With scenes of birds, maple leaves and the Earth, each piece in the Threads of Hope art exhibition is completely different, but they are all connected by a common thread of red fabric.
The textile artwork has been stitched by members of the Fibre Art Network and the show, which has travelled across Canada, is on display at the O’Connor Group Art Gallery in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre from Dec. 14 to Jan. 14.
The artists expressed world issues that are meaningful to them by creating pieces showing something they hoped for, said Chilliwack artist Karlie McChesney.
It could be a political statement, or not, and each member had to buy a specific piece of red-coloured fabric for the project.
“We all had the identical piece of fabric… and then it had to touch the left side and the right side,” McChesney said. “It could come on or off wherever you want and it had to be in your design in some way.”
The 55 pieces are staggered up and down on the gallery wall. They flow together and are visually connected wherever the red fabric on one piece of artwork lines up with the red fabric on the next piece.
The scarlet material enters and exits one piece of work in the form of a heartbeat line, in another the red fabric swims across by way of spawning salmon, and in another it takes the shape of a volcano.
Each textile piece is the same 18-inch-by-36-inch size, and each section of red fabric that touches the left and right edges is four inches long.
Nancy Riemersma of Agassiz said she’s always been fascinated with the Arctic. She stitched a tundra scene with a polar bear for her piece title ‘On Thin Ice.’
The red fabric became the footprints of the polar bear.
“It’s all about the effects of climate change and what’s going to happen when the Arctic warms,” Riemersma said. “The question is whether they’re going to simply be footprints on the tundra, or… maybe the polar bear will become a ghost of the north.”
McChesney said she’s a “numbers girl” and used her favourite number in her artwork called ‘Goal = Success.’
“Do you set goals? Do you hope for a reduced national debt, lower blood pressure, less plastic usage or some other abatement? Setting goals, working towards and charting the information can equal significant success,” she wrote in her artist’s statement.
The red fabric connects the number 17 on the left side of her piece to the number seven on the right.
People can see the textile work by McChesney, Riemersma and other Fibre Art Network members at the art gallery.
Threads of Hope is on display at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre from Dec. 14 to Jan. 14. The opening reception is set for Saturday, Dec. 17 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. Gallery hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.
The Fibre Art Network is a group of textile artists in Western Canada. Threads of Hope is a travelling exhibit that has been on display in galleries across Canada for the past three years. Chilliwack is the second to last show, with the final show being in Vernon in the new year.
For more, go to fibreartnetwork.com/exhibit/threads-of-hope-2.