinyl tile on Masonite which Stamp describes as

“ This series represents my first attempts to picture a non-periodic pattern using real materials, in this case a line of standard vinyl floor tiles. Two overlapping grids of tile patterns were set at an angle of 13 degrees with respect to one another. Because this angle cuts the grids into shapes with sides of an irrational * length, I thought the resulting pattern could never repeat. While it does create a a complex and interesting pattern, I now think I was wrong about it being non-periodic. (* an irrational number in mathematics is represented by a decimal that goes on forever) “ (*3)

Arlene Stamp, Plato and My Garden II, 1990
oil and egg medium acryloid and graphite on canvas
24 panels each 45.7 x 45.7 cm
Collection of Nickle Galleries, gift of the artist
photo: John Hails
Her interest in mathematics naturally/organically led to working with digital technologies however there is work in the show that explores none fine art reproduction technologies such as carbon paper, photo copies and early/simple computerized graphic design software. These explorations seem to be used in a counter intuitive manner which is very interesting. Chris Cran in his catalogue essay writes about her use of Xeroxes “ a way of removing herself from the choices that a painter might always be confronted with: subject matter, composition, colour etc. In this process these formal components would be predetermined.” (*4)  I see more going on then just what Chris Cran describes above as these exploration continued  over time and will look at what I see as her attempts to remove herself from the making process., while still having her work occur. The “Gladys M Johnson” series which is based of Xerox images of a collection of paintings Chris Cran own are copied in paint onto canvas by Stamp in the early 1980s  In the beginning of 2000 she is revisiting these images in the “lost Paintings” series by using a scanned slide of the early work. In the first series I see her attempting to remove her hand (unsuccessfully) from the making of these drawings and paintings as well as the decision making process, in the latter series which were presented as “Paint By Number” kits enabling/ allowing others to complete the works and possibly secede in removing her hand from the finishing of what she calls “Impossible Paintings.” 

Interestingly in following this line of investigation she was the curator of a show called “Painting Machines” (5*) for the New Gallery in Calgary in 1997 where she presented the work a number of younger artist who were making paintings through automated processes. They had each created or modified machinery that place paint on the surface through the means of a brush or spray. I had the luck to see the show and attend a panel discussion during which they discussed their processes and the reasons behind them.

Arlene Stamp,
left,:Now Won’t You Listen Dearie, 1998, woven laminated inkjet prints, 58.4 x 58.4 cm.,
right:“A” You’re Adorable, 1998,woven laminated inkjet prints,58.4 x 58.4 cm
Collection of Nickle Galleries, gift of the artist,photo: John Hails
This way of using reproduction or information storage technologies led to another thread of work which situated the hand implicitly into the digital process. In some ways it is a very simplistic process where she has transcribed interviews from audio tape, set the text over a multicoloured background and then printed these texts with an inkjet printer, laminated them, cut them into strips, and then wove them in plain weave structure. “The Mum Tapes” 1998 are part a body of work build on the relationship between her mother and herself. The source material is archival (old home movies and photographs) and collaboratively created audio recordings of her mother reminiscences . Thinking about “The Mum Tapes” and its various components and iterations the processes become part of the works, not in an obvious way but in a subtle ways in which the deterioration of stored materials not retrieved invalidate or perhaps fictionalize the information making it more accessible.  As her mother's voice is recorded and played back the tapes themselves distort. The flow of the lamented printed text ( Now You Won't Listen Dearie” and “A' You'er adorable” are in the exhibition) is interrupted/ distorted by the interlacing of these strips. The film strip “Real Life 58 Frames”  an enlarged 8 mm “home movies” backed with a electroluminescent light are safely presented while the originals have suffered deterioration by being shown and, like the audio tapes, will crumble. The web presentation of this material along with images of lyrics of songs popular in her mother's youth in the work “Modern Mother” (*6), all the original materials have been digitized / stored in a “binary” format that is retrievable by current computer technologies but their security depends on this technology which will be obsolete one day.

These steps through different storage and retrieval systems are in many ways constantly in play throughout out all her works as is the fact of this exhibition:
·                 . As photocopies of source material (the Gladys Johnson Series) and computer graphic design system enabled
·                 the CMYK colour layers (The Red Paintings and Plato and My Garden) removed decisions making from her painting process,
·                 and audio visual recording and website creation provided a way of  moving captured/ created information (memory and object) from a physical to a “non-physical” space.
·                 And as lost photocopies led to the Impossible Paintings series this exhibition is a result of accessing/ retrieving a whole body of stored work. 

Having stopped her studio practice in 2003,  the organizing/ creating an inventory of her entire body of work is a major achievement, as is finding a home (Storage and Retrieval mechanism) for it through donating it to  three  institutions in Alberta: the Nickle Galleries at the University of Calgary, ( where Arlene Stamp 1983 +30 is on display)The Glenbow Museum in Calgary and  the Art Gallery of Alberta. In so doing, she has “created” a  final work in which she has successfully removed her hand from the creation process. Like the “impossible Painting" series,  it is some on else who has completed the work.  In this case, it is , curator Christine Sowiak with assistance from Katie Green.

Joe Lewis January 5 2014

*2 “who Made That : a question about Public (Textile) Art in Canada? By joe Lewis FQ Volume 3, Issue 1/ Winter 2007  and “Time and Line: brief history of Modern Tapestry “ by Joe Lewis fQ Volume 5 Issue 3/ Fall 2009
*3 “Arlene Stamp 1983 +30' catalogue p.13
*4  “Arlene Stamp” Chris Cran, “Arlene Stamp 1983 +30' catalogue p.4
*5 Painting Machine” New Gallery, Calgary Alberta 1997, Heather Raymont, Jason Dufresne, Roy Meuwissen, Chris Bennett, Brian White, Ayad Sinawi, John Eisler

Friday, December 13, 2013

Beauty of the Stitch: J Lynn Campbell at Loop Gallery.

1. Temporal Matter#1, 2012, Giclèe on Arches Watercolour 300g OF, pigment pen (archival ink, waterproof, fade proof), thread, metallic thread, archival linen tape,  22 x 30 inches. Image provided by artist.

J. Lynn Campbell: Temporal Matter
December 7 - December 29 2013
Loop Gallery 
1273 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, 

Some are under the impression that embroidery is having a resurgence, a renaissance so to speak. The recent Subversive Stitch Revisited:The Politics of Cloth conference November 29-30 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London shows there is an obvious academic attempt to understand the use of embroidery in contemporary art and crafts practices. Looked at from a neo-feminist, historic feminist perspective (Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine by Rozsika Parker 1984) and a contemporary theoretical points of view, there is new writing exploring embroidery as media and medium. While there is a lot of new work out there of varying skill levels, coming from many vantage points and fitting concepts and agendas meant to take you away from the aesthetic values of the work, my eye is stopped in its tracks when I encounter beauty not categorized. This is what happened at Loop Gallery when I saw J. Lynn Campbell's work in Temporal Matters.

2. Temporal Matter#2, 2013,  Giclée on Arches Watercolour 300g OP, acrylic pen, thread, human hair, archival linen tape, 22 x 30 inches, Image provided by Artist

While I have encountered embroidery on paper before: London based Italian artist Maurizio Anzer whose work I saw during Fibre Philadelphia 2012 and having seen published images of the work I was quite underwhelmed seeing it in person. There was a quality of Italian Futurism about the work but the tension between paper and thread was awkward, uncomfortable, it was as if the paper would tear over time. It reminded me of those cardboard string art kits of my childhood only they had a more secure feeling about them, the board was not in danger of collapse. Canadian Kate Jackson's "fragile embroidery" on paper towels and other bits of ephemera has a lightness while feeling structurally embedded into the material that is stitched through, which of course it is. J. Lynn Campbell's stitch seems to have been drop onto the surface of her Giclée on Arches watercolour 300g paper and seemingly float suspended above the printed images.

Detail of  Temporal Matter #2, 2013,  Giclée on Arches Watercolour 300g OP, acrylic pen, thread, human hair, archival linen tape, 22 x 30 inches, Image provided by Artist

Campbell's practice is based in the art world she has used fibre before and particularly hair, her piece "Model No. 8 [Extension(s) No.1]," 2004 dressmaker's form, steel, fabric, thread, braided horsehair, wrapped wire, copper wire, artificial sinew was shown in Textiles as Art: Selections from the Permanent Collection at the Cambridge Galleries in 2010. This piece is one of the many sculptural works exploring the body and made with mixed media on dress forms among other things which evoke textiles. I saw a precursor to this new embroidered paper work at OCAD Alumni show at the Gladstone in 2012 and had been wondering where she would take this. The piece I saw then was delicate and beautiful as are these works. She has no fear of labour intensive making and while the sculptural pieces have the look of these labours this new work does not.

3. Temporal Matter #3, 2013, Giclée on Arches Watercolour 300g OF, pigment pen (archival ink, waterproof, fade proof), thread, archival linen tape Image provided by Artist.

" Starting with modified digital imagery printed on archival paper, Campbell overlays two-dimensional surfaces with drawing and hand sewing. The objects of interest are organic structures and diverse life forms — characteristic bodily forms of mature organisms, of which the human body is one such entity. All life forms are part of a complex interconnected system which is shaped and limited by time. Temporal Matter encapsulates the spatial and temporal boundaries within which physical objects exist transform, and dissipate. With consideration to the real, the symbolic and the abstract Campbell’s composite imagery queries our consequential proximity to the shifting realities of that which is temporary." from Press Release

4. Temporal Matter #4, 2013, Giclee on Arches Watercolour 300g OF, pigment pen (archival ink, waterprooL fade proof), acrylic paint, archival linen tape, 22 x 30 inches image provided by Artist

The above quote from the press release may increase your interest in seeing the work but it is not necessary to your appreciation when you are entranced by its simple beauty not to mention the skilled needlework. Give yourself over to the decorative quality which places these works outside the limited realm of contemporary art where beauty is rejected or held suspect. The use of thread in contemporary art does not have to be justified, the history of thread used as embellishment which may or may not carry a message or meaning (it depends on who you read) adds to its power and its magic which can easily be manipulated, which is one of the reasons it is rather faddish at the moment, J. Lynn Campbell's use of thread is not faddish it is integral to these pieces and enhances them, it doesn't draw attention to itself. These pieces are successful works of art. How I observe them comes from my appreciation of needle work how you will enjoy them will come from you. -----------------------------------------

Loop Gallery 
1273 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ONM6J 1X8   (three doors west of Dovercourt)
Wednesday - Saturday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. or by appointment (416-516-2581 or

Subversive Stitch Revisited

 Maurizio Anzer  (see Altered Images by Jamie Chalmers in SD summer 2012)

Kate Jackson