Prairie Interlace: Weaving, Modernisms and the Expanded Frame, 1960-2000
Like ceramics, weaving is an age-old activity associated with the irreducible minimum of food, clothing and shelter. From time immemorial we have shaped clay pots to store our edibles and woven garments and roofs to keep us warm and dry. Automation has not eliminated these handmade activities but returned them to us as art and craft. Yet while interest in modern ceramics has boomed over the past 25 years, weaving, according to the curators of Prairie Interlace, has been “overlooked.”
This collaborative exhibition between Nickle Galleries and the MacKenzie Art Gallery of Regina celebrates the “explosion of innovative textile-based art on the Canadian Prairies during the second half of the twentieth century,” featuring 48 artists of Indigenous and settler descent, in addition to a sprinkling of “influential visitors.” Curators Michele Hardy, Timothy Long and Julia Krueger have gathered together 60 works that depart from “traditional approaches to weaving” to explore unconventional materials, variant techniques and evocative shifts in form and scale.
Prairie Interlace includes works by Margaret Harrison, a Saskatchewan-based Métis artist renowned for her floral rug hooking and community advocacy (her Awaken My People, 2003, was included in the Government of Canada–funded show Resilience, Resistence – Métis Art, 1880-2011); Finnish-born Pirkko Karvonen, whose works are drawn from the colours and textures of the prairie landscape; Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, an influential teacher at the Ban Centre whose large-scale colour-field commissions are held in numerous collections; and noted American artist Ann Hamilton, who, like many international artists over the years, passed through Ban as a student.