Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Two more Culture Day pictures
More Culture Day pictures

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More tapestry in progress

Hope to finish it soon and start a new one.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Teaching the workshop at Culture Days

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Updated previous work

I've updated the presentation of some of my previous work

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Culture Days 2011

This year I'm participating again in the Culture Days event with a Tapestry for Beginners workshop on Saturday October 1st. from 1pm to 4 pm at the Barbara Frum Library in Toronto, please see the link below:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

organized chaos

Yarns for new tapestry

starting new work

Started weaving for next year's exhibition at the Library

Friday, July 29, 2011

Finally the WTA 6th Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art ended and here is the work I've exhibited - one full image and a detail.
Name of the work: "The Colours of the Air" - "Los Colores del Aire". In Spanish because this year it took place in Mexico.
Here also the concept of the work, in Spanish and English:
Para tejer esta obra me inspiré en el tema de la contaminacion. El aire lleno de gases nocivos toma colores diferentes, brilla y se vuelve amarronado y amarillento en algunas partes. El choque de las particulas gaseosas que flotan sin control provoca una explosion que desgarra la capa creada por la polucion y deja ver el cielo puro que estaba detras. Los colores del aire surgen y se imponen sobre todo lo demas. Los azules se mezclan con los restos de la explosion que los invvaden sin control. La luz se abre paso filtrandose a traves del caos. Finalmente todo tiende a acomodarse antes que venga la noche. Otra vez los colores del aire vuelven a aparecer en todo su esplendor.
My inspiration for this work came from the issue of contamination. The air full of noxious fumes takes many different colours, it shines and turns tones of brown and yellow. Gas particles floating uncontrollably crash and blow tearing the layer created by the pollution and expose the clean sky behind. All the colours of the air emerge and dominate everything. Wildly, the remains of the explosion invade the blue shades.The light makes its way and filters through the chaos. finally, everything seems to accomodate before the night. The colours of the air appear again and show in full splendor.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Great news!

I was selected for exhibiting at one of the Toronto Public Libraries in 2012. My work will be shown at the Fairview Library during the whole month of May. The space is amazing and perfect for big tapestries. Small format projects will have to wait for now. During the next 12 months I will be posting pictures of how my works progress. I'm also preparing for Culture Days Toronto 2011 and getting ready for more teaching in the fall. This will be a very busy summer indeed!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I've just completed the Artist-Educator Foundations Course by the Royal Conservatory of Music with the support of the Ontario Arts Council. It was an amazing experience in every sense. I can only explain it by copying my Final Assignment. Here it is:

As I ponder about this paper’s subject matter and the purpose of writing it, some of the questions I was asked when I applied for this course and the answers I gave then, come to mind. It really surprises me to realize that I was able to predict what happened during the actual course.

To the question: Why are you interested in taking the Artist-Educator Foundations Course? I said: I love the possibility of learning how to teach new ways of approaching expression through colour, textures and material choices.

To the question: What are your hopes or expectations of this course? I answered: I would like to be able to expand on this new phase of my artistic career and gain more experience in a class set up.

To the question: Where do you see yourself going in your career? My answer was: I see myself confident that what I am teaching and how I am passing it along is the most efficient, educational and entertaining way available.
Did I accomplish all that? My answer is an absolute YES. I was introduced to a variety of teaching tactics that are both entertaining and engaging students, while leading them to an increased accountability in the class, and motivating them to learn through the arts.

My expectations of this course also had to do with a curiosity about a culture very different from the one I was educated in. Being an immigrant every movement is for me a challenge and in this case, it took me to a new level of knowledge and understanding of what surrounds me.

This class was for me a rehearsal. Being between many art forms produced by many backgrounds created an interesting exchange and, why not reflect that in my work?

Creativity must pair imagination. Yarns and fabrics will spin and interlace and create fresh and strong images. One of the most exciting moments in the course was introducing my art form to the classroom with a game. It took the students to understanding the basics of a very simple technique in which the use of soft materials can create an unusual object of admiration they will be very proud of showing to their peers.

