Monday, December 31, 2018

Articulation blog 4 :
                                                            AN END TO A GREAT YEAR

Articulation Textile Group have had a busy year of production and exhibition that was highlighted by the Sidney Museum Show entitled, "WAR: A PERSONAL RESPONSE". The show was a successful 6 weeks of exhibition time in the company of Peter Garnham, Executive Director, and dynamo Alyssa Gerwing, Assistant Director of the Sidney Museum, who helped to facilitate the display of our very personal works into effective installations.

Arriving on the Island with bodies of work
Over 500 visitors made their way into the gallery and museum to take in our show and we are very grateful for all the positive feedback the show has received.
Our group of Canadian Fibre Artists worked under the initial premise of researching our family histories to learn how war has impacted future generations of our respective families. The process was enlightening and emotional and the final works were produced using techniques that included: quilting, deconstruction of clothing, hand and machine stitching, reprographic processes, soft sculpture, installations in fabric, paper and assembled objects and 3D embroidery.
Victoria local, Lesley Turner created an installation representing her grandmother's PTSD state of mind by combining a variety of domestic arts: stitch, knitting, embroidery and deconstruction to illuminate the personal triggers that were a constant in her grandmothers world. These daily reminders of her circumstances as a war widow, unsupported after her husbands suicide, achingly illuminates the vulnerability of a generation, literally coming apart at the seams.
Wendy Klotz's work focused on a grandfather killed in action who left behind an infant son. Family became the centre of her explorations in felt, fabric and paper, many inspired by a singe oversized portrait of the former serviceman whose diminished presence is amplified in felted, "As Time Goes By". Eighteen poppies commemorate the children, grandchildren and great grand children he never knew in Wendy's blanket of poppies, made to distinguish his grave from the many military graves surrounding his, at rest, in Belgium.
Donna Clement of Calgary displayed work that focused on the industry of the immigrant displaced by war and political upheaval. Donna's installation of the canning cabinet illuminates the resourcefulness of a people displaced, surviving and thriving and holding onto their history through food and the contribution of women. Eco dying as well as hand and machine quilting and paper constructions were also included in Donna's installation. 
Saskatchewan quilter and book artist, Lean Clifford, stitched her family story into fabric. The Dresden plate pattern showcasing examples of domestic linens and handkerchiefs reflects the desire of women in general and Lean's family in particular, to tend to personal details even in adversity. Her industrious quilted contribution keeps us mindful of the way this poignant theme continued to inspire us all to create just one more piece, over and over again.
Winnipeg fibre artist, Ingrid Lincoln, was born in the Ukraine. Her family experienced the Russian Revolution and world wars I and II. "Remember the Children" shows her as a young child labelled as a refugee with a tag around her neck. In the tragedy and upheaval of wartime Ingrid's mother held onto her memory of the beautiful cherry orchard she recalled from her homeland which Ingrid beautifully recreated sculpturally with machine embroidery and wire. Her work reminds us there is light, even in darkness.
I have family connections to wartime in England through my mother who was born in Sheffield in 1942 as well as to a Canadian medic, my father in law, who landed on Juno Beach on D Day. My works were inspired by the poppy which I paint frequently in my painting practice and enjoy for their cheeky personification of shape and personality. A single poppy, gifted me by Tony Bates, my current day sheffield connection who gathered the commemorative piece below (see last image) as a schoolboy. This fabric poppy was the first inert object he had known to fall from the sky. It reminds me of the resilience of children who find simple pleasures despite the adversity of their circumstances.  A family trip to Juno Beach in Normandy in the spring of 2018 inspired awe and gratitude for the contribution of those who came before us and whose sacrifices allow us to live and travel peacefully today.

The War Project provided a new way to approach fibre arts production for our Articulation Group. Working in community on a common theme became more and more personal as each member dove deeper into their personal histories. We learnt a lot about ourselves and each other and supported each others revelations and products. The resulting works when displayed inspired our visitors to discuss and discover their own connection to the subject and to appreciate with new eyes the sacrifices made in the past that make our present and future so precious.
Taking a breather by the Sea, Sidney BC
Thank you to all involved for your many contributions. A special thank you to Lesley Turner who took the wheel in hand and drove this puppy through its development and home. Gathering on the island to install the show was a further reinforcement of the community this group of fibre artists has successfully woven. I think I speak for all of us when I extend our very best wishes for a happy and healthy, fibre filled New Year for 2019. Stay tuned at the end of each month for future news of our combined creations.