Friday, May 30, 2014

Craft Ontario in Toronto will exhibit Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination

Second panel of the tapestry installation, Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination/le sort, le destin et l'auto-determination, woven entirely by me (Line Dufour) and was assisted by Agota Dolinay, Jutta Polomski, Bambi Rutledge and Carla Duncan in the finishing. If I forgot anyone please let me know. 

It's official! I am pleased to announce that the tapestry installation, Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination/le sort, le destin, et l'auto-determination co-created by 200 people from 23 countries  and funded by the Ontario Arts Council, will be exhibited at Craft Ontario, 990 Queen Street West, September 18-27 2014.  The opening reception will be held September 18 between 6-9pm. I hope to see you all there. All those who have contributed to the project will be acknowledged in the exhibition. I hope that I will also be able to have the video of the 
work-in-progress at the gallery. We are all very excited about this very good news and having a chance to celebrate your contribution to this tapestry endeavour.  It has been a wonderful journey sharing this weaving project with all of you! 
detail of the second panel of Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination/le sort, le destin and l'auto-determination. 
In addition, Aneesha Perrone has solicited Regis University Library in Denver Colorado to exhibit the tapestry installation sometime in the summer of 2015, and they are collaborating with the Smithsonian to firm up the plans. We are also welcoming any other venues that might like to exhibit the installation from all over the world. Go to this website to read about Aneesha's exhibit which sounds wonderful. She has a life-affirming philosophy that permeates her work and her way of living: Her own website is here:

Here is part of my artist statement about the tapestry installation:
Fate is defined as a force, energy, principle, element or power that prescribes to each person a set of limits, boundaries and confines. In Islam it is called Kismet.The Greeks called Fate, Moira. Greek Mythology speaks of the three Fates: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos who supposedly controlled each person’s fate. The youngest, Clotho,  is a spinner and she determines the time of birth and spins the thread of life on her distaff. Lachesis measures the length of the thread to determine the length of one’s life; the time of death is decided by Atropos, who cuts the thread. Inherent in the idea of Fate, is that one has no influence over events and outcomes. Mythology and psychology distinguish between Fate and Destiny. Destiny, is considered an expanding field of possibilities alluding to our potential to influence our Fate. This makes Destiny kinetic. “The lives we construct are an inextricably woven fabric of influences, possibilities and accumulated consequences of choices made.” (All that Matters)

Fate, Destiny and Self Determination/le destin et l’auto-determination is composed of three sections. People were invited to visit the Toronto Weaving School in Toronto where they co-created Section 2 of the tapestry grouping. Section 1 was woven by myself in the studio  These two approaches make reference to the traditional manner  tapestries were/are created. The small shapes of section three are woven by people all over the world and can be reconfigured by the curator or artist, so that the tapestry installation can be viewed in different ways. Placement of the various sections changes and results in a new view, referencing the element of chance, of destiny and of fate. 180 shapes have been received from 23 countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Korea, USA, Mexico, Canada, Israel, France, Belgium to name a few. The names of each participant can be included with the installation if the curator wishes.    Fate, Destiny and Self Determination/Le sort, destin et l’auto-determination poses technical challenges by attempting to create irregular shapes within the rigid confines of the tapestry technique. Technical challenges create tension for the maker/artist which is representative of the ensuing tensions created by asserting our will, despite all the challenges and obstacles,  and the change that we as individuals undergo or can effect.

Weaving is an appropriate metaphor for engagement and activity with others, which
Fate, Destiny and Self Determination/Le sort, destin et l’auto-determination embraces. All these individuals participating in this project are like threads  woven into an international and multicultural community fabric through this one shared activity, a permanent reminder of our shared heritage, culture and values.

In an earlier blog I announced that my tapestry Divine Intervention was selected to be exhibited at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire in October 2014. I have since learned that this will be a travelling exhibition and two more venues will be hosting the exhibition: It will then travel to the George School in Newtown, PA (near Philadelphia) in December and then to Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA (Connecticut River Valley, Western Massachusetts)--opens in late March 2015. 

