Saturday, 8 October 2011

September 2011Guest Speaker: LIne Dufour

The past Month of September our Guild had the opportunity to invite one of the few artists in the GTA that still design and weaves tapestry:

Line Dufour is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. She also obtained her Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto.

Her tapestries have been exhibited extensively throughout Ontario and in New York. She has received numerous awards, grants and scholarships to pursue her weaving.

Line has extensive teaching experience with people of all ages. Not only has she taught weaving but she has also taught high school art (Waterloo Separate Board) and art history (Wellington County Board, Continuing Education).

Line Dufour creates handwoven tapestries for exhibition, commission and sale. In addition she also creates and designs handwoven, hand knit and fibre constructed scarves, shawls, and capes. Because of her passion for weaving and fibre,Tapestry Line Unlimited was created to encompass all the various aspects of her fibre related activities and weaving, through which she also offers for sale weaving supplies, materials and equipment.

Line shared with us part of her creative process, her philosophy towards the creation and the inspiration that lies behind each and every one of her pieces. Her use of colour as well as her technique shows her wonderful skills due to her background in Design and Art and the skills that are present in each one of her tapestries.

Line brought some samples of her work to share with our Guild members, who participated by asking questions during her wonderful lecture.

Her presentation took place at the facilities of the Oakville Art Society , which for the past year have been so kind to lend us one of its art rooms for our monthly meetings. We truly appreciate this generous gesture on behalf of the Oakville Handweavers and Spinners Guild.

Tapestry weaving in the GTA specifically is not new. Wonderful examples of this medium can be admired all around the TDC (Toronto Dominion Centre)

Names like Tamara Jaworska or Marcel Marois,

was born in Saint-Ephram, Quebec, in 1949.
He currently lives and works in Quebec City.

These are some of the examples that are still there in the foyers of some of the buildings.

Tamara Jaworska

Immigrated to Toronto, Ontario in 1969. B.F.A., Honors, State Academy of Fine Arts, Poland (1950); M.F.A. Faculty of Design and Weaving, State Academy of Fine Arts, Lodz, Poland (1952)

Specter in Silver, 1984
Tapestry-gobelin: linen, hand-spun wool, mohair, silver thread, 2.15 x 1.8 m

Iridescent Marsh/Marais Irisé, 1985 by Paulette-Marie Sauve, Toronto Dominion Center, Canadian Pacific Tower: York Street entrance

“Paulette-Marie Sauvé’s Gobelin tapestry “Iridescent Marsh", is installed on adjacent walls of the west lobby of the Canadian Pacific Tower. Borrowing from elements of Bauhaus design, she has created irregular triangles of exuberant color, representing her interpretation of the Canadian landscape (Flora growing in marsh areas).

Seen from outside, these shapes provide an interesting diagonal play with the horizontal and vertical framework of the Mies van der Roe architecture.

In this four building complex, there are two other pieces: Sun Ascending, 1985 by Kaija Sanelma Harris in the TD Tower and Grande Ville, 1985 Joanna Staniszki in the Royal Trust Tower. Both of who have busy well established careers are easily accessible through their dealers and websites. Joanna Staniszki metal work was profiled in the Summer 2005 Surface Design, Journal of the Surface Design Association. As of this posting date have yet get the information about their pieces or images.

More tapestries in the central lobby north of the elevator core of this building, Infinity by Sofia Dlugopolska (west side of lobby) Untitled by Jacqueline Lescott off the balcony to the south of Infinity and an untitled tapestry by Maria Ciechomska on the east side. Information about these artists has not been found and the obvious source of it, building management often considerate nothing more then decoration if they notice it at all. This is unfortunately indicative of attitudes about public art in general. [1]

I would like to invite all the textile lovers to come out sometime to Toronto and take a look at these pieces before they are gone. We know by some members of the textile Museum of Canada that years ago there where even more. Some were removed while the building was under remodeling or for maintenance, but some never went back to their places where they where hung.

Tapestry is an ancestral technique yet a contemporary medium to transcend in art. By appreciating this medium we encourage young artists to pursue working into this wonderful technique. Spinners have also a very important role in all of this productions. Traditional and/or orthodox weavers still like to work only on natural materials. If hand spun available is definitely the best choice. By creating original hand spun yarns, tapestry weavers have even more materials into their palette to work with.

[1] Quote from the TD Centre brochure

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