1 North Square, Cambridge, ON
Fibreworks, now in its 17th edition, is a biennial juried exhibition of contemporary Canadian fibre art. It is a showcase of the most current and versatile approaches to fibre as a medium. This exhibition is one of the largest group shows in Canada and serves as a survey of the artists currently working in the medium. This exhibitions offers the opportunity for us to evaluate the relevancy of our collection in relation to contemporary practices.
Fibreworks 2018 is juried by Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, ON) and Meghan Price, Artist (Toronto, ON). This year, the jury received submissions from 102 artists from across Canada, after a thorough selection process 18 artists were selected for exhibition.
Selected artists include:
Ellen Bleiwas (Toronto, ON)
Mitchell Chalifoux (Leduc, AB)
Judy Duggan-McCormack (Hamilton, ON)
Stephanie Fortin (Toronto, ON)
Tricia C Johnson (London, ON)
Trish Johnson (Toronto, ON)
Helen Liene Dreifelds (Toronto, ON)
Fuzzy Mall (Dundas, ON)
April Martin (Toronto, ON)
Judy Martin (Sheguiandah, ON)
Colleen McCarten (Toronto, ON)
Robin Muller (Bedford, NS)
Trudy Perks (Barrie, ON)
Elycia SFA (Toronto, ON)
Lois Schklar (Toronto, ON)
St Marie φ Walker (Kitchener, ON)
Svetlana Swinimer (Ottawa, ON)
Negar Tajgardan (Saskatoon, SK)
Bleiwas lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Her work has recently been exhibited at Angell Gallery (Toronto), Art Mûr (Montreal), and Kunstraum Tapir (Berlin). She holds an MFA from York University (2017), and a Master of Architecture from McGill University (2010). Bleiwas has done artist residencies at The School of Visual Arts (New York), Artscape Gibraltar Point (Toronto), and Takt Kunskprojektraum (Berlin). She is a recipient of awards from the Toronto Arts Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and is the 2017-18 recipient of the 401 Richmond Career Launcher Prize.
Mitchell Chalifoux is an Edmonton-based emerging artist working in print and craft. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction from the University of Alberta, with a focus in printmaking and intermedia, and recently completed the Emerging Artist in Residence program at the Society of Northern Alberta Print-artists. Mitchell will be exhibiting his first solo exhibition, Selvage, in September 2018, turning the gallery space into a living room filled with touchable domestic furnishings performing in drag. His art practice is invested in textiles, gendered labour, and expanding definitions of new masculinities, and while not making art, he spends his time baking and longing for summer blooms.
Judy Duggan-McCormack is a Hamilton artist who recently earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Design specializing in textiles from OCADU in Toronto. Judy’s recent bodies of work have focused on early Canadian immigration and the influence it had in shaping our modern society. She is influenced by the fact that we all have personal experiences to drawn upon to tell our own unique story.
Stephanie trained in interpretive illustration at Sheridan College and completed an interdisciplinary BFA at NSCAD University. Fortin held a full time artist-in-residence position at Harbourfront Centre (Toronto,ON) and was a past member of The Contemporary Textile Studio Coop (Toronto,ON). She has exhibited work in North America, China and Mexico with; Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Craft Ontario (Toronto,ON), The National Ballet of Canada (Toronto,ON), The Design Exchange Toronto,ON), Lillstreet Art Centre (Chicago,IL), The China National Silk Museum (Hangzhou,ROC) and Centro de las Artes de San Agustin (Oaxaca,MX). Stephanie currently resides in Toronto, ON and will begin creating out of The Museum of Contemporary Art x Akin studios (Toronto, ON), this fall.
Tricia Johnson currently resides in London, Ontario where she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University, teaching Foundation of Visual Arts and Print Media. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Guelph. Her artwork includes both traditional and experimental printmaking alongside her explorations into paper based fibre art.
Trish Johnson comes from Capreol, a small railway town in Northern Ontario. She graduated from the University of Toronto where she studied Art History and English Literature and from the Ontario College of Art where she studied photography. Trish lives in Toronto with her husband and her cat. Her four children have all grown up. Trish has been hooking rugs since 1988. Her designs are mostly inspired by her own photographs. Many of her rugs tell a story about her family and the places they have called home. Her work is her visual diary. She was chosen as Rug Hooking Artist of the Year by the Hooked Rug Museum of North America in Hubbards Nova Scotia. Her work has been included in Paulette Hackman’s “Story Rugs and their Storytellers” and most recently in Tamara Pavich’s, “Designed by You”.
Helen Liene Dreifelds is an emerging artist working in sculpture and installation based in handweaving. Positioning textiles as tools, performers, and archives for sensory experiences such as light and movement, her work investigates themes of duration and systems of human relations. She recently completed the Artistin- Residence program at Harbourfront Centre’s Craft & Design Studios. She holds a DEC in Constructed Textiles from the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles (2014) and a BA in Applied Human Sciences with a minor in Art History from Concordia University (2009). She has shown work at Harbourfront Centre, Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles, Lonsdale Gallery, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts and has participated in Toronto Design Offsite Festival, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair and the UNTAPPED Emerging Artist Competition. She has attended workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle, ME and Textile Arts Centre in Brooklyn, NY.
