Posts tagged ‘article’

March 8, 2011

from the archives – NOMADE

pulled straight from the vault.

originally written in 2008, this review of Nathalie Tremblay’s expo was published in part 4 of the fibre quarterly’s year in textiles.  i had no idea back then that i would be so interested in nomadic cultures but look!  foreshadowing?

enjoy.

 

Nomade’s Land

by Heather ——n

 

Nomad : noun

1 a member of a people continually moving to find fresh pasture for its animals and having no permanent home.

2 a wanderer.

 

Upon entering the Canadian Guild of Crafts, I was absolutely overwhelmed at the amount of pieces that are held in such a small showing space.  The hand is visible (yet physically absent) in all the works, be they of ceramics, glass, wood, metal, or fibre based tapestries or baskets.  And in my own art viewing tradition, I began at the back of the gallery and worked my way to the front, trying to grasp my own ideas from each piece before reading the artist’s statement.

Keeping only the word ‘nomad’ or ‘nomade’ in mind, there exists a unifying theme throughout each piece, both stylistically and conceptually.  With Amériques Sineuses I (2008), literal geographical references are made with the silkscreening of the conjoined American continents on shibori dyed wool fibres and rayon fabric.  The fact that the rich red-violet wool is hand felted in between pieces of rayon fabric, a viscose substance that is neither natural nor synthetic but ‘semi-synthetic’, marks the beginning of the body existing and shifting through any given space.

Est (2008) particularly caught my attention as it utilized the same honeycomb-like motif from Amériques (also used in Châle (2008)), only this time was repeatedly burned out onto dyed red rayon and silk.  At first Est appears to be printed uniformly on otherwise unaltered fabric, which scaled at 120 cm x 300 cm, just brushes the gallery floor.  Closer inspection reveals subtle variations in the devoré process, and keeping the geographic or nomadic theme in mind, the bottom third may appear as an imaginary chain of islands, while the top stretches towards a perfect printing process.

Vêtement 1, Vêtement 3 (2008) and Bagues (2008) were collaborative projects, enlisting the help of others in the assemblage of garments and woodwork and expressed the functional aspect of the nomadic lifestyle.  How do nomads live?  What do they do?  What do they look like?  The mark of the hand is so apparent in the weaving, the felting, and the stitching – no nomad would carry a machine with them, and the amount of rings showed implied the need for sustainment through an almost obsolete system of bartering and trade and a product of lives spent in constant motion – does it end?

Jali Blanc (2006), though referencing ornamental architecture, also references the body in geographical space.  Each cotton strip is loosely woven into a circular motif similar to the honeycomb noted previously.  The largest piece of the show (250 cm x 100 cm) marked the end of my viewing process, or the shows beginning.  The white felted pattern marks a separation from the other brightly coloured pieces, and seems to spiral out into infinity – it is only the right, or easternly most edge that is screened with iridescent silver remarking just that – the edge.

A graduate of Collège de Vieux Montréal in Textile Design and Printing, Nathalie Tremblay’s practice ties the body with the earth in using traditional techniques to create fibre murals and wearable art.  She has participated in numerous shows throughout Québec and France, including last years Mots Croisés / Palabras Cruzadas at the Centre for Contemporary Textiles in Montréal.

 

Nomade
Nathalie Tremblay
October 30th to November 29th 2008

Guilde Canadienne des Métiers d’Art
Canadian Guild of Crafts
1460 rue Sherbrooke O, suite B
Montréal, QC H3G 1K4

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