The Fibre Report with Joe Lewis
J. Penney Burton is an independent curator, artist, and writer with an M.A. in Fine Arts from Concordia University who specializes in contemporary Canadian fibre art and artists.
She has presented papers on Canadian Textiles and Fibre practitioners at national (Neocraft in Halifax 2007) and international conferences and symposiums (American Textile Society 10th Biannual Symposium in Toronto 2006, and New Craft–New Voices, New Dundee Scotland 2007). She has also worked on two exhibitions for the Musée des Maîtres et Artisans du Québec in Montreal: Connective Tissue, and Hooked Rugs.
For Connective Tissue, from July through September 2007, Burton drew from the museum collections, works by aboriginal peoples, and a multitude of traditional practices introduced by the different groups of immigrants from Europe and Asia that came to Quebec. These artefacts featured a variety of materials and methods of working: weaving, felting, quilting, embroidery, beading, wool, silk, and hair (human and animal). These were shown along with contemporary work from artists from a number of ethnic groups working in each of the different methods.
These works were displayed in two groupings – historic and contemporary – separated by steps leading to the altar area of the former Presbyterian Church, built in 1887, which is home to the Musée des Maîtres et Artisans du Québec. Burton was able to show the overall transitions of traditional techniques into the “melting pot” of textile art practice today.
Read more in our Spring 2009 issue.
Article by Joe Lewis