Due to the nature of my art work, what I bring to the class is different to what other artists can bring and I’m confident in the fact that it will interest many teachers or programs organizers in many places. I come out of this course with the certainty that I now have the skills to create the network I need to expand professionally.

In terms of how I will apply my experience from this course to my life and future classrooms, what stands out from my experiences in this course is the fact that I have worked with peers in a lab-style class using new ideas and enjoying it all along. Creating a Rap Song was something I’ve never expected I will be able to do and I hope my future students will experience the same joy when learning how to weave a tapestry.

One of the most interesting readings for the class was the one about multiple intelligences. As a teacher I expect to find the way to deal with that matter and take advantage of that to have every student working in their own way, to achieve the goals I set out for them. I would also like to have the possibility of giving my students a chance to immerse themselves in a world of textures and volumes. To allow them to view every piece as a learning experience and to acquire the same passion I have for vibrant colours, and for the interplay of textures as well as the reactions they provoke against one another. These are the elements that drive my inspiration. My mission involves educating people about what a tapestry really is. My previous experiences have made it clear that many don’t even know the meaning of the word and I’ll have to give them the tools to learn what it is all about. Tapestry doesn’t usually have the same exposure as other art forms and sometimes being “just a piece of woven fabric,” is not as powerful as a painting when it comes to expressing an idea. I’d also like to engage my students in a healthy discussion about what matters in this kind of art to exercise their minds at the same time as they work with their hands. Handwork is not always seen as a valid choice and creating images by interlacing yarns should be for them a rewarding moment. Teachers must also be guided in this journey.

I’ve always viewed every corner of my studio as hub of creativity and now it’s also going to be a means of transferring it to others. I take pleasure in touching and working with different materials such as wool, thread, wood, objects around the house. It is as if these objects had a life of their own and would transmit it to the world through my hands, as if I acted as a messenger between them and the world that surrounds us. My work is also a way of learning. I grow professionally and creatively through my personal experiences as an artist.

Of course learning how to weave a tapestry has many stages. It is the same as mounting on a ladder step by step. First the basics, then making simple woven objects before being able to create simple geometric forms and that takes to simple images or just organic forms that look like waves or hills. After all that comes the use of drawing skills to create a simple image to weave and the ladder goes on and on.

I think that offering teachers a possibility to combine my teachings with their history lessons will offer their students a good prospect of many cultures because even if we don’t realize it weaving is been part of every day life since very old ages.

Artist-Educator Foundations course - pictures

Monday, May 23, 2011

VI International World Textile Art Biennial - Air - Small Format Show.

One of my works was accepted by the VI International World Textile Art Biennial - Air - Small Format Show. This event takes place this year in several venues in Mexico. The Small format Show goes from May 16th. to June the 3rd. in Xalapa, Veracruz and it shows works from very famous artists. I'm thrilled to be between them! I will add pictures of this tapestry only after the show ends.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Many thoughts

I'm getting ready to start a large piece. For the last several years I've been doing small formats only and that include the miniatures for the woven jewellery. I'm also working on new ideas for the jewellery. They'll hopefully turn out great! These small works are woven in frames of various sizes. Same kind of frames that I was using for the middle ones.
I think the time has come for a change.
For the large one I will use for the first time the old Leclerc Counterbalance Loom that I got from the Ontario Crafts Council Grants Committee a couple of years ago when I applied for the money to buy a loom and they replaced the money by several pieces of equipment. They include the Jack Loom that I've being using for the scarves being sold at the Textile Museum and this one that came disassembled and it took me to a research to find out that manuals are not being made anymore because this is an antique from the early 1900s! and I had to use similarities with the new ones to be able to assemble it properly. It also came with a Warping Mill, several books and notes and a huge bag of yarns - I'm still using them! - I hope my achievements with this equipment will honour the memory of the previous owner. That old lady I've never met. Her90something years old widower gave me all that with the OCC intervention. I think this was meant to be. I was always feeling a connection with her when I went over all her staff. Those were all things I loved to have!
Oops! I forgot to detail the last two pictures:

