Linen Diaspora

Karen Fleming

Linen Diaspora28th July – 31st August 2012

Professor Karen Fleming (University of Ulster), who curated “Linen Diaspora”, established links between the Huguenots exiled from France and flax culture in both Western Canada and Ireland. The exhibition of contemporary work focuses on materials and processes related to flax production that are embedded in the culture of both countries – expressed here in objects that combine concept and craftsmanship. Irish and Canadian craftspeople, all masters in their disciplines, considered the transmission of cultural knowledge through material means.

Migration was the subject of Mapping Memory by Liz Nilsson, a native Swede now living in the Republic of Ireland. She placed patches from linen tablecloths on a chart recording the journey of her life. Many works in the show directly reference historical domestic artifacts, Susan Warner Keene’s paper panels hand-made from flax, and Carol Freve’s bottles – reminiscent of containers taking messages through the sea encased in cloths imprinted with vintage images. In contrast Rachel O’Neill reflects rural society by transforming heavy industrial materials into bold lighting and wall coverings, while Stuart Cairn’s delicate sterling silver and wood sculptures invite close scrutiny.

Invited Canadian makers include: glass artist Carole Frève, ceramist Janine Parent, jeweller Marie-Claude Morin, installation artists Pierre et Marie, textile artist Susan Warner Keene and tapestry artist Suzanne Paquette.

The show was first shown at 4th Biennale Internationale du Lin de Portneuf, Quebec Canada in 2011.

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