Being a recent immigrant to Canada, Fuzzy Mall wanted to explore his new community and city of Hamilton, Ontario. He meets and interviews people about themselves and the city, and photograph them during their first meeting. Fuzzy uses the photos as the source material to create a quilted portrait using found and reclaimed textiles. When they meet for the second time to look at the portrait together, the artist asks the person to nominate the next participant. Participants range from community organizers, artists, arts administrators, musicians, bloggers, brewers and a member of the city council. In effect, he is building a large quilt out of the network of people he is meeting in his new home.
This current body of work is interaction driven. The artist takes candid photos during his interactions, and tries to capture the raised eyebrows, crooked smiles and waving hands that we use to communicate. It’s a response to the deluge of Instagram/Facebook images that we are flooded with. His goal is to tap into the tradition of quilts and painted portraits as family heirlooms by creating contemporary portraits from the casual photographs that are snapped by cell phones and live in the cloud. Fuzzy is reinterpreting this fleeting imagery by slowing down the process and hand working them, rather than swiping them away with his finger.
April Martin was born in Kenora, Ontario in 1987. She is a recipient of The International Sculpture Centre’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, as well as the Legacy Grant from Women’s Studio Workshop, the John Kurtich Travel Scholarship and the Arts + Science + Culture Initiative Grant from the University of Chicago. She has installed permanent outdoor works in Humboldt Park in Chicago and Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota. Exhibitions include various spaces in Montreal and Chicago as well as in Finland (Galleria Varina), Calgary (UAS), and Milwaukee (The Suburban). Martin has participated in International residencies including AZ West (California), ACRE (Wisconsin), Women’s Studio Workshop (New York), Teton Art Lab (Wyoming) and Emergency in Switzerland. She holds a BA from McGill University (2009) and a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal (2014). In 2016 she completed her MFA in Sculpture at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently based in Toronto where she is a Ceramics Artist in Residence at the Harbourfront Centre.
With 28 solo exhibitions in Canada and participation in over 100 group shows internationally, Judy Martin is an advocate for the power and beauty of hand stitch. A passionate student of fine art and world textiles for her entire life, Judy holds two BFA degrees, the most recent received 2012 from Middlesex University (UK) specializing in Embroidered Textiles. Judy Martin was born in 1951 and grew up on a farm near Fort Frances. She still lives in northern Ontario, having moved to Manitoulin Island in 1993. She writes about solitude and slow making in her popular blog, (Judy’s Journal).
Martin’s work is grounded in the phenomenological idea that the sense of touch is the most effective way to make an emotional connection with others and her surfaces are covered with hand stitching. The tactile repetitions of her hands’ caressing, the strength and weight of miles of thread and the amount of time it takes to make the stitches are path ways that accumulate, encouraging communication with our inner world.
Her hand stitched art is featured in the book Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art (2015) by Claire Wellesley Smith and also in Art Quilts International: Abstract and Geometric (2016) by Martha Sielman. Other achievements include her leadership of the Manitoulin Circle Project that involved over 140 participants who met weekly for four years (2009-2013) to make four large hand stitched meditation panels for public display, two awards in Surface Design at the prestigious exhibition Quilt National 2017, and a solo exhibition of large hand stitched quilt-drawings at the David Kaye Gallery in 2017 entitled The Cloud In Me.
Colleen McCarten is an emerging Toronto-based artist whose work is based primarily in textile techniques such as weaving, sewing and other fibre-based practices, as well as drawing, painting, and collage. She uses these techniques to examine the legacy of 20th Century art movements such as Op Art, Minimalism and hardedged abstraction. McCarten holds a Bachelors of Material Art and Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCADU), and is the recipient of the Material Art and Design Medal for her graduating year.
McCarten has had a solo exhibition at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery’s Gallery A (Oshawa) as well as in Angell Gallery’s Project Space (Toronto). Her work has been included in group shows at Harbourfront Centre and the Textile Museum of Canada.
She has received awards for her textile-based practice, including the “Best in Fibre” award at the 2014 iteration of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, and has been the recipient of grants from both the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. She has also produced artworks for commercial and retail clients.
Robin Muller was born in Virginia in 1955. She received her BFA from VCU in 1976 and her MFA from University of Michigan in 1978. She worked at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco and the University of North Dakota before immigrating to Canada to join the faculty of NSCAD. She retired in 2015.
She taught weaving, specializing in complex structures and Jacquard weaving. She has completed residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles, the Jacquard Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina and the Lisio Foundation in Florence, Italy.
Muller’s artwork has been exhibited across the US and Canada as well as Norway, Finland, France, Germany, Korea and 3 African countries. Her work is in private and public collections including The Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and the Nova Scotia Art Bank.
