Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wild Pure Aesthetic Wonder

beginning with time: night by Judy Martin 2015.  Re-purposed wool blankets, hand stitch, natural plant dyes, 78'x90", a two sided piece included in exhibition Wild Pure Aesthetic Wonder exhibition - opening March 21 in St. John's Newfoundland

Wild, Pure Aesthetic Wonder

Wild, Pure Aesthetic Wonder Start Date: 2015-03-21
End Date: 2015-04-25
Masks to try on, an installation to walk through and a video documenting a provocative body-loom are just a few of the pieces in this unconventional fibre show.  An exhibition co-curated by Gloria Hickey and Philippa Jones, it showcases the work of twenty-one contemporary fibre artists and offers a conduit for a deeper environmental experience.

Inspired by the unadulterated natural wonders of Gros Morne National Park, this fibre art group show is held in conjunction with the 2015 Fibre Arts conference in October 2015. After its exhibition in the Craft Council Gallery, the show will be on display during the summer in the Woody Point Discovery Centre.

Exhibitors: Margaret Angel, Kelly Bruton, Kailey Bryan, Barb Daniell, Deb Dumka, Frances Ennis & Maxine Ennis, Rosalind Ford, Susan Furneaux, Jennifer Galliott, Alexe Hanlon, Linda Hope Ponting, Rilla Marshall, Judy Martin, Sarah Minty, Rachel Ryan, Kumi Stoddart, Stephanie Stoker, Amy Todd, Jessica Waterman, Shoshana Wingate.

A unique landscape of wild, pure aesthetic wonder, Gros Morne National Park continues to resonate in the thousands of visitors it receives annually. Through the sensual and practical pleasures of craft materials, human creativity, age old skills and new technologies, artists have conveyed an enhanced experience of the Park’s natural wonders. The manipulation of fibres for pleasure, survival and cultural advancement, have directly connected humanity to nature throughout our history. 
What better way to communicate the wonders of the natural world than by exploring and extending the variety of fibre based art?
In an increasingly urbanized and technologically advanced society, wilderness may well be our most rare and precious resource.  Pristine wilderness cannot be manufactured.  Wilderness is at the heart of Gros Morne and the challenge we set to our artists was to bring the wild into the heart of their art.  From across the country they have responded with works that show wilderness in ways that are delightful, interactive, poignant, brave and seductive.
To learn more about the works first hand, we encourage you to linger in the exhibition, pick up the brochure and allow the works to enhance your experience of the park.
Co-curators, Gloria Hickey and Philippa Jones
OPENING RECEPTION: SATURDAY, MARCH 21 from 2 – 4 pm.  Craft Council Gallery, Devon House Craft Centre, 59 Duckworth Street. Artists will be present and refreshments served. Everyone is welcome. Exhibits continue until April 25.

Declare Yourself a Citizen of Craft

Judith Martin's work is included in the national campaign for Craft Ontario.  Her stitched piece Not To Know But To Go On is part of this video,  launched March 14, 2015.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pop folk Textiles

Now on until April 18 is the exhibition Pop folk Textiles at La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario in Sudbury, Ontario.  Sophie LeBlanc, a young curator mentored by Thom Sokoloski, was inspired by her studies of world textiles to examine how ubiquitous textiles are in our everyday life.  She invited four artists to participate.
Danielle Gignac constructed a tipi made from trees and old socks gathered from Sudbury and other communities.  Danielle recently graduated with a Masters in Architecture from the University of Waterloo.  Her piece was entitled 'Walking Home' referring to the homeliness and sheltering quality of the socks on our feet.  The weaving of the socks through the structure presents a nod to the paths we travel on our way home.  During the exhibition opening children and adults were cozy inside the structure in their sock feet, reading story books.
Greta Grip knitted QR codes.  Each  of the four codes was knitted from the wool of a particular sheep and actually work to bring up an image of that sheep.  Her installation included two videos, one of the sheep in their environment and being sheared, and one of her own hands knitting.
Greta also showed a hand knit sweater made from yarn gathered from the four sheep, Sara, April, Sammy and Dot.  In her brief talk at the opening she spoke about her interest in contrasting the slowness of wool with the speed of contemporary tech.  " We live a life of instant gratification, with instant results, much like how QR codes are scanned and information is attained. This work relates what you are wearing to what wore it before you, and  who or what made it so that you could wear it." G Grip. 
Mariana LaFrance showed her first quilt, a traditional tumbling blocks pattern made with plant dyed re-purposed cotton sheets.
Mariana hung her quilt in an innovative way.  She wanted it to appear three dimensional.  Mariana's performance that connected sleep, dream, and regeneration was the highlight of the exhibition opening on March 13.
An interesting collage on the back wall was created by the curator, Sophie LeBlanc.   She collected photos and 'wise statements' from artists and art lovers in the northern ontario region and then Andy Worhal-ized them. (detail shown)
These dried queen anne lace plants (above) were collected by Mariana Lafrance on Manitoulin Island. She placed them behind her quilt to make the quilt appear bumped out as if some one were sleeping beneath it.  Mariana also used queen anne's lace seeds in her performance that showed how humans are connected to nature more than we realize.
Judy Martin's installation consisted of 74 bundles of cloth and thread around 4 little tree branches.
A video demonstrated how to make these bundles.  The artist's premise is that by doing handwork we feel better, and she provided materials for an interactive bundle making station.
Several people who attended the opening created their own bundles to take away.

