Flora May, Mother and Child Together in Amauti, Woven and felted wool, embroidery fur, 2017
With the title being the translation of “they sew” in Inuktitut, Innu, and Mi’kmaq, this exhibition is about the act of sewing, stitching, and beading, and the importance of Indigenous women in craft. The act of threading a needle and stitching is important to many traditions in craft, such as beadwork, dollmaking, and skin stitching. These threads span generations; sewing is something that each of the Mi’kmaq, Innu, and Inuit people have a distinct and individual relationship to.
Lisa Downey, Teaching, Cotton and plastic dolls, 2019
Lisa Downey uses quilts, dolls and garments to process the memories of a childhood made bittersweet by the early loss of her mother. Lisa Downey comes from a sprawling family of seven children that grew up in the seventies and unfortunately lost their mother in the eighties. A creative being, mother Downey made scores of matching outfits for her children and their dolls. Unfortunately, the quilt intended as a wedding gift for the eldest son was never completed. Downey uses this quilt as a pivot point to create her own textiles for the wall to demonstrate the relationships within the family. Lisa Downey is an emerging textile artist based in St. John’s, who enjoys telling stories with cloth.
Janet Peter, Mary Lwyd, Needle felt, 2018
Every object tells a story. Partnered with Storytelling Festival, this curated collection brings together craftspeople and professional storytellers to bring these works to life with folklore, history, and myth. Director Bruno Vinhas has selected ten artists based on a series of studio visits, whose works link directly to mythology, local history, and fairy tales. A series of storytelling events will take place in the gallery, drawing in audience as these performers animate the craft works with dynamic voice, bringing their histories to life.
Jay Buttler, The kiss, Copper and Ceramic, 2016
HandiWERK! pairs professional craftspeople with local drag queens, who will inspire the works of craft and then animate them through performance. Both queer and craft histories are rife with tales of resourcefulness, a do-it-yourself spirit, and the necessity of ‘making do’. This spirit is evidenced clearly in the local drag scene; performers are cobbling together their garments and props as best they can, and this exhibition seeks to elevate their aesthetics while providing an exciting opportunity to queer craftspeople to bring their creations to life in a dynamic collaboration. Animated GIFs of the performers will punctuate the collection, showing the craft works ‘in action’. Both Bryan and Vinhas identify as queer and are immersed in the local drag and craft spheres; Bryan is also a drag performer.
Candice Davies, Bubblewrap, Stone, 2018
Sculptor Candace Davies replicates humble, daily objects in Italian alabaster and African wonder stone.
A roll of bubble wrap, green painter’s tape or a power bar are objects commonly found in a gallery setting as tools. Candace Davies, however, transforms them into stone sculpture and objects of inquiry. She fools the eye with her stone illusions and poses questions about perception, value systems and what we deem art. Davies strips away the utilitarian nature of everyday objects and places them on a pedestal by rendering them in stone.
Candice Davies is based in Toronto and has shown her perception bending work in a variety of Montreal galleries.
Jade Yumang, Untitled, Mixed textiles and wood, 2018
Floor sculptures and compositions for the wall by Jade Yumang lyrically investigate the economy of the queer body. Drum Up is inspired by Drum, a homophile publication that expanded the boundaries and politicized queer culture in 1960s Philadelphia. Yumang uses traditional quilting techniques with digital printing on textiles to create formally pleasing, wall mounted and three-dimensional sculpture. Drum Up alludes to moving blankets, security blankets and AIDS memorial quilts and sensitively considers the complexities of queer life post 1969.
Born in Manilla and raised in Dubai, Jade Yumang describes himself as currently being “sometimes in NYC and a recluse in Vancouver.”
“She Grew Up In The Bay” is a journey through the life of fictional character Trudy White, and the hardships of Outport life as the youngest of six children and only girl. Trudy will take us through her life in the form of the special garments that were significant to who she was as a person.
Barry Buckle is a couture designer and instructor of the Textile: Craft and Apparel design Program of CNA in St John’s