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The Fibres Programme at Concordia allows for a rigourous and comprehensive study of the technical, conceptual and creative aspects of contemporary art and textile production. Inherently interdisciplinary in nature, the Fibres Programme encourages a cross fertilization of ideas, techniques and technologies.

The Fibres Area provides a cross media programme of study that explores the relationships of material to culture. Informed by a broad range of discourses from traditional aesthetics to the aesthetics of the everyday,

The Fibres Area is constituted by a series of constantly shifting questions around the role of the artist and the nature of art as well as traditional notions of beauty and function. A unique medium, Fibres is able to address a wide range of experiences from the most intimate to the public realms.

Offering degrees in undergraduate and graduate programmes of study, students are introduced to processes which include silkscreen printing, dyeing, weaving, digital imaging, papermaking, feltmaking, knitting, computer assisted weaving, embellishment, public interventions, sculptural and installation practices. Digital technologies are integrated into the programme through digital imaging software and the use of computer assisted textile production systems.

Visiting lecturers are drawn from an international community of artists, designers and cultural theorists who contribute immensely to the rich vitality of the programme. Field trips, an active Fibres Student Association, exhibition and internship opportunities complement the programme.

Ideally situated in Montreal's vibrant, downtown city core, Concordia’s unique location is within easy proximity to major museums and galleries - Musée des Beaux Arts, Musée McCord, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Musée d'art contemporain, Redpath Museum - as well as numerous contemporary commercial and artist run galleries.

 This section of the Quebec issue of Fibre Quarterly will focus on four recent Concordia University BFA Fibre Arts graduates.  Ed Janzen, Kate Hampel, Hélène Brousseau, and Dana Dal Bo were strongly recommended by their professors as examples of the excellence and diversity that their program has to offer.  The undergraduate degree program in Fibres at Concordia offers courses in beginning and advanced fibres structures and printing and dyeing, as well as papermaking, and the opportunity for independent study.  Both undergraduate and graduate students also have opportunities to become involved in the Hexagram Institute as student research assistants, which will also be featured following these artist profiles.

 Hélène Brousseau


Hélène Brousseau – BFA in Studio Art, Fibres, April 2007, Concordia University Pictured here with recent work at The Title We Need,May 8 – 13, 2007, Galerie Sharon Ramsay, Montreal

Hélène Brousseau had an interest in art from an early age, but she grew up in a small town in Quebec, and didn’t have the opportunity to take art classes.  Her dream was to go to art school, which she finally realized at Champlain College, taking a CEGEP program in fine art.  While at Champlain, she was inspired by Professor Ashley Miller, who often worked in fibres techniques, and she decided to follow that path, continuing her studies at Concordia University.  Hélène has always been fascinated by materials and the ways in which tiny components can come together to form a larger whole.  In terms of fibres, she divulges that “I like to construct it, from as basic a level as I can possibly go, so I like to work with weaving, and I like to work with an individual thread, like with embroidery, and to draw with that and to construct my own structures.”


Défiler (2005) Embroidery and oil on canvas,48” x 18” Photo credit: Hélène Brousseau

One of the things that drew Hélène to fibre is its accessibility “to everyone, not only artists or people that have a connection to the art world… someone in an art gallery, they already have a relationship to fibre through their family or their friends, or just what they prefer of fibres….I find that people can associate with my work on a deeper level, than they could with some other kind of medium.”  Often working in themes related to family and personal relationships, she finds her work is a way of giving back to her family and friends, and also a way to involve them in different steps in the art making process.


Camouflage 4 (2006) Loom woven camouflage fabric, thread 39” x 18”
Photo credit: Hélène Brousseau

 In her artist statement, Hélène reveals that “my recent work involves fire arms as a medium. Claiming to be somewhat of an iconoclast, I shoot my art work generally after the pieces are finished. On the surface it is an exploration of violence and war; underneath I explore the assimilation of a new technique that makes sense in the measure that violence by firearms surrounds us to such a high extent on the news that it is normal to think of it as a mode of expression.  My work is meant to be quiet and sensitive, but with a sharp, unexpected edge, like me.”

 self portrait

 Self Portrait (2006)Dye sublimation on fabric, gun shot canvas, blackboard 12” x 9”
Photo credit:  Hélène Brousseau

Hélène plans to spend the next year managing a cafe and possibly taking an independent study in fibres to keep her art practice going.  She eventually hopes to work in an art gallery setting, and plans on doing an MFA degree, potentially in Europe or in the U.S.  She has participated in nine juried and group shows in the past three years, including Connective Tissue at the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec and Friendly Fire at Art Mur.

for Dana Dal Bo Profile click on "next" immediately below

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