Friday, April 17, 2015

Wild Pure Aesthetic Wonder installed in St. John's Newfoundland

installation photo of the exhibition by Philipa Jones
Judy Martin's piece is on upper right
From March 21 to April 25 Wild Pure Aesthetic Wonder exhibition is installed in the gallery space of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Spora, 24 individual spores by Barb Daniell
The curators, Gloria Hickey and Philipa Jones spoke about the work and the process creating an exhibition of new work by 21 artists on April 15.

This is part of their written statement about the exhibition.  "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."
Installation of Wild Pure Aessthetic Wonder , photo by Philipa Jones.

List of artists in this exhibition:
Margaret Angel
Kelly Bruton
Kailey Bryan
Barb Daniell
Deb Dumka
Frances Ennis and Maxine Ennis
Rosalind Ford
Susan Furneaux
Jennifer Galliott
Alexe Hanlon
Linda Hope Pointing
Rilla Marshall
Judy Martin
Sarah Minty
Rachel Ryan
Kumi Stoddart
Stephanie Stoker
Amy Todd
Jessica Waterman
Shoshana Wingate

To view a slide show of all the artwork, please click here.
 Judy Martin's Beginning of Time with two young visitors at the opening reception, photo by Philipa Jones
The exhibition continues at the Craft Council Gallery until April 25
59 Duckworth Street, St John's Newfoundland 

Then it will on view in Gros Morne National Park at the Woody Point Discovery Centre for the entire summer until the end of Fibre Arts Newfoundland conference October 18.

Friday, April 10, 2015

local paper covers slow stitch meetings

The Community Circle Project lives on
with new Slow Stitch workshop series
Manitoulin Expositor Wednesday April 1, 2015
by Robin Burridge

The Manitoulin Circle Project - a four panel fiber project created by Island women over four years under the leadership of Manitoulin artist Judy Martin - may have concluded last year, but a new off-shoot workshop has started teaching the stitches from the panels through the creation of individual meditation panels.  "The idea for the (Slow Stitch) workshop series came from the community," explained Ms Martin.  "After the circle project ended, some of the women who participated (over 140 were involved in the original project) were asking 'what's next?"  learning what an impact the project had on the participants lives and sense of community, it inspired me to work with the community again in this way and teach the stitches from the meditation panels for individuals to create their own."

Slow Stitch started at the Little Current United church (the host of the circle project and where the panels are displayed) in February and runs weekly on Thursdays from 1 - 4 pm.

"There are no rules and people can drop in whenever" explained Ms Martin.  "You can start whenever too, you don't have to have been coming since February.  Also, it is free, I'm just asking people to bring their own materials."  Slow stitch, or "slow cloth" as it is commonly known, is a term defined by fiber artist Elaine Lipson, noted Ms Martin.  She said that Ms Lipson's 10 requirements for slow cloth include joy, contemplation, skill, diversity, teaching, materials, quality beauty, community and expression.

The Manitoulin Community Circle Project consists of four panels:  Layers of Time, Mended World, Precious Water and Earth Ark and was born out of an assignment Ms Martin was working on through the Julia Caprara School and a course she was taking in liturgical embroidery.  The stitches being taught by Ms Martin from the panels include French knots, chain stitch, St. George's cross stitch, eyelet embroidery stitch and packed stem stitch to name a few.
Diana Parrill was one of the women participating in the workshop last Thursday when the Expositor stopped in.  She explained that she had been part of the circle project briefly, but that due to other commitments , hadn't been able to participate on a regular basis.  "I have more time now and I'm pleased that I can come and work on a piece at my own time and pace," she said.  Marueen Armstrong added that she had been in the same boat as Ms Parrill and was also pleased she had more time to participate in the new workshop series.  "Judy is an inspiration" Ms Armstrong told The Expositor.  "I've really been enjoying this"

Joceyln Sobeski traveled from Espanola to attend last week's session as well.  "I plan on making the drive as often as I can" said Ms Sobeski of the Thursday workshops.  "I'm constantly evolving as an artist and I want to see fiber art in a different way, through Judy's eyes." Jan Stenschke also made the trek from off-Island to attend a session.  Ms Stenschke said that a fellow artist learned about Judy's slow Stitch workshops online and thought it would be interesting.  "I like to try new things" added Ms Stenschke's friend Carmell Tidd.

Ms Maritn said she is also using the workshops to help prepare for a course she's teaching at Fiber Arts Newfoundland 2015.  "My course is on the meditation panels," said Ms Martin.  "I will be bringing the panels with me in suitcases from the church and teaching a course over three days on how to design and make a meditation panel."  As for Slow Stitch, the workshop series is open ended and ms Martin urges anyone who is interested to drop by the Little Current United Church any Thursday from 1 - 4 pm to learn more or try their hand at fiber art.

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