Thursday, October 1, 2009

laborious

This winter, I will be participating in a exhibition of nine fiber artists at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. Each of us will get a glass display case recessed into the wall. The theme of the show is "laborious", a theme aptly applied to textile-based work.

To tell the truth, I have known about this project for a while, but because of more pressing concerns (scarves for orders and retail shows, solo exhibition of my artwork), I kept putting off thinking about the work I wanted to present. And now it's crunch time. The work will go up at the end of January, but we need to have a pretty concrete vision of our work ready today, with photographs of the finished work by November 1st.

I originally wanted to do something with all my scraps of weaving yarn I've been saving over the last two years since I have been working as a weaver full time. The logistics of this have proven daunting (shipping a giant garbage bag of scraps would cost a fortune, and I was not planning on flying to Toronto to install the work myself).

So today I gathered all these yarn scraps together, looked at them, played with them, and out of the jumble of colours and textures, I re-discovered these beautiful loop chains of Echo scarf warp ends. One batch of warp tied onto another so I didn't have to re-thread the loom for each batch of three scarves, creating these long chains of cotton colour that I've been saving thinking I would do something with them "some day". Each section of colour represents a warp used to weave three scarves, and I have over 60 sections in this loop chain - the residue of 180 Echo scarves woven over the past year and a half. Lots of labour! The glass case we have to present our work in measures 30" wide x 28" high x 17" deep and I really like the chain of cotton looped around a coat hanger suspended from the roof of the case. This references the scarves I make, the warmth generated (shelter, food, clothing) by the income these scarves provide, and the physical weight of the labour itself.....

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