Photo courtesy James Emler                                Deux Femmes Sauvages, an exhibit featuring the textile work of artists Heather Cameron and Barb Mortell, is on display at the Hive Emporium on Gabriola Island until Tuesday (Oct. 10).

Photo courtesy James Emler Deux Femmes Sauvages, an exhibit featuring the textile work of artists Heather Cameron and Barb Mortell, is on display at the Hive Emporium on Gabriola Island until Tuesday (Oct. 10).

Textile art full of possibilities to explore

Artists Heather Cameron and Barb Mortell hold joint textile art show at Gabriola’s Hive Emporium

Heather Cameron is aiming to show people that there’s more to textile art than “stuff their grandmother made” and other “traditional, conservative, feminine, dainty work.”

Cameron’s latest project involves large scale linen representations of images from the Codex Canadensis, a 17th century document containing sketches of indigenous Canadian plants, animals and people. Cameron and fellow artist Barb Mortell, a quilter, have come together to present a dual exhibition, Deux Femmes Sauvages, which runs until Tuesday (Oct. 10) at the Hive Emporium on Gabriola Island.

“We have two fairly diverse bodies of work, we both work in textiles but not in a conventional way,” Cameron said, adding that while her pieces are monochromatic and representational, “Barb’s quilts are very abstract and very colourful and very contemporary-looking, so it’s a very interesting combination of the very contemporary and the historic.”

At first the artists intended to display their work separately, occupying opposing gallery space. That vision changed, Cameron explained, as the artists found that the pieces complemented each other when hanging side-by-side.

“It’s just very exciting and dynamic, the contrast and the visual surprise,” she said.

Added Mortell, “We just felt that because we have similar values about artwork and because we both work with stitch and cloth, that our very dissimilar works might tell a fairly interesting story together.”

Cameron said she hopes those who view the collection gain an understanding of how diverse an varied textile art can be.

“Quite often when I say I’m an artist that works with textiles they say, ‘What does that mean?’ It doesn’t quite [connect] in people’s minds if they’re not familiar with it,” she said.“This, I think, really goes to the other side of the spectrum from what people might think of as textile art.”

WHAT’S ON… Deux Femmes Sauvages by Heather Cameron and Barb Mortell runs at the Hive Emporium on Gabriola Island until Oct. 10.



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