The red one, is called "Turning point". It's shape is irregular but geometric. The division between the two areas - the triangle an the rectangle - marks the turning point. It has Soumak inserts. Materials are wool, cotton, silk, synthetics and sisal. Warp is linen and it sits on masonite. Size: 8" x 10.
The green one is called: "Still life". It's a perfect square. Size 8"x 8". Made of wool and synthetics. Linen warp, On masonite lined with green cotton fabric. The upper part of the veggie - is a fat green pepper - is woven/built in three layers an that makes it three-dimensional. I'm adding a picture showing that.

About the last two pictures

The next two pictures show my last small format pieces. I'm looking forward to find a place to exhibit them.

new small format work

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tiny basket woven in sisal and waxed linen, the base holds a piece of a flat brasilian stone

Shadow box exhibited at Textile Museum Toronto in 2010

Oops! I realized that i forgot to put these images here last year. The box is pictured against a window to show the transparency of it's background. This is a small work, 0.20 cm. x 0.20 cm size.

Images from Maximo Laura's workshop in Montreal

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The next posting is an unedited version of the second article published in the Winter CTN Newsletter

In August I visited the series of exhibitions “When thirteen moons entwine” organized by Toma Ewen of the “Moon Rain centre”. I came to Canada in November 1996 and one of my hopes then was to develop as a tapestry artist here without knowing that’s not an easy task. Only once in 2004 a saw a tapestry exhibition in Toronto - where I live - from Joanne Soroka, at the Univ. of Toronto. After that I learned that I will have to travel if I want to see more. Also, from my experiences trying to exhibit tapestry here I noticed with surprise that a big percentage of the people don’t even know what a tapestry is. So, when I learned about this event I decided to visit with my husband who took it as a summer weekend trip.

After spending the night with our daughter in Montreal we left that Friday morning for Ottawa planning to see 5 of the exhibits. The first place we visited was the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans where we saw several Toma Ewen’s tapestries. I couldn’t believe it! Finally I started to relive the vibrancy of tapestry art in my country, Argentina and wonder why this is not happening more often here. I loved her tapestries indeed. Her style is very closed to what I used to see in my previous home. Then we headed for Gatineau to Gallerie Montcalm, situated inside the Town Hall to see the European “Avec eau ou sans eau” miniatures international exhibit. They were amazing works. I confirmed that miniatures have become an important part of the tapestry world. Then we went to Espace Pierre Debain in a cute Cultural Centre. Works from many artists! I was flabbergasted and remembered the many times I’ve heard in Toronto that this is a dead art. The last to see for the day were the several tapestries in the boardroom of the municipal building of the town of Val de Monts situated in the middle of a beautiful mountainous landscape. And they opened the room especially for us! What a luxury! I believe the councilors must have been felling warmed by these colourful and textured works hanging on the walls around them.

Last but not least, on Saturday we went to the Moon Rain Centre to see the installations there. We travelled through a beautiful area, villages, houses surrounded by hills, lakes and woods. The trip wasn’t long but, suddenly, our GPS stopped working for lack of signal. Luckily I had directions I received from the artist in our previous email exchange. Without them it would have been impossible to arrive. I was greeted by her and toured the place. The studio, a cozy round cabin showed the participants artwork and in a corner the loom with what she usually works. Nearby is the place where she lives all year round. I think a person must love solitude a lot to be there, especially in winter. Weaving surrounded by that silence must be very fulfilling for her. And then we walked by the thirteen installations in the fields surrounding the buildings. The works were very interesting and very contemporary. Far from what many would consider tapestry art from the traditional point of view. In fact the essence of all that was the communion with nature and understanding of the environment. I walked the steep path asking myself: How did they do that? Weavings of different kind hanging from trees, staked to a hill or floating on a little stream. Textile constructions built on the terrain. I wonder what will be left from them after standing the harsh Quebec winter.

I returned to Toronto with my spirit full of joy and hoping these kind of events will be repeated.