Moving on… An Exhibition of Hand Weaving by Weavers Unlimited
May 31st through July 6th 2014 at The Colborne Art Gallery.
article by Barbara Buntin

Weavers-Unlinited-by-Steve-Templeton-smallFounded on a shared love of fibre and the time honoured tradition of hand weaving, Weavers Unlimited is an Eastern Ontario based collective whose members strive to explore the limits and intricacies of woven fabric.

Weavers Unlimited, which has fourteen members, has gathered over the past 10 years to share their interest in working with fibres, to investigate complex and innovative weave structures and to fully explore the use of colour. Along the way each member has pursued their own interests as well as collaborating as a group on several larger projects and exhibitions.

In an early summer exhibit, The Colborne Art Gallery will showcase the latest collaboration by Weavers Unlimited on the concept of “Moving On”.  The theme was chosen by the members and in their collective words it represents the fact that they are “all at different levels of weaving expertise and interests, and at different stages in our lives, making "moving on" a very individual concept. For some, it may be based on changing family circumstances, for others on a different approach to designing, and for some involve the use of a technique not tried before.”

Eleven members of the Weavers Unlimited group will participate in the show and each has described her particular inspiration or approach to the theme of “Moving On”.

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 1800's 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 Karin a table symbolizes the origin of ideas and she is inspired by the ideas, innovation, creativity and encouragement of the group Weavers Unlimited. 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 families many different personalities. This functional fabric to be used as a table cover or a bed shawl and 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 and calls it “Summer Fields.”  Mary uses mostly vegetable-dyed yarns for their naturally subtle tints. Another weaver inspired by her connection to nature is Roberta Murrant, her 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 involves 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.  Deb 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 is evident in these descriptions of the work and is part of the intention of the Weavers Unlimited Group. 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. The members of the Gallery are eager to welcome this talented group of fibre artists and share their Heritage Gallery space with them.

The opening reception with the artists present will be held on Saturday May 31st from 2-4pm. Admission is always free and all are welcome to attend. The exhibit continues until July 6, 2014

The Colborne Art Gallery 
51 King St E Colborne ON 905 355 1798 
Gallery hours (during shows) March – December, Thursday through Sunday noon to 5 pm

For additional information on this show please contact: Annie McDonald