Friday, May 20, 2011

Cutting Day at Joshua Creek

Oakville, ON. Monday May 16 2011

Hon. Mayor Burton, Sybil Rampen, Members of Oakville Arts council and Community Arts Space art lovers.

June 2010 I was approached by the Burlington Art Centre to produce a collection of large scale tapestries .These are mainly based in images of nature, transcribed and interpreted though textures in tapestry weaving techniques.

One of these images, a vertical one, was precisely ideal for a large scale tapestry. A piece of interesting proportions to be displayed in a way that the community would relate to. An important image of our Canadian Landscapes of the region: a birch tree.

But how big is BIG? May things crossed my mind: where could I set a loom of these proportions? Wonderful things started to happen. I approached Sybil Rampen who immediately got hooked, or should I say, woven) into the project, offering us this wonderful and inspiring attic.

Little by little, this fascinating project took on form—helped by great Music, snacks, short lunches, more music, and wonderful moments together with friends and art lovers that wonder around The view from the attic in Sybil’s studio provided us inspiration from late summer until blooming colours of spring.

Along the way this project had the fortune to be woven not only by me, but converting itself in a community project. Mainly by Stella Tang and Yamile Roa, who are both members of the tapestry studio and the Handweavers and Spinners Guild. Some other days by Lorraine Gard, member of the Tapestry Studio and some other friends and visitors who were encouraged to participate in some way in this project.

Today we are happy to make this official cutting written in the woven tapestry journal which started in September 19. More than 1400 hours of work and used more than 60 different kinds of yarns

I would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council through the Visual Arts Grant for allowing this project to come to fruition.

Tapestry is an ancient technique yet full of vast possibilities. Integrating groups, creating warm environments for our public and private spaces. Through this project we encourage new generations to visualize this medium as an art offer. Opening tapestry technique to the community, I would like to stimulate the critical writing and thoughts about this medium.

The Oakville Tapestry Studio, The Oakville Handweavers and Spinners Guild and the Fibre Arts Shared Space would like to offer this wonderful community new possibilities in the Fibre Arts. The new QEP soon to be opened will be a wonderful place for people to explore techniques such as this one. Thank you for being part of this birth of the “birch memories”.'s%20on/article/1012864--art-is-born-after-nine-months-of-weaving

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  • May 20, 2011 - 1:41 PM
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Art is born after nine months of weaving

Art is born after nine months of weaving. THE BIRTH: The Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre hosted the Memories of a Birch Tree event, with the cutting of a large tapestry piece by Oakville artist Ixchel Suarez. Pictured (l-r) are: Stella Tang, art centre chair Sybil Rampen, Mayor Rob Burton, Ward 6 Councillor Tom Adams, Rampen's dog Sam, Suarez, Lorraine Gard and Tamilet Roa. Riziero Vertolli / Oakville Beaver
“It's a unique art piece. It was really a community project. It was interesting to be there with Sybil.” - Ixchel Suarez, textile artist

Oakville textile artist Ixchel Suarez just gave 'birth' to a more than nine-month long tapestry weaving project.

She unveiled the large-scale tapestry, titled Memories of a Birch Tree, on Monday, morning at the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre, where she had worked on it for that time.

Just like cutting an umbilical cord at an actual birth, Suarez cut the threads of the 4.5m by 2.5m tapestry off the loom at the event.

“Cutting the threads from the loom is releasing the tapestry. It’s giving it birth,” she said. “It took us over nine months to weave it.”

When the new QEP community centre opens, Suarez plans to offer education on tapestry as an artwork.

“It’s a fibre art but it’s not as common, that’s why we were going to make a little bit of noise about it,” she said of her unveiling.

Other members of the community,Stella Tang and Yamile Roa helped complete the project with the support from the Ontario Arts Council Grant in the Visual Arts section for mid-Career artist.

Some other members of the community collaborated such as Debbie Stephenson and Lorraine Gard, among others from the Joshua Creek arts studios.

“It’s a unique art piece,” she said. “It was really a community project. It was interesting to be there with Sybil (Rampen, chair of the Joshua Creek centre).”

The tapestry was cut and it is being taken to the International Textile Show in Mexico City this Sunday.

The artist plans to display it in Burlington next year in September 2012 along with a collection of large scale tapestries.

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