VISDA Current Threads 2015: Garden Tapestry

I want to make another post about the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association’s current exhibition because every work is such an excellent example of  the many techniques fibre artist’s have to work with.
The above detail is Linda Elias’s “Beet Harvest” where she used actual beets and leaves on a Gelli-plate to print on the cotton fabric and she added a layer of stamping. She backed the cotton with a hand woven wool cloth and machine stitched into the layers before adding hand stitching and beading.
Linda’s expression of the excitement in bringing in a plentiful harvest moved someone because they bought the work even before the official opening. Congratulations Linda.

Lori Mudrie’s “Thistles and Lace” (detail) has to be seen to be fully appreciated. This work is much fresher and softer looking than what you see in this poor image. What you are looking at are all fibres and fine thread. She needle felted a variety of different rovings blending the colours in a painterly way then she incorporated hand and machine stitching to catch the characteristic forms of thistles and Queen Anne’s Lace.

Laura Feeleus’s “Conservatory” (detail) shows a number of the different ways stitches can be used to attach items to a ground. On the right are dried rose petals trapped under hand-dyed silk. On the left is a vintage lace doily held in place with a layer of sheer silk and french knots. Elsewhere on the work are tree seeds and stones held in place by hand stitches.

Christine Fawcett’s “Dawn’s Delight” (detail) shows raised surfaces using a number of different techniques: furrowing, Kantha, and spot applique. Silk taffeta was dyed with avocado skins and eucalyptus bark using natural dyeing techniques.

Jo Ann Allan’s “Medieval Garden” (detail) has many historical textile references going back to the European Middle Ages. It is also a showcase of exquisitely worked hand stitches, techniques that have been practiced for centuries: Hardanger, blackwork, casalguidi raised embroidery.  In other areas of the work, there are machine embroidered slips, a contemporary take on an Elizabethan technique for applying heavily embroidered pieces to a ground. The old and new have also been combined with a traditional linen ground fabric and an area of hand-made silk fusion fabric.
Jo Ann is the co-ordinator of this exhibition and has done an excellent job in organising the details and communicating them and the deadlines to all of the artists. The theme is gardens and Jo Ann began by sending members a 3-page list of ideas related to this theme which I am sure was a great source of inspiration for many of the works in this exhibition.
The exhibition is on for another week, ending November 10th.
I do hope you can go and see this exhibition if you haven’t already done so.

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