If you are making a trip to the Sunshine Coast of BC in the next couple of weeks be sure to pop by The Kube in Gibsons (across from the highschool) and see our tapestry exhibition before it closes on January 31st. For more about the stories behind these weavings read some of our blog posts about them.
Janna will be holding classes at the Kube in February including one adult introductory tapestry weaving workshop on Sunday February 4th as well as a 12 week youth program for children ages 12+ beginning Monday February 5th. Below are class details.
Introduction to Tapestry Weaving
ADULT WORKSHOP 10am-5pm on Sunday February 4th
FEE $95 Plus materials, $40-$110 depending on loom choice.
Spend a day Learning traditional and contemporary tapestry weaving techniques and leave with a solid understanding of the process of warping up and weaving with multiple techniques like shape building, colour blending and textural techniques. We will talk about how to choose yarn for your projects, as well as finishing techniques and how to troubleshoot tapestry-specific issues. Students will leave with a good start on a project in colours of their choosing from a range of naturally dyed yarns made by Janna.
For materials students have the choice between
1) $40 materials fee which includes warp and weft yarn and a 14-page workbook and requires students to bring their own loom. A $20 PVC loom can be made by following Janna’s instructions here. If you're bringing another kind of loom please email Janna to confirm it will work for the workshop.
2) $110 materials fee which includes all the supplies in option one plus a handmade 22” wooden tapestry loom with a 18” X 30” weaving capacity.
Email for call The Kube to register
Janna and I met up on a rather chilly October day in 2014 in Tompkins Square Park, located in the East Village's Alphabet City, to offer an embroidery skillshare. This park, where hawks eat rats while people gawk, has been the site of many conflicts between NYC's homeless and transient population and the city, most recently under Koch's mayorship in a 1988 riot. Now that the East Village has been swooped in on by "fucking yuppies", to quote a NYC resident from the Blowback productions film "Captured", the vibe of the neighborhood is a little different. However, the park maintains a solid representation of "transients" for lack of a better term, and is shared by young skateboarders, families, goths, fashionistas and other neighborhood residents making their collective way to and fro.
We set up shop, inviting people to learn to embroider or showcase their existent skills on an indigo printed fabric designed by Janna entitled: "Why is a Rock". I love this piece of fabric. Something about the shapes and its inherent simplicity, the representation of the stones, they all speak to me at a profound level. Plus, it's a stunning piece of handiwork. So we sat with this fabric in the sunshine, embroidering and interacting with anyone curious enough to approach.
A couple of hours in, we moved to a tabletop location where the above photo was shot. We soon discovered, upon moving ourselves there, that it was a hangout spot for folks that spent a lot of time at the park, and there was a lot of activity that moved around us. Some people engaged with us and tried their hand embroidering, others just acknowledged us and went about their business. There was no beef about encroachment of territory, we were doing something just weird enough to garner a certain level of respect. We lasted in that spot another hour or so before packing up, all in all a good day spent in the park. I believe we may have even seen a hawk eating a rat that day, up in a tree as we were walking out.
Tompkins Square Park I, photographed above, is currently on display at The Kube studios in Gibsons, BC alongside three of Janna's tapestries. The opening will be held on Friday, January 12th from 6-9pm, at 101-875 Gibsons Way.
I pulled elements from the photo: the bricks, the yellow leaves, the indigo "rocks" in the fabric, one of the embroidery hoops, and integrated them into the composition. I finished the piece off at the top with a representation of the park bench, and Janna's red handbag miniaturized, sitting upon it. The blue wool that represent the "rocks" in the fabric was indigo hand-dyed in the front yard of one of Janna's Jersey City apartments.
A playful, indirect representation, the composition of this tapestry erases the spatial distinctions apparent in the photograph. There are no people in this shot - even though the skill share was based in human interaction - and I wanted to build upon this idea of isolating a moment in such a way that it abstracts the event it was taken within. This photo, and the representative tapestry, are but glimpses of an event that took place and included the many human - and non-human - movements of the park. In both isolated representations - one based upon the other - you see the leaves from the trees and one sole park bench; the traces of the skillshare - a blackboard already wiped clean, the embroidery hoops with nobody working at them.
