Friday, September 21, 2012

"Tradition in Transition" – the Canadian Exhibition at Ste. Marie-aux-Mines (report no. 3)

As I was mostly bound up with my own personal exhibition in the Eglise St. Louis I did not have a whole lot of time to go around and see other exhibitions. But I did get a chance to run over to the Eglise de la Madeleine where the invited countries usually have their venue. Two years ago it was the German Guild, and I was represented in that show with two of my quilts. This year it was Canada, with a beautiful and impressing show curated by Sandra Reford. (Read her blog here and find her homepage here.) 

Curator Sandra Reford explaining the exhibition to visitors.
The theme of the exhibition was “Tradition in Transition”. It was meant to show the diversity of Canadian quilt making these days, oscillating between traditional patterns and methods and modern approaches and designs. All of this with a number of quilters from across the entire country, from Prince Edward Island to the West Coast. 

Unfortunately, this church really suffered from relatively poor lighting, and photos did not turn out very well.
The show included no. 3 of Jayne Willoughby Scott’s  wonderful “Night Drawings”.

Jayne Willoughby Scott, Night Drawings no. 3

JudithMartin’s work “Energy Cloth” is covered with a lot of embroidery stitches that add another layer of texture to the piece overall, and have a definite effect on the coloring of the wholecloth batik.

Judith Martin, "Energy Cloth"

Judith Martin, "Energy Cloth", Detail
On the edge between traditional and modern is Kate Busby’s “3600 (Beats)” (on the right of the picture). Next to that is “Aglow” by Anna Hergert

More on the traditional side, but still with a rather unusual slight twist is “Nine Patch Minuet” by Penelope Player. Sandra Reford told me that Penelope is a third generation quilter, without a website. I love such a modern interpretation of traditional patterns.

Penelope Player, Nine Patch Minuet
What I liked most in the entire exhibition, though, were two pieces that weren’t quilts at all. Sandra Reford told me that she chose both of these artists because they use quilting techniques in other dimensions of textile art. One of them is Chung-Im Kim’s  three-dimensional felt sculpture “Dawn”, which you need to look at from many different directions in order to fully appreciate its entire beauty.

Chung-Im Kim,
"Dawn", viewed from a sideways angle

Chung-Im Kim,
"Dawn", viewed from front
The other one is “Accumulate” by Amanda McCavour. This piece in particular suffered greatly from the poor lighting in the church, and really should have been hung freely from the ceiling instead against a wall.

Amanda McCavour, "Accumulate"

Amanda McCavour, "Accumulate", Detail
Sandra Reford had told me that she did not really go for pictorial quilts and that, of course, her selection was a very personal one. But it was an exhibition very much to my liking - lots of piecing, a good mixture of traditional and modern interpretations. I was very glad to have chosen and seen it.


  1. Judith Martin's blog is

  2. Thanks, Kathy. Google wouldn't let me find it...

  3. Sandra sent us your review Uta. Thanks for writing about the show. Now I really wish that I had made the trip. I think I would have chosen the same pieces that you did to highlight - I have seen Amanda's and Kate's pieces and they are lovely. I have put a link to your review on my blog. Kathleen has given the address correctly.

  4. Thanks Uta for this great review. I remember talking with you on your visit and you were so positive about all the works. True- the lighting could have been better in certain areas. From the comment book I gather people really appreciated the diversity and range of style, colours, designs the exhibit highlighted. It was a real honour for Canada to be featured this year at the international carrefour. Thanks for visiting our exhibit. I will also put a link to your blog review on my blog and website.