Joe L. | January 20, 2014
It was on Friday August 27 2004 that I first came the Cambridge Galleries as a member of the Press, it was the opening of Fibreworks 2004 and I was there representing Textile Artist Designer Association and had the Fall 2004 issue of Surfacing (TADA's members only magazine) with me and several of the makers in the show where featured in the exhibition. This in my pre-Facebook Twitter and instagram faze so documented proof of my attendance. I was excited to see work I had only seen pictures of and happy to learn that some of the work in the show had been purchased to add the the Cambridge Galleria’s growing collection of contemporary textile and fibre work. When I came to the opening of Fibreworks 2006 I was the publisher of fibreQUARTERLY which I had started as a replacement for Surfacing which had ceased to publishing when TADA shut its doors in 2005.I had gained a much wider knowledge of the contemporary textile and fibre crafts and arts nationally and around the world.
What I was seeing in Fibreworks was work that was comparable if not superior to work I was aware of and occasionally seeing from other parts of the world. Fibreworks was and is a world class event and the collection gains international importance as the years go by. In between and ever since I have tried to return to see as many exhibitions as possible. I have not written much about the shows in fibreQUARTERLY but I have been posting public photo albums of monthly “Textile Sightings” on facebook since 2008 and shows at Queen's Square and Design at Riverside feature often in these albums. I think the combined openings of Fibreworks 2010 | FABRICcation | Knit camBRIDGE was one of the high points in terms of attendance and celebration. Exhibition participants from different parts of the country suddenly arrived on mass in a bus from Toronto and it was old home week kind of it was great to see people with their work. Some I had met in their home towns; Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and elsewhere like Henderson ville, North Carolina and Upper Haslach, Austria at textile conferences. What Sue Sturdy's Knit camBRIDGE community event did for bringing in the local community could not have been more outrageously joyful. When you occasionally run into isolated knitting Graffiti it might bring a smile to your face but seeing a bridge almost completely covered in garishly coloured unrelated individual and group knitting projects was like dancing to your favorite disco hit. “Turn the beat around, turn it upside down” and that is what Knit camBRIDGE did for the day, and the town.
Canadian's do get around and I hope in this 35th Anniversary year for the Cambridge Galleries that many more pass through the gallery doors then ever before.