So the tapestry both holds memory and simultaneously fails to portray depth of experience. In giving the tapestry the same background color throughout, I was intentionally divesting the it of dimensionality, hoping it would read more as representation of idea than as a still life. I wanted the idea behind the piece to become a source of interrogation for the viewer. In deconstructing the image of this isolated moment, my hope was that the context of our skillshare and our collaborative work as social practice could embed itself within the work. Beyond being a representation, the intention was for it to be a continuation of our collaboration - a living, breathing, active participant in the evolution of the project of Everlea.
Come see our new work in an exhibition at The Kube studios in Gibsons, BC Canada
We are installing four large tapestries at The Kube for the month of January, 2018. Each tapestry represents a response to times we (Janna and Katie) spent together in our shared art practice since 2013. They are highly interpretive depictions of moments captured in photograph - reflections upon reciprocity's ability to alter relationship, including the creation and consideration of art.
We see our woven artwork as a negotiation between the art world, which is so white-box-centric, and our attempt to show evidence of the invisible materials of our relationship, as art, within it.
Here is a bit more about this project
Our collaboration began in 2013 in New York City with the primary purpose of supporting each other in our respective art practices. In the handball courts of East Harlem’s Jefferson Park, our first photo shoot felt more like a public performance of our art practice than the menial task of documenting artwork. As our lives and art practices grew alongside each other Everlea evolved into a relational practice where we began to consider our artistic relationship a living artwork in-and-of-itself. Inspired by Joseph Beuys’ conceptions of art as an active, living force and by the mutual aid within textile art traditions, our shared practice has compelled itself to continue even as we now live on opposite sides of a continent.
Our relational praxis manifests in many intentional forms. They include but are not limited to 1) Public interventions in which passersby are taught textile skills 2) We have engaged in art education classes together, and attended lectures and panel discussions about socially engaged art 3) Janna volunteered for three months in Katie’s workplace (New York City’s Community Service Society), designing and facilitating a therapeutic knitting group at a senior center in East Harlem 4) We teach each other skills like tapestry weaving and natural dyeing 5) We arrange professional photoshoots to document our respective artworks.
The photographic documentation for many of these events, including ones from multiple photoshoots that we organized to document our respective handmade textiles, is the starting point for the artwork in this exhibition. We have explored both the memories that these photographs conjure as well as the problematic nature of a photograph’s attempt to represent the complexity of a living moment.
Join us for the opening reception
Friday January 12th 6pm-9pm
101-875 Gibsons Way
There will be snacks and a cash bar
go to our Facebook event page
In the first seven day stretch of my summer residency at Fibreworks Studio and Gallery (aka the yurts) in Madeira Park BC I changed my design plans multiple times. Since this series is based on a catalogue of hundreds of similar photos of Katie and I with our respective artworks, I was able to weave and decide later which exact photo I was riffing off of. I settled on weaving just the handball court that many of the photos were taken in at Jefferson Park in Harlem, NY. This decision was in part based on the fact that I found it very hard to concentrate on weaving in an often busy, public space. So, weaving the simplest version of a photo, omitting bodies and artwork, was both time and sanity efficient.
In the 65+ hours that I spent in the yurts this summer I estimate that I wove for around 45 hours of it. This is the first time that I've been able to keep close record of how much time it takes me to weave a piece. It's a labour of love, my friends. This piece measures 39" X 28" and is woven with 100% Canadian wool spun at Custom Woolen Mills in Alberta Canada. I dyed two yellow colourways using the natural dyes osage, fustic and weld.
I will be at Fibreworks Studio and Gallery again on the last weekend of August from the 25th - 27th and then from September 26th-28th.
I am also teaching a one day introductory tapestry weaving workshop in Langdale on the Sunshine Coast for Fibre Camp. There are still spots available!