An excursion to the West Vancouver Public Library to see the exhibition Textiles at the Library added sunshine to what outside was a dismal, grey, wet day. Works were from members of the Coast Character Doll Group, FibreEssence, the Greater Vancouver Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild, North Shore Needle Arts Guild, The Surface Design Association and the Vancouver Guild of Fibre Arts. Techniques encompassed embroidery, knitting, felting, basketry, silk screening, dyeing and discharge dyeing, weaving, fabric collage, book making, sewing and stitching.
Pieces that resonated for me were “Me in My Dad’s Clothes” by Eleanor Hannan. This was a grouping of stretched canvasses which were minimally free hand embroidered in black and white thread showing a figure wearing an over size jacket and cleverly disguised lettering incorporated in the design which spelt out the title of the works. The minimalism enhanced the quietness and moving quality. Michelle Sirois Silver’s shift from rug hooking to surface design proved her prowess at design and different textile techniques. I was drawn in for a closer look at a wallhanging (silk screened, stitched, dyed and discharge dyed) by Anne Marie Andrishak, who I remembered as a felter. Lastly, I found the quilt by Pat Crucil held my attention due to its minimal colour palette and surface design techniques.
This was an exciting exhibition and wonderful to see so many textile techniques displayed together. It is always a challenge displaying work in a setting designed for functions other than an exhibition. The pieces were displayed on walls on two floors with free-standing work in lidded cases. I would have loved to have seen the dolls with more display space and better lighting and some of the wall pieces without seats in front of them. Even on a weekday theses seats were occupied, but the occupants did allow me to stretch over them for a closer look.
The exhibition ends on Tuesday March 11. West Vancouver Public Library, 1950 Marine Drive 604-925-7400
While on the North Shore head over to the Atrium Gallery at the North Vancouver City Hall, 141 West 14th Street, 604-985-7761 to see the thread installation by Robin Ripley.
-Exhibition Review by Jo Darts