Peculiar similarities at Agnes Jamieson Gallery
By Laurie Carmount
For the month of June there are two exhibitions being offered at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery that have peculiar similarities: Paisley Tartan, by Kate Carder-Thompson and The Inherent Legacy by Kimberly Tucker.
Both artists base their work on fibre. Kate works in silk and uses patterns of paisley and tartans. Kimberly implements felt.
This is not the felt squares one can buy. This is handmade felt made from 100 per cent wool, produced by matting, condensing and pressing the fibres. It is the oldest form of fabric known which is soft and durable. Colour is added by dying the wool and through the pressing process, the colours can be blended.
Another commonality is the subject matter. Kate’s theme is about Queen Victory and the colonization of India, Kimberly utilizes tea cups that have been encased and infiltrated by felt. Tea is a major factor in English history. Kate is specifically inspired by the fashionable Victorians’ interest in science, exploring intersections of trend, morality and privilege in an empirical context.
The underlying connection for these two exhibitions, however, is the application of an evasive and eroding concept. Kimberly’s work reminds me of old tarmac that is being taken over by natural growth – cracks that have young, green shoots working their way through. In all cases, the felting is either taking over, dominating the man-made object in either a caring or absorbing way, or encasing the object to make it part of an organic member. It is clever how many interpretations she has made of the one object, the tea cup. She says it “portrays the cycle from inception to decomposition and the complexities of that journey. If humans were to disappear from the earth, it would not take Nature long to breakdown and overcome our leavings.”
In Paisley Tartan, Kate invades the paisley print with embroidered bacteria in Petri dishes. She works cholera onto the queen’s face. It points a finger and compares colonization to an infiltration, like a disease. The silk lab coats add a level of consideration of what role science may have…and who are the lab rats.
From these common elements, the two exhibitions separate. Kate’s work is subtle and requires further consideration and jogging of your memory of historical facts. Kimberly is more immediate and plays to the imagination. Her message is readily available to the viewer. However, both leave a very strong, lasting sensation that will continue to resonate long after visiting.
The exhibition is at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery until July 1. Located at 176 Bobcaygeon Road in the town of Minden. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit www.mindenhill.ca/art-gallery.
In July, the Minden Hills Museum will be working on some fibre art of their own. Along with getting our looms up and running in the village, we are inviting people to participate in a monthly Fibre UFO group. UFO, of course meaning Un-Finishing Objects (although any fibre arts project will do). We all have that sweater we started crocheting 10 years ago, or that one wool sock that never had a match knitted, or maybe you have finished all your projects and want to start something new. Whether you are a beginner knitter or an advanced rug hooker we would love to have you join us for this social afternoon. The group will be meeting on the third Friday of the month at 1 p.m. starting Friday, July 21. If you crochet, knit, weave, quilt, embroider, cross-stich or would like to learn something new feel free to join us. All those interested in fibre arts are welcome.