As usual for La GNO, there is a video of the opening statements with an introduction by Danielle Tremblay, the gallery's award winning director.  I will mention here that La Galerie du Nouvel Ontario focuses on Franco-Ontario artists and most of the video is in the French language.  Daniel Aubin, communication officer for the gallery, provides English translation during the opening.  Each artist spoke for a few minutes.  If you are interested, Judy Martin speaks about her bundles in the middle of the 23 minute video (11 minutes in).

Friday, March 06, 2015

Edge of the Forest

A travelling exhibition of work by Canadian members of the International Surface Design Association opens March 11 at the Richmond Hill Centre of the Performing Arts, Toronto Ontario Canada.

53 Artists from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are in the exhibition.  Rachel Miller, head of textiles at Sheridan college, Toronto, Line Dufour master weaver, and Joe Lewis, writer about textile art, juried the exhibition.
The  artists juried into the exhibition are:
Anni Hunt  
Judi Alexander
Marci Horswill
Lois McArthur
Eleanor Hannan
Judi MacCleod
Jennifer Love
Laura Feelus
Jean Cockburn
Robin Wiltse
Lilly Thorne
Deborah Dumka
Patt Wilson
Bryony Dunsmore
Gloria Daly
Connie Chapman
Shamina Senaratne
Linda Coe
Joanna Rogers
Morag Orr-Stevens
Thomas Roach
Lesley Turner
Terry Phillips
Katie Stein Sather
Jill Sullivan
Donna-Fay Digance
Susasn Fae Haglund
Lorraine Ross
Diane Duncan
Terri Illingworth
Leslie Barnes
Mahira Murad
Siri McCormick
Wendy Klotz
Janet Scruggs
Donna Stockdale
Hilary Johnstone
Gwen Klypak
Leila Olfert
Ingrid Lincoln
Amanda Onchulenko
Mary Kroetsch
Jenny Iserman
Maggie Vanderweit
Barbara Goldstein
Mita Giacomini
Lorraine Roy
Pat Loucks
Kay Stanfield
Wilma Butts
Kelly Jane Bruton

Rikki Blitt, Melanie Siegel and Sheila Thomson formed an Edge of the Forest team and organized this exhibition.

Melanie Siegel and Sheila Thomson also each have a piece in the exhibition (curator's circle).

As well as two venues in Toronto and one in Belleville Ontario, the show travels to Newfoundland in August to be exhibited in Gros Morne national park.  It will remain in Gros Morne until October 18 as one of the major exhibits of the Fibre arts Newfoundland conference.  The team hopes that the exhibition will continue to travel across Canada well into 2016.

Judy Martin was asked to choose one piece for the award of excellence.  (nearly an impossible task)
She chose Sanctuary, by Gloria Daly of Duncan B.C.

"I have made my choice after much careful looking and consideration.Gloria Daly's piece, Sanctuary, is a very strong piece.  
The simplicity of the archetypal cross shape grounds the design, and draws the viewer from across the room.  Close inspection of the mix of interesting stitches and multiple layers that the artist placed with care and consideration is a reward for heart and mind.  Impeccable workmanship throughout, including the finishing.
Everything in this piece invites and deserves contemplation.
So many of the pieces were strong in this exhibition.  Congratulations to all the artists and to the organizers.Judy Martin
There is an amazing website about the Edge of the Forest exhibition with each artists's statement about and an image of their Edge piece .  Links to all the artists' websites are also included.  Click here for the Edge of the Forest website. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Art and Ambiance Art Auction

knitted and felted wool, metal buttons, framed in shadow box.  Judy Martin 2008

Part of art and ambiance art auction at the thunder Bay Art Gallery, March 6, 2015
an annual event that supports the gallery's exhibition and education programs.

