Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ted Hallman

Line Dufour and Ted Hallman
photo credit: Susan Middleton
How delighted I was to get Ted Hallman's call and request to come and visit me at the Toronto Weaving School. It all happened at the last minute with little time to organize anything more formal or a more substantial welcome. The students had no idea that there would be any change of plan for the day when the came for yet another weaving class. All were pleasantly charmed and enthralled by Ted as he talked about his work over his lifetime, showed us his catalogues and his latest video of the latest installation and exhibition. His latest installation you can see here on this YouTube video
Joe Lewis was invited to help us welcome Ted Hallman to the Toronto Weaving School. 

I met Ted Hallman in 1983 as a student at the Ontario College of Art (and Design University) in Toronto where he was an instructor in the Textiles Department. His humour, grace, wisdom, gentleness and creativity was not only a great inspiration but  provided a good role model as to how to lead  an artistic and creative life. 
Ted Hallman (right front) signs catalogues to his exhibitions for the students. Behind Judite Vagners. Left from bottom to top, Julia Pelenyi, Lann Smyth, and Marion Kirkwood. 
Ted  was able to help people see weaving  as art when the general consensus, then and still today, considers Fibre art to be a lesser art than painting and sculpture. Weaving as ubiquitous as twill, tabby and satin structures, turn out to be stimulating mind puzzles and visually exciting interlacements, to be viewed like any painted canvas. It was a paradigm shift to think of textiles and weave structures as a media unto itself , like oil paint and canvas to a painter. It resonated with me who always thought of myself as an artist who preferred to express myself with woven structures and fibres of various sorts.
Sunrise Twills  part one video - Ted's woven art

Here ,  seated beside me (Line Dufour) Ted helps sew the slits on the Fate, Destiny and Self Determination Project at the Toronto Weaving School. 
 I also felt that Ted was a kindred spirit on a deeper and more profound level. Though our backgrounds are very different  in a concrete and physical sense, on a metaphysical and philosophical  level, we walk in the same field. As I ponder Ted's journey, he continues to be someone I still learn so much from. I have never been very good at self promotion, and I admire the gentle, respectful and confident way he puts himself and his work out there and makes things happen for himself, with, I must add, the devotion and support of his loving partner, Michael Barnett. A special thank you to Susan Middleton who took these photographs. 

To read more about Ted's journey as a Fibre Artist go to

More about tapestry:
Visit Rebecca Mezoff's blog to have a good look at the current American Tapestry Alliance Biennial 10 tapestry exhibit in San Diego USA.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Thanks so much for this intro to Ted Hallman!

Would love to attend a workshop, class, talk, whatever, by him.
Do you know of anything?

Best wishes