Monday, October 24, 2011

Making art from shmatas, or 'extreme sewing'

Not to be missed: One of Canada's preeminent textile artists, Barbara Wisnoski, is showing recent works from October 29th until November 26th, details here. From the press release:

D├ęcorum ou la broderie in situ is a performative installation featuring Barbara Wisnoski’s ‘extreme’ sewing combined with text adorning the gallery walls. Produced over a ten-month period from an accumulation of cast-off clothing, the textile motifs form a repeat pattern that expands a small domestic embroidery motif to a public scale. The family archive aspect implicit in her raw
materials – a household fabric inventory - is rendered explicit, with narrative text on one wall echoing the design. Through a serial process of destruction and reconstruction – slashing fabric apart with scissors, sewing it together, then slashing it apart again - the remnants form a dense, homogeneous texture where surface melds into structure.

On Thursdays and Fridays throughout the duration of the exhibition the artist will be present in the gallery, where she will finally tend to her large pile of mending. Furnished with comfortable seating and a sewing machine, visitors can engage with her about the artwork or come with clothing repair projects or a good book to talk about.

Part open studio, part performance, part sewing bee, this temporary pavilion mixes the languages of public and private space in a hyperbolic act of decoration, inviting questions about art and labour, ornament and utility, consumption, the measure and value of time, memory and the uses of nostalgia.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Thanks so much for the shout-out, Glen. You missed excellent pierogies, smoked fish and vodka at the vernissage. And just a reminder: I will be giving a talk about my work at the gallery (Diagonale, 5545 de Gaspe #203, at St. Viateur) this Friday November 11 at 3 pm...Freudian fabric fetishes, why we can blame Plato & Kant for the fact that 'decoration' is always preceded by 'mere', fascinating global clothing waste statistics, something for everyone!