If you love tapestry (weaving) I strongly urge you to join the American Tapestry Alliance. I find it so stimulating to be among so many other tapestry weavers. Not only am I inspired by other people's tapestries, but also what they have to say about it. Every few months the ATA puts out a newsletter of articles written by other tapestry weavers. They are a tremendous resource for all of us to benefit from. 

In addition, it qualifies you to enter juried and unjuried shows that they have. Mezzoff recently wrote about their more recent exhibition ATA 10 in Fiber Art Now Some tapestry weaver members have (weaving) retreats like Pam Petrie. What a great way to spend a vacation. 

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.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Warp and Weft ends

Roselyne Guittier France 
representing Spring. Here Roselyne chose not to sew in the warp ends. 
The international tapestry project, Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination/le sort, le destin et l'auto-determination,  has, as hundreds of people have witnessed in the weaving classes I teach, and through the Facebook presence for the project, been a long journey, and one that is hardly over yet. Shapes continue to arrive..and here are two more that came this week. We are now up to 181 shapes received from 20 different countries.
Roselyne Guittier 
representing Summer. A most intriguing  artist who ventures into many tetile related areas.  To know more look at this review of her work on this link

Like any journey, it requires a lot of preparation, before the journey physically begins and it's beginning was November of 2012. Well...perhaps earlier than that even if we go far back enough to the germination of the idea.  Then there is the actual journey itself which started in January of 2013 - a year and a half ago already! As many artists know, pursuing to live a creative life can become an epic journey , similar to a Ulyssean quest. Like Ulysses, the artist tests him or herself against the call of the siren. That call to be an artist is fraught with risks, challenges, obstacles, requiring tenacity, discipline, vision, and creativity in solving the various kinds of challenges that arise.
I spent the day working on the finishing yesterday (May 6) and Agota Dolinay continued where I left off today.  Finally all the ends are warp ends are secured or sewn in ...and first let me remind you what you it looked like a couple of months ago.....

That being said,  there are occasional victories, and there are many moments of joy though admittedly they may seem not to arise as frequently as the frustrations, road blocks, daily life demands and setbacks. Solitude can become isolation which is why in part I sought to undertake this project, interweaving many people together. Certainly there is a lot of fulfillment, growing, learning, expanding....

What a relief to have this much completed. Now...the warp threads (white threads on edge) can be cut, slits sewn and the mounting arrangement attached. Only another 40 hours work :)
The remaining part of the journey for this international tapestry installation remains unknown and in the hands of destiny. I have done as much as I can do in soliciting venues to exhibit the installation in the Greater Toronto Area and I await their response. This has included  Craft Ontario (aka Ontario Craft Council), World of Threads Festival, and the York Region Pan Am Games 2015. If anyone would like to invite us to exhibit the installation we would welcome your invitation. Meanwhile there is still more work to do on it before  photographing it professionally. 

Ibolya Hegyi from Moholy-Nagy Art and Design University in Hungary writes about 
Historical and Contemporary Tapestries in Hungary

