Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Art and Ambiance

dyed and felted hand woven wool, couched with velvets and other fabrics, then hand quilted
About 18" wide, 45" high
the wool was originally woven by Thunder Bay artist, Jan Korteweg.  Judy taught piano lesson's to Jan's daughter, Lisa, and the wool blanket was a baby gift for Judy's first child, Oona.   

Part of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery fundraising auction
Art and Ambiance
Live and silent auction
Tickets to attend are $40
Music and refreshments
April 11, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014


Paradise Meditation I     2012    linen damask, acrylic paint, thread.
Part of the Tom Thomson gallery's 50th annual juried exhibition, Convergence.
(One of eighteen)
Located in Owen Sound Ontario, the exhibition opened March 30 and continues until May 25 2014.  This gallery is open seven days a week, click here for gallery hours  
Paradise Meditation was hung on a small corner wall.  (large photo collage on the right is Sky Edge by Becky Conber, apologies that I have no information about the central piece shown above)
Paradise I's beautiful subtle damask pattern went unnoticed I feel.    
Actually, both the experience of being involved with this juried exhibition and my attendance at the opening reception were disappointing. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014


February 14 - March 25, 2014
Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands Public Library
50 Meredith Street, Little Current
705 368 2444

February 15 10 am - 3 pm. OPEN HOUSE
Come and meet the artist and have some Finnish coffee bread.

The paintings and prints in this exhibit date between 1981 and 2005 and give context to Judy's long career.
Judy Martin and her husband live on Manitoulin Island.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

the Lucky Protection exhibition

How does this exhibition fit within the art world?  Why is it cloth and thread?  What are the things that only thread and cloth can do?

Cloth is fluid.  The blanket piece above covers an unwieldy display area.  The  fluidity of the cloth softens the hard edges in this white room.

The distress that this fabric has undergone over its long life is evident.  Probably it dates from the 20's - the laundry tag places it at an address that Ned's grandparents lived in during the 1930's.   This cloth is at least 90 years old.  My father is 90 years old.  
The moon is a measure of time.  Thread is like time, it stretches.
It is human nature to stop and gaze at a full moon.  No matter how many times we see it, the moon is always wonderful, always a miracle, floating there in the huge sky.  We stare at it.  We go into ourselves.
I think of the constancy of the moon and of women from earlier times looking at the full moon with the same emotional response that I have.  With the same reverence.
"this is not art" we tell ourselves.  The brain tries to tell the heart, but the heart doesn't listen.
The heart responds with ancient memories of cloth.  Of being wrapped as a new baby, of pulling a sweater over our heads, of doing up buttons on a wool coat.
 Thread can draw a line with all the freedom of a pencil, but with more intent because it is so slow.  Stitch by stitch to make these marks.  SEcond after second.  Minutes, hours, days, weeks.  All that time is caught with the threads.
 I am trying to give reverence to what has gone before, by connecting recycled hand touched textiles to the present day.  I use my hands to do this.
 I've been making sewn art for so long, that I forget that there are some people out there who are prejudiced against sewing.  I am surprised.
 With this exhibition, I am defending sewing.  Sewing is art.
Hey Jude, Remember to let it under your skin, then you'll begin to make it better.  (Paul McCartney)

All images are of original sewn art by Judy Martin, on display in the exhibition entitled Lucky Protection that is the featured art display at Artists on Elgin, 168 Elgin Street, Sudbury, Ontario for the month of February 2014. 705 674 0415

The text is from the artist's talk on February 1.
The gallery made a video that documents the entire exhibit. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lucky Protection opens February 1, 2014

New stitched artwork from Judy Martin, the featured artist at Artists on Elgin in Sudbury.

The exhibition will be on display for the month of February 2014.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ontario Craft Council chooses Canadian Pioneer for booth display at the Interior Design Show in Toronto

 Canadian Pioneer  Wool Quilt, embroidered and felted, 2012
Hopefully, this piece will draw attendees of the Interior Design Show in Toronto January 23 - 26 2014 to the booth of the Ontario Craft Council. 

The craft council is using the following biography of the artist, Judy Martin in their display.

Judy Martin and her husband reside on Lake Huron’s Manitoulin Island, a relatively isolated place typical of the peaceful beauty she has sought her entire life.  This self-imposed retreat has a marked effect on Martin’s work, which is grounded in the phenomenological idea that the sense of touch is the most effective way to connect emotionally with others.  Her repetitive stitches communicate directly to our inner world.
Judy Martin has participated in more than one hundred group shows in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Japan and she has mounted twenty-four solo exhibitions.  The Finnish characteristic, sisu, (courage, optimism, indomitable will) sets Judy Martin’s work apart.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Artist's talk at art gallery of sudbury opening reception for mended world

My career as an artist has had the swift passage of time as a constant theme.  This started when I became a mother.  It was my children and how beautiful they were in the sunlight and the realization that they were changing so quickly that made me paint them.  Time's passage was the subject.

How to stop it? Catch it?
How to slow it down?
How to make it visible - sometimes time whirls by so quickly , we don't even notice
How to remember it?
How to honour it.

This exhibition is connected by time.
There are two floors, and each floor represents four years of time.  They actually represent the same four years.  The upper floor is me, going through the four years day by day, living a quiet life out there by the lake, or traveling to see my children marry.  All that whirl of time is contained with the slowest way of making a mark.  Hand stitch.

Time time time
Touch touch touc.

On this floor is the work of the Manitoulin Circle Proejct.  although the intent of these panels was not to mark out four years of visible time, that is what happened.

Every Thursday, for four years between October 2009 and August 2013, a group of us met in the United Church Hall in Little Current and hand stitched these pieces together.  That's over 200 Thursdays.

That time commitment alone is amazing.  Altogether, 144 different individuals put their hands into the work of this project, and that is also amazing.  Most of those were visitors - people who would come out once or twice to see what was going on and add a few stitches.  There were about thirty who I would have to say were regulars, and I see many of them here today.  Thank you for coming.

We had a kind of mantra.  "We're not fast - but we're slow"

These panels were hand stitched.  That is a very quiet way of making art.  It is a very slow way of making art.  Stitching uses the body's gesture. It uses the sense of touch.

These panels wer emade with textiles from past times. Used linen table cloths, woolen blankets, lace doilies in combination with new silk and new threads.  All the materials were donated.
We started with the Earth Ark panel in 2009.  We started with the green silk squares.  This was the only part that I was absolutely sure about.  Working with the fabric is different than working on paper.  Things change.  As the knots on the silk squares accumulated, we could see that we had made not only the lower half of a circle, but an island with planted fields.  And it looked like a boat.

Like Noah's ark, all of these panels are about saving.  They take the reparation of the earth as their subject.  They use recycled cloth and are made by hand, slowly and carefully.  Many individuals came together to make them for the wider community of Manitoulin.  What we have made will outlast us.  These are for the future, heirlooms.  Life affirming meditation panels.

The titles of the four panels are Earth Ark, Precious Water, Layers of Time and Mended World.

We signed in each Thursday.  Showing the book with the first 89 signatures, and reading the journal entry about feeling as if I belonged to the community.  Like in Babar the elephant king's well planned cities. Reading from October 2010.

There are several of my ladies here today.  Please come up with me to the front.
The second book of signatures - reading from September 2012 about what the circle project has given us.  Camaraderie, healing.   We continue and continue...

For a review by the Manitoulin Expositor about the opening of Mended here.