UPDATE:  the auction has been postponed until June 5 2015.  

Thunder Bay Art Gallery

1080 Keewatin Street
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
P.O. Box 10193
807 577 6427

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

SLOW STITCH begins February 12


Interested in hand stitching?  Come to the Little Current United Church Hall on Thursday afternoons and join us as we practice the variety of stitches used in the fabrication of our meditation panels.  Instruction or review of the many improvisational and traditional techniques is where we will begin.  You will be able to take your work home if you like and if you miss a week or are not able to start just now, not to worry.   The weekly event will be organized so that everyone can work at her own pace.   1 – 4 pm every Thursday.   

Judy Martin, lead artist for the successful Manitoulin Community Circle Project, has volunteered to teach the hand stitch techniques and demonstrate her methods of design.  Each participant will be gently encouraged to create an original meditation panel for her own personal use.  Sponsored by the Little Current United Church, this event is open to the wider community.  It is not necessary to be a member of the church or to know anything at all about sewing. 

 Please bring a notebook or sketchbook plus pen/pencil.  You can wait until the second meeting to bring your fabrics and threads if you like.      FEBRUARY 12 2015 is the first meeting, but it is possible to start at any time.   This is a DROP-IN event and it is FREE!
Fabrics:  bring approximately one metre each of two solid colour fabrics that you believe look good together.  These can be any type – cotton, linen, silk, wool, re-cycled table linen, re-cycled clothing.  Ensure that the weights of your chosen fabrics are similar.   Threads:  bring two or three skeins of cotton embroidery floss that co-ordinate with your fabrics.  Also bring sewing thread that matches your fabric and a sewing kit (needles, scissors).
Contact Judy Martin 705 368 3819 or Julia McCutcheon 705 368 3101 for more information or email Judy at

Friday, February 06, 2015


Meditation Panels
This workshop introduces the archetypal symbols and shapes used around the world and across time.  These first shapes connect us without words to our spiritual need for ritual and are the inspirational basis for original and personally scaled meditation panels.  Hands on instruction in Judy’s improvisational methods of working over foundation cloth in combination with traditional hand stitched construction methods and hand embroidery will start participants on a project that will continue to nurture the maker over a period of months.
This is a quiet workshop.  We will be guided by our sense of touch.  It is inspired by the successful Manitoulin Community Circle Project in which over 100 women made several hand-stitched meditation panels for the local community during four years of weekly meetings.     Suggested length is five days.

Power and Beauty of Hand Stitch
This workshop explores the healing qualities of hand stitching in combination with finding one’s personal voice through journal-writing exercises.  Hand embroidery adds meaning and emotion to cloth.  It adds visible time to the cloth even as it gives quiet time to the maker.  Translating personal concerns into beautiful hand stitched textiles is the primary focus of this class.  Bring one or two pieces of your own work, finished and/or unfinished to show and discuss with the class.  This is not for critique, but rather to help discover your own voice and what it is that you want to communicate to others using visual media.
This is a quiet workshop.  We will be guided by our sense of touch and by our inner thoughts and dreams.  Suggested length is five days.


Judy Martin’s lectures mix poetry, visual art theory, concern for the environment, and social revolution with her own personal life experience.   Each lecture is about 40 minutes in length and is supported with digital presentation and/or a show and tell of her large body of work.   3 suggested topics are:
1.  Adventures with natural dyeing in northern Ontario                   
2.  Art and life are all mixed up
3.  Slow stitching as social change: the Manitoulin Circle Project

If you are interested please use the contact email in the my profile section and make an inquiry.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Rachel Biel has selected images and text from around the world and has created a most informative site.   Rachel recently updated Judith e Martin's page to include these images of her work.  To view Judy's new page, click here.

Thank you Rayela.  Visit the TAFA home page by clicking here.

"The fabric constructions I make combine fine art's conceptual-ism with traditional woman's craft.  Photographs, drawings, paintings, and objects are mixed with fabrics, threads, and text in order to communicate poetically.  Meditative handwork fills most of the pieces. 
Judith Martin Textile Artist monumental-simplicity-in-ge
Monumental Simplicity, plant dyed wool gauze, hand stitch, 9 feet square
Traditional quilt patterns and multi-cultural symbols concerning birth, death, and sexuality are the foundation for my artwork.  When one considers the connection that these rites of passage have to the bed, then the quilt is an obvious and powerful medium."
   -Judith Martin Textile Artist
Something More Magical Than It Ever Was   re-purposed family clothing, new silk hand quilted  90" square