Christian Museum, Esztergom 
10 May - 24 August 2014 
Esztergom’s Christian Museum holds a larger number of late medieval and early modern age wall tapestries than any institution in Hungary apart from the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest. The Christian Museum’s close links to the genre, which looks back on substantial traditions in Hungary also, are shown by the many tapestry-related events it has staged over the last decade. The present exhibition entitled ‘Historical and Contemporary Tapestries in Hungary’ is the latest of these. Staged in co-operation with the Museum of Applied Arts and the Ildikó Dobrányi Foundation (named after the well-known tapestry artist and art organiser who died in 2007), it conveys the past and present of European woven tapestry, illuminating the connections also.
 The first section of the exhibition is entitled ‘Flemish Tapestries with Biblical and Mythological Themes from the Museum of Applied Arts and the Christian Museum’. In it, one of the genre’s most significant traditions – the Flemish – is represented by Oudenaarde and Tournai tapestries kept at the Christian Museum and by the 18th-century Brussels tapestry ‘Mercury Hands Over the Infant Bacchus to the Nymphs’, a work preserved at the Museum of Applied Arts. To this last-mentioned tapestry is connected the Web of Europe assemblage of works. In contrast to the collective tradition in tapestry art which rests on co-operation between designers, cartoon-makers, and weavers, this assemblage denotes the recent, individual, independent strand of the genre and leads into the exhibition’s second section: ‘Autonomous Tapestry Art’. This second section presents the sovereign tradition associated in Hungary with Noémi Ferenczy first and foremost. An outstanding figure in the history of art in Hungary, Noémi Ferenczy was not just an artist, but also a teacher who established her own school. In 1951, she set up the Department of Tapestry at the Academy of Applied Arts, the legal predecessor of today’s Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, running it in conformity with her own approach. A student of Ferenczy’s, Gizella Solti graduated from the Department of Tapestry in 1955. Later on, she was a member of the ‘Great Generation’ which, in the 1970s, brought about the golden age of Hungarian textile art. As well as tapestries by Noémi Ferenczy and Gizella Solti and material shown at the 6th  Szombathely Biennale, which was billed as ‘± Woven Tapestry’ and which represented a turning point in the history of autonomous tapestry art in Hungary, the second section presents Hungarian works awarded prizes at international competitions held around the year 2000. However, this period witnessed not only the weaving of autonomous tapestries, but also the production of collaborative works reviving the collective traditions of the genre. Of these collaborative pieces, the tapestries St. Stephen and His Work and Lights of Europe are both on display at the Christian Museum’s exhibition, which will open on 10 of May 2014 and may be visited until 24 August 2014.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Clever Miniature Tapestry Idea

The finishing continues on the final panel of the Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination tapestry installation. Here, Agota Dolinay helps out

Christine Shipley brought this sweet little tapestry contraption to class. A very clever design for a miniature tapestry loom!

Going to France in the next couple of months? Check out this exhibit in Aubusson. 

Tapestry by Clare Coyle, Planted Oghams, part of a recent British Tapestry Group exhibit. 
Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet used primarily to write the early Irish language and later the Old Irish language. There are roughly 400 surviving orthodox inscriptions on stone monuments throughout Ireland and western Britain; the bulk of them are in the south of Ireland .

Ogham is sometimes called the "Celtic Tree Alphabet", based on a high medieval Bríatharogam tradition ascribing names of trees to the individual letters. The etymology of the word ogam or ogham remains undetermined. to learn more about this early Irish alphabet go to Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet used primarily to write the early Irish language and later the Old Irish language. There are roughly 400 surviving orthodox inscriptions on stone monuments throughout Ireland and western Britain; the bulk of them are in the south of Ireland . To learn more about his early Irish alphabet go to

Exhibition British Tapestry Group - Scottish members
You can see the rest of the exhibit by clicking on this link:

Small Tapestry International 4: Honoring Tradition, Inspiring Innovation (American Tapestry Alliance)
Entry Information
Entry to STI 4: Honoring Tradition, Inspiring Innovation is open to all tapestry artists who design and weave their own tapestries (defined as “hand-woven, weft-faced fabric with discontinuous wefts”), either individually or collaboratively (all assistants shall be named). Multimedia work will be considered as long as the primary medium is tapestry. Entries must be one-of-a-kind and have been completed after January 2013. Entries may not have been shown previously in any ATA exhibition, including the Unjuried Small Format show. Artists may submit up to three pieces, but a maximum of one piece per artist will be accepted. For more information, contact Exhibition Chair, Pamela Done:
Entry deadline: October 31, 2014 Click on this link for entry form: