Sunday, November 30, 2014

World of Threads: Sculpture

Lauma, Michele, me and Helena intersect with Karen Goetzinger's sheer hanging panels

The biennial World of Threads Festival was held this month in Oakville and Mississauga, Ontario. It featured 255 works by 97 artists from all over the world. Once again I made the trip to see it and once again I was blown away by the quality and variety of the work on display.

Organizers Dawne Rudman and Gareth Bate are to be congratulated for putting together another amazing exhibition.

Neon Field, Amanda McCavour
The smaller of the two principal shows, "strung out and undone", was held at The Gallery Space of the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. Curated by Megan Press, it included many pieces with a sculptural quality.

As we entered the gallery,  we were met with this installation piece by Amanda McCavour of Toronto. Neon Field is made of polyester thread and starch, using a machine embroidery technique.

Neon Field, detail, Amanda McCavour
The delicate cup shapes suspended from the ceiling twisted and turned slowly, casting intriguing shadows on the wall behind.

He's Come Undone, Susan Avishai
It wasn't immediately obvious to me what I was looking at when I first spotted this sculptural piece by Toronto artist Susan Avishai, but the title was a clue. This piece is a deconstructed man's shirt, with wire, thread and glass beads.  You can see the shirt label in the photo above, in the ten o'clock position.

He's Come Undone, detail, Susan Avishai
Techniques used are cutting, sewing, stiffening and gluing.

Not to Know But to Go On, Judy Martin
Another three-dimensional piece is Judy Martin's Not to Know But to Go On.  This impressive work was part of the main show at the Corridor Galleries of the Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre in Oakville, curated by Bate and Rudman.

Judy Martin, from Manitoulin Island in Ontario, used found fabrics, cotton embroidery floss, artist canvas and cotton tape to produce this large strip, suspended from the high ceiling and taking up perhaps 30 linear feet of floor space. Entirely hand-stitched, it was made using a couching technique.

For me, this piece speaks of the rhythms of hours, days, and weeks. I imagine the artist putting aside the time each day to work meditatively, one stitch at a time.

Our little group had a fine time exploring the labyrinthine corridors of this venue, coming across wonder upon wonder of exceptional work in fibre. I will post again with more photos soon.

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