Art scene spot­lights women and tex­tiles

VIS­UAL ARTS

The Georgia Straight - - Fall Arts Preview -

CRIT­ICS’ PICKS

This bril­liant fall sea­son, the 2

vis­ual arts across Van­cou­ver and the Lower Main­land are dom­i­nated—amaz­ingly and un­ex­pect­edly—by women and by tex­tiles. An im­pres­sive num­ber of ex­hi­bi­tions across a range of venues— pub­lic gal­leries, com­mu­nity and cul­tural cen­tres, nat­u­ral-his­tory mu­se­ums, artist-run cen­tres, and com­mer­cial gal­leries—have been or­ga­nized and cu­rated around the Tex­tile So­ci­ety of Amer­ica Sym­po­sium, a big bi­en­nial event that is be­ing held this year in Van­cou­ver (Septem­ber 19 to 23). Em­brac­ing the theme “The So­cial Fab­ric: Deep Lo­cal to Pan Global”, the sym­po­sium and many of the shows oc­cur­ring in con­cert with it will ex­am­ine the cre­ative cross-pol­li­na­tion be­tween tex­tile tra­di­tions of set­tler cul­tures and In­dige­nous cul­tures in the Amer­i­cas.

Other ex­hi­bi­tions fea­ture the ca­reers of lo­cal women artists, past and present, and in­tro­duce us, too, to the cre­ative prac­tices of artists from more dis­tant places and cul­tures.

DI­VINE SPARKS: BAR­BARA HELLER

(At the Sid­ney and Gertrude Zack Gallery to Oc­to­ber 8) A sur­vey of works cre­ated in the past decade by this ac­claimed, Van­cou­ver-based ta­pes­try artist, the show fea­tures three dis­tinct—and dis­tinctly beau­ti­ful—se­ries, each ex­am­in­ing the con­nec­tions be­tween re­li­gious faith, weav­ing, and dig­i­tal cul­ture. “Fu­ture Reli­quar­ies” em­ploys Chris­tian sym­bols and as­pects of com­puter tech­nol­ogy; “In­te­grated Cir­cuits” jux­ta­poses images of Hindu mu­dras (yo­gic hand po­si­tions) and elec­tronic parts and cir­cuitry; and “Tz­imtzum and the Sephi­rot” ex­plores mys­ti­cal as­pects of Ju­daism while re­flect­ing on our lim­ited hu­man un­der­stand­ing of the di­vine. The Draw: Heller as­serts the his­toric and con­tem­po­rary sig­nif­i­cance of ta­pes­try art while ask­ing us to ex­am­ine the be­liefs and tech­nolo­gies that shape our glob­al­ized ex­is­tence.

XIAO­JING YAN: IN SUS­PENDED SI­LENCE

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