Thursday, July 28, 2011

Community Threads Day Three

My drive to the Gibson Centre for Culture, Art and Culture takes me through pastoral farmland. It's always pleasant to get there no matter what time of year. Everyone is eager to contribute to the Community Threads tapestries project and everyone's contribution is welcomed and finds its way into this absorbing endeavour. Much of the project depends on their contribution and their contribution is one of the reasons we are fostering this artistic and creative undertaking. Donations of time, materials, expertise and labour. In the picture above, just some of the yarn we've collected from many. One of the activities we did today, headed by Chris H, was sorting the piles of yarn we received into colour groupings. Chris was helped by Sharon Robinson-Rodrigo and Linda Needles, the President of the Nottawasaga Weavers and Spinners.

The first thing we did today was collect up all the paintings that had been done. I shared with the group how we were going about editing the paintings and abstracting from them the designs that we would be using for the tapestries. It was hard at first for participants to imagine the purpose of this exercise, but as it evolved, they 'got it'! Creativity, for those who were brave enough to venture there, was/is very much about relingquishing control and having somewhat of a blind faith as to where you feel you are being led. In the above picture, Sharon Robinson-Rodrigo with her son, Nicolas.

Linda Needles, president of the Nottawasaga Weavers and Spinners editing the paintings.

I admired many of the participants who, despite having no confidence in their own artistic abilities, put their fear aside and jumped in feet first! Here, Janet Dryden and Valerie Splaine. Yes, I'm sure many of us had to beat back our inner self critical voices and allow ourselves to find some beauty in the marks on that page that are distinctly and uniquely our own.

Gayle Wheeler is herself a talented tapestry weaver. Her husband Norm Wheeler is a well reknowned potter. Gayle will be lead technical assitant for the bulk of the weaving of the tapestries.

Dawna Beatty (I think I spelled your name right this time!) at work editing her painting.

Today saw a few new participants. Corrie Parsons, shown above at the left, sitting beside Elizabeth Bishof.

We also had a visit from Maija Hoggett, a journalist from The Herald, the newspaper for South Simcoe and based in Alliston. She took all kinds of notes and will be writing an article in the near future about the project.

We were very glad to be graced with the every graceful and abundantly enthusiastic and creative Executive Director of the Gibson Centre, Angela Drainville shown here third from left, wearing black. She came up with the name of the project, Community Threads, which of course, is such a perfect metaphor for what is happening at different levels as well as captures the artisinal aspect of the project. She also donated the space and administrative resources to undertake this Ontario Arts Council funded undertaking. She has lined up an exciting list of entertainers that will be coming to the Gibson Centre soon. To know more go to

All the pieces of the edited paintings come together. We are taking the sections of paintings and reorganizing them into strips that work together aesthetically. From left to right, Corrie Parsons, Gayle Wheeler, Elizabeth Bishof and Nicolas Robinson-Rodrigo.

So we designed our tapetries, 12 altogether. We won't let you see the final designs because we like to maintain some surprise and make you curious enough to come to the official launch of the Community Threads project on September 11 2011 between 2-5pm when I will also be having a solo exhibition of my tapestries.

And finally, another task that got done today is creating the warps for the tapestry looms. Above, Janet Fayle and Elizabeth working on the 10 yd warp for the gobelin loom and below, Betty (who I think would like to remain annonymous...if not please let me know)

We all felt really enlivened and invigorated after todays events. Nothing is as exciting to me as sparking the creativity in others. I know how much joy I derive from my artistic and creative endeavours but its even more electifying when its shared with others. I am also in awe and admiration when I look at a group of people who have so much talent and skill and are so humble about it. The participants must be applauded! Thank you all for another great day!

1 comment:

Jane said...

Fantastic work! love the blog!! Go weavers!!