August 31 to October 29, 2000
(Sponsored by Telus and the Canada Council for the Arts).
"My work represents a lifelong love of the natural environment. It is an exploration of the forces or energies that move through everything on and beyond the planet. Light is an important element and source of inspiration to me. I try to communicate a sense of harmony and movement in the universe." – Thoma Ewen.
The Two Rivers Gallery is very pleased to present an exhibition of large-scale tapestries by Quebec fibre artist, Thoma Ewen. An integral part of our curatorial mandate is not only to exhibit excellent visual art but also to present to our visitors the highest quality craft being created in Canada. Ewen represents a high point in fibre arts being produced at this time. Working on a large frame loom and using the Gobelin technique as a departure point, Ewen creates large wool and cotton weavings which often measure up to two metres in length. These works take several months to complete and, once hung in a gallery, fill it with light and energy. Her abstract shape s and rich colours seem to echo landscape forms, especially the picturesque areas surrounding her home in Poltimore, Quebec, among the hills of Gatineau. She explains, “I wanted to investigate what it means to be a human being influenced by the natural landscape and beauty of the earth.” This raises the question: how much does the physical landscape affect the sensibility and work produced by an artist? How will Thoma be influenced by visiting the Central Interior of British Columbia?
Born in Vancouver, Ewen studied visual art at the University of Victoria. She first became attracted to fibre arts when, still an art strudent, she saw an exhibition of contemporary French tapestry art. She was privileged to apprentice with Olili Maki, a renowned Finnish tapestry artist. Since her first solo exhibition 25 years ago, Thoma has had numerous successful solo and group exhibitions of her work, taught at many institutions, and helped raise tapestry to the level of a fine art form.
We are fortunate that grant funding has enabled us to bring Thoma to Prince George in August, 2000, where she will lead a two-week workshop called Weaving the Community Together. In a local shopping centre, the university, t he college, and here at the gallery, Thoma will work with members of the public, young and old alike, to design and weave a 4’ x 6’ tapestry. This project will provide the residents of Prince George with a unique opportunity to express the creative spirit of the individual and the community. How many of us have yearned to take weaving past yarn and popsicle sticks but have never found the opportunity? This project is for all of us.
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