From 2007-2012 Robin Muller and Dr. Sarah Bonnemaison, Dalhousie University led a multidisciplinary research group, ArchiTextile Lab or @lab. They explored architectural applications of electronic textiles.
In 2011 she organized Sow to Sew, a conference on sustainable textiles held in Halifax and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Twelve speakers addressed issues of sustainable fashion, growing and processing linen, using natural dyes and making cloth in various venues.
Trudy Perks is a painter from California living in Barrie, Ontario. She is interested in folds and the emergence of patterns and soft structures with flexible geometries. Her BFA (2016) is from OCAD University and Hon.B.Sc.(2000) from the University of Toronto. She studied at Loughborough University’s School of Art & Design (2010) in East Midlands, UK, and has exhibited recently in public galleries in Toronto, Hamilton, Midland and Orillia.
Elycia SFA is a textile artist based in Toronto. Her work explores personal narrative and the de/reconstruction of memory, nostalgia, and loss, by portraying these concepts in the form of handwoven cloth. She attended OCADU for Material Art and Design:Fibre, and graduated in 2015. Elycia was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-In-Residence program and awarded a scholarship in 2016. She was a recipient of the Helen Frances Gregor Award in 2017.
Using weaving to fabricate images of locations and objects in transition over time, the textile becomes a material archive of representing memory within a changing landscape, re-making and distorting the image within the woven cloth. In recent works, she has thematically explored the preservation and deconstruction of memory, with a focused interest in domestic dwellings and the objects that inhabit them. While considering weaving as a tool for image making, she incorporates woven inlay and embroidery which allow her to draw with thread and create representational imagery within the body of the cloth.
Lois Schklar's work has been shown in exhibitions throughout Canada and the United States. Her burlap sculptures are in the Bronfman Collection, Claridge Investments, Cambridge Art Galleries and The Key Corporation.
Schklar has received grants from the Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council. Thirty Years of Dolls (2011) was a retrospective exhibition created with the assistance of a Craft Ontario award and an OAC Exhibition Assistance Grant. In 2013, she was awarded an OAC Multi/Integrated Arts Project Grant for Collected Memories, a drawing installation with professional dancer, musician and lighting designer. Most recently (2018), Schklar received a Canada Council Explore and Create Grant. Currently she has work at the Gladstone (Hard Twist 13 through January 2019) and in the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles from October 19 to January 13, 2019.
Lois is also an educator, facilitator, keynote speaker and curator. In 1997, she curated Dolls: Reclaimed at the Ontario Crafts Council and in 2008 she organized the exhibition, Drawing On at *new* gallery in Toronto. Lois received an OAC Visual Artist Project Grant for Research and Development for The Art of Packing (2014).
Currently Lois is a member of Red Head Gallery at 401 Richmond Street West in Toronto.
St Marie φ Walker, are artist-researchers investigating the applied nature of human perception, belief, value and illusion via the creative process. Their interdisciplinary practice experiments with the influence of environmental spaces, participatory / relational art, active and latent economies, the prosthetic quality of objects, kinetics, new media, critical poetic thinking, semiotics, and the consequences of focused free dialogue. Their work is influenced by the study of philosophy and psychology, although their research and practice cross-sections differing disciplines, informing and hybridizing their formal outcomes. Their process of creation is an intersection of conceptualism, experience-based engagement, iterative creation and thoughtful absurd play.
Walker holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Toronto, while St Marie holds a BFA and a B.Ed from the University of Victoria and Western University respectively. In recent years they traveled to New York to live/work via the Keith & Win Shantz International Research Fellowship. At this time St Marie received funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada in support of her investigation into Social Currency. They were invited to contribute to the International research project on Social Practice led by the Manchester School of Art in 2018. Additionally St Marie φ Walker were dually awarded the Governor General’s Gold Metal in Fine Art for their academic achievements during their MFA at the University of Waterloo.
Their work has been included in art festivals and galleries such as CAFKA, Scoitabank Nuit Blanche, Art Souterrain, Parking Day (Mississauga), Art in Transit, Art Mur, Art Gallery of Windsor, Le Labo, Harbourfront Centre, Markham Museum, Whippersnapper, Art Gallery of Waterloo and Malaspina Printmakers.
They are currently completing the Artist in Residence for the City of Waterloo and their culminating research will be on display at LUMEN 2018.
Negar Tajgardan is a visual artist with a special interest in sculpture, installation art, and photography. Tajgardan's work is based on her memories of coming to Canada from Iran and broader concepts of immigration and displacement. She is currently completing an MFA degree at the University of Saskatchewan. She participated in several group shows in Iran and Canada and had a sculpture-installation solo show in Iran.
She is interested in the memories of absent spaces, whether they are missed as a result of growing up, moving or even death, and how these reflect the changes in people’s lives. Tajgardan has chosen paper and dissolvable fabric for their qualities of fragility to speak to the vulnerability in life. She began with her own experience as someone of Middle Eastern background studying in Canada, representing memories of her safe place and the connection she is making with a new safe place here in Canada.