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September 21–December 29, 2013
Curated by Melanie Egan
You just never know where a line may lead.
It may be a path into a world real or imagined, or a thread that twists and turns without a foreseeable end. A line can mark the passage of time and the beating of our heart. We cling to life-lines in times of distress. They can anchor us or allow a kite to soar. Lines can create order or confusion, guide you on the straight-and-narrow or direct you nowhere.
A line is one of the most basic components of art and design practice and these eight artists cleverly lead you on.
– Melanie Egan
Head, Craft, Harbourfront Centre
This piece is part of a series that explores the relationship between painting and textile art. The process begins with extruding strands of acrylic paint through a piping bag, that once dry, are handwoven into swatches of colour. The resulting grid systems reference optical and geometric art, with attention to abstraction, structure and space. I’m interested in blurring the boundaries between craft and art, contemporary and traditional practices, and ultimately the possibility of paint as a sculptural medium.
Robert Davidovitz is an Israeli-born, Toronto-based artist. He received his BA in Visual Arts from York University in 2007. Since then his work has been exhibited at the Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto), The Gladstone Hotel (Toronto), Thames Art Gallery (Chatham, ON) and most recently at the Durham Art Gallery (Durham, ON), to name a few. Davidovitz is a recipient of grants from the Ontario Arts Council, has been featured in various publications including the Huffington Post and, earlier this year, was Artist-in-Residence at Spark Box Studio in Prince Edward County, ON.
Everybody has their obsessions; mine involve researching what constitutes the essence of a being; of the inner, of the deep inside. I attempt to express what is mysterious and secret. Therefore the artworks I create are about intimacy. As a subjective mode of existence, intimacy is a subtle notion, full of emotion and filled with imagination, at once vulnerable, fragile and precious.
To interpret this intimacy, various techniques are used with a constant aesthetic concern. The embroidery is removed from its traditional support to adorn plastic and metal in two and three-dimensional compositions. My works present symbolic allegories and literary allusions according to developed themes in collaboration with participants or frankly from autobiographical inspirations. Secrets, mental illness and dreamlike visions are the subjects that nurture my practice.
– Anouk Desloges
Anouk Desloges received her BA in Visual Arts from Université Laval (Québec City) and a Diploma in Sculpture from the Maison des métiers d’art de Québec where her work was awarded first honors among the association of the schools-studios of eastern Québec. Since then, she has been awarded a number of prizes and fellowships including the Untapped Emerging Artist for The Artist Project 2011 and a grant for emerging artists from the Québec Art Council in 2012. She has exhibited in Canada, France and Guatemala. Her embroidery work focuses on intimacy via suggestive forms. She was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence programme in 2013.
For over a decade, during my daily commute by train and bus along the Lakeshore corridor between Hamilton and Toronto, the wasted places along the rail routes of urban Ontario have been my accompanying panorama. The infrastructure along the path seldom changes, but the living landscape changes rapaciously. All the scenes are fleeting because of the speed of travel, but as blurred images sweep past, I absorb the landscape as the irrepressible growth of vegetation turns the barren aspect of winter to one bursting with life by the end of summer.
– Thea Haines
Thea Haines is a textile designer, artist and curator living and working in Hamilton, Ontario. She recently completed an MA in Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design (London, UK). She was previously Artist-in-Residence in the Textile Studio at Harbourfront Centre, a member of the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-operative and is currently an instructor in Textile Design at Sheridan College (Oakville, ON). Sustainability research forms a large part of her practice, and makes the case for natural dyes as an alternative to chemical dyes in craft production of printed, dyed stitched textiles.
In a Network of Lines that Enlace explores the relationship between crystalline salt forms and hand-work; honouring the “intelligence of the hand” and respecting the skill and labour of traditional hand-craft practices. Moreover, the work is intended as homage to the salt tears, lines sewn by, perspiration and effort of the seamstress. It is a gentle meditation on the loss of traditional hand skills and the hierarchical value structures that shape our perception of “women’s work.”
A graduate of Sheridan College’s Crafts and Design Program (Textiles) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Noelle Hamlyn has represented Canada at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale (South Korea) and the Love Lace International Lace Competition at the Power House Museum (Sydney, Australia). She exhibited at the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, and has work in the permanent collections of the Cambridge Art Gallery, the Peel Board of Education and the Cleveland University Hospitals. This past year she mounted a small solo show at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, and participated in the Biennale internationale du lin de Portneuf (Québec).
I have been researching and developing a technique called “fragile embroidery” which involves embroidering on materials that have traditionally been too weak to withstand embellishment with needle and thread. I am interested in understanding the physical limitations and conceptual strengths of fragile materials such as plant leaves, a film of mould, flower petals, peeling paint, snow, a spider’s web, a cheerio, etc. I work with themes such as patience, impermanence, grief, and intimacy. I often work in detail, slowly, and meticulously on materials that hold these themes within their structure, materials that will yellow, fade, or disintegrate within a human life span, sometimes within a few days or hours.
– Kate Jackson
Kate Jackson was chosen to represent Canada at the 2009 Cheongju International Craft Biennale (South Korea), and her work was exhibited at the Museum of Vancouver as part of the Cultural Olympiad during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Jackson was an Artist-in-Residence for three years in the Textile Studio at Harbourfront Centre. She is a member of Studio Huddle in Toronto, ON.
This piece is a reflection of my research into digital embroidery and my interest in intersections between the natural and the manufactured world. This collage is an imagining of a new type of plant form that has been constructed out of digital embroidery, hand embroidery, flocked glue and poured papier-mâché. Using colour, pattern and line, this work references the natural growth forms of coral and botanicals and forms them into a new imagined species.
– Amanda McCavour
Amanda McCavour holds a BFA from York University where she studied drawing and installation. Since graduating in 2007, she has participated in national and international exhibitions and has recently completed residencies at Harbourfront Centre’s Textile Studio, at Maison des Metiers D’art de Québec (Québec City) and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (Dawson City, Yukon). She is currently living in Philadelphia and is in her second year of the MFA program at Tyler School of Art.
Amanda is represented by Lonsdale Gallery in Toronto.
An Aran sweater purchased on Ebay is deconstructed and is transformed into a baby blanket. The blanket references the passing down of garments, tradition and craft. Often the line of tradition and skill is broken. Down the Line blanket allows for both historical and contemporary to exist in a contemporary functional textile.
Since graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 1992, Deirdre Nelson has pursued a parallel career in creating work for exhibition and commission, and in working as an artist facilitator to various groups. Her nomadic nature and interest in communities has allowed her to develop work for exhibition and on residencies both in UK and Australia. Research, humour and craft technique allow her to deal with relevant social and environmental issues whilst engaging communities in the process.
Nelson’s textile work employs a variety of techniques and materials fusing traditional textile skills and contemporary reinterpretation through photography and digital manipulation.
Rope and Mirrors is part of a series of ongoing experiments exploring line using common materials. This video uses black rope and mirrors to create illusion and confound expectations.
Special thanks to Chris Wiseman.
Joy Walker is a Toronto-based artist, textile designer and sometimes curator. She is interested in creating patterns and imposing order through systems of repetition and, at the same time – and paradoxically – in embracing chance by presenting moments of accidental wonder. Walker’s practice includes printing, photography, drawing, sculpture and most recently, video. Her work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions and is included in private and public collections. She is represented in Toronto by MKG127.