Art scene spotlights women and textiles
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