COLBORNE - Moving on: An Exhibition of Hand Weaving by Weavers Unlimited will be at the Colborne Art Gallery from May 31 to July 6.
Founded on a shared love of fibre and the time-honoured tradition of hand weaving, Weavers Unlimited is an Eastern Ontario-based collective. Its 14 members have gathered over the past decade to share their interest in working with fibres, investigate complex and innovative weave structures, and explore the use of colour more fully — pursuing their own interests as well as collaborating on larger projects and exhibitions.
The Moving On theme was chosen by the members to represent the fact that all are at different stages of weaving expertise and interest, and at different stages in their lives, making the concept of moving on a very individual thing.
Eleven Weavers Unlimited members will participate in the show, and each has described her particular inspiration or approach.
For Jean Down, Moving On means bringing two parts of her fibre experience together to explore how different weaving and dyeing techniques can collectively be part of the design.
Ellen Good will provide an example of material she wove on a primitive loom from the 1800s at Upper Canada Village, moving on to a contemporary variation of this material made on her modern loom.
Karin Hendriksen decided to weave a table runner. For her, a table symbolizes the origin of ideas, and she is inspired by the ideas, innovation, creativity and encouragement the group offers.
In a departure from her usual functional work, Marianne Heggtveit has woven a piece that explores the ancient form of satin weave.
Inspired by her large family as she nears her 79th birthday, Jean Bair will display a strongly coloured piece to signify the family's many different personalities. This functional fabric, to be used as a table cover or a bed shawl, includes hidden motifs reflecting her rainbow family’s origins and structures.
Family has motivated Pam Theilmann as well in her hanging inspired by the birth of her grandson, incorporating a Batman theme.
The two rugs shown by Ruth Jarvis highlight her exuberance in using colour in unique and unexpected combinations.
Mary Morrison has also created a rug for the show called Summer Fields. she uses mostly vegetable-dyed yarns for their naturally subtle tints.
Another weaver inspired by her connection to nature, Roberta Murrant's work will reflect her particular relationship with trees (which she describes as being the perfect companions to Move On with).
Francesca Overend was inspired by Cesar Franck's Symphony in D, which explores the relationship between reason and fantasy. The sound became shape, shape was formed into pattern, and pattern became design.
Deb Templeton explores echo weave designs that look dimensional, as well as fabric deconstruction — a removal of all of the horizontal threads, resulting in a "ghost" of the original. She will also show a piece that interprets Moving On in life, with a rug that depicts the last two heartbeats in life and the action of moving on to the next life as the heartbeat dissipates into a white light.
The diversity of techniques, personal styles and approaches to weaving in these descriptions of the work is part of the group's intention. The individual members challenge themselves to create pieces that not only please them personally, but are also personally challenging.
This shared drive to innovate and inspire will be apparent in the exciting new collection of work on display at The Colborne Art Gallery, whose members are eager to welcome this guest exhibit and share their Heritage Gallery space with them.
The artists will be present at the opening reception on May 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is always free, and everyone is welcome.
The exhibit continues through July 6.
The gallery is located at 51 King St. E. in Colborne, and hours are noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
For more information, call 905-355-1798 or visit www.thecolborneartgallery.ca.
— Barbara Buntin