Editorial: Just Below the Surface PDF  | Print |  E-mail

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Somehow this is has become the very late Winter 2009 issue or the late Winter 2010 Issue - either way it is Volume 5, Issue 4, “Just Below the Surface”.   2009 was an incredible year for me, both personally and professionally, since for me they are one and the same. In January 2009 I attended the “Inspired Design: Jacquard and Entrepreneurial Textiles” Conference at Blue Ridge Community College, in Hendersonville, North Carolina, organized by the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, University of North Carolina.  In August, I spoke at the European Textile Network’s conference held at Textile Centre Haslach in Upper Austria.  In between those two events, I attended the launch of the UK based Telos Art Publishing’s “Art Textiles of the World: Canada”,  the latest in their series of books on textile art, as well as the exhibition accompanying the publication at the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles. What I discovered at these events is that outside of Canada there is an incredible interest in what is going on in Fibre and Textile Arts inside of Canada.

Both conferences produced issues of fibreQUARTERLY, focused on Canadian activities Volume 5 Issue 2 was Entrepreneurial Textiles in Canada, Woven, Knitted and Printed, and Volume 5 Issue 3 was a look at Tapestry; Before, During, Now and Next. The Tapestry issue was put together around a 1973-74 touring exhibition called Textiles into 3D.  This exhibition was an invitational challenge for Canadian artists to participate in what was then called the “Fibre Revolution”.   That issue also became a memorial to Helen Duffy, who as an artist, curator and writer had been a midwife to the Contemporary Textile Arts movement in Canada. I have learned to go with the flow, editorially speaking, and since that issue focused on Tapestry, this one is focused on another “genre”: surface design. With a quick call for submissions that felt more like a demand, [publishing often makes one feels like cracking a whip], I have been able to pull together this issue in 8 weeks. There is, however, nothing rushed about the stories submitted.

Valerie Walker’s story about the Surface Design Association’s “Off the Grid”, which was previewed on the “Back Page” of the last issue, is presented in its entirety now along with Monica Bodirsky’s short reviews of the SDA’s 17 hours of DVD documentation of the conference, along with 4 workshops that took place there. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview textile printer designer Gunnel Hag.  In the end, this turned out to be more of a profile of a time period the 1970s when Surfacing, the Textile Dyers and Printers Association, of which Gunnel was a founding member and the Craft Studios at Harbourfront Centre, began.  This “Surface Design” issue ends with a look at two textile printing facilities: one operating as both a school and studio, the Centre Design & Impression Textile De Montréal , submitted by Monique Beauregard, and The Contemporary Textile Studio Co-operative in Toronto submitted by Rachel MacHenry.

As well, in continuing our ongoing look at textiles as public art, “Who Made That: Calgary Bridge Banner Project” tells the story of ACAD graduates Marci Simkulet and Stefanie Wong’s temporary public installation project. We also look at the largest tapestry on display in Canada, Tamara Jaworska’s “Unity” at the Gulf Canada Square Building at 401 9th Street SW in downtown Calgary.

2009: A Year in Textiles” is our annual listing of exhibition reviews, (if there were any), and catalogues produced in Canada.

The Back Page has been an evolving space and is now functioning as preview for the theme of the next issue.  In this case, it is for the issue after next. Volume 6 Issue 2 Summer 2010’s theme is:  Comfort Zone.  [Volume 6 Issue 1 Spring 2010 will be our 2009 PDF Anthology].

The Back Page also presents “Absence and Presence: Disembodied Clothing as Relic” by Jennifer Smith-Windsor,  “Clothes … they are at once both bridge and barrier”.

Jennifer is currently enrolled in the Fine Contemporary Crafts program at the Ottawa School of Art specializing in textiles. She recently repatriated to Canada after having lived in England for the past twelve years. Her work explores the capacity of cloth to evoke memory. 

joe in Haslach

Joe lewis at the podium at ETN Conference August 2009

  Call for submissions for fibreQUARTERLY 

Volume 6 Issue 2 Summer 2010 theme is: Comfort Zone (blankets, sweater, scarves old family textiles things that inspire safety) Story ideas are due now with editorial deadline May 15/10, posting June 21, 2010.

for more details 



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