Friday, 23 May 2014

Sandra Brownlee @ David Kaye Gallery 2

Sandra Brownlee textile 1a; Photo credit © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Sandra Brownlee's long woven textile hangs in the window of the David Kaye Gallery for her solo show The Word Made Physical: drawing, writing, weaving, stitching. I'm in awe of how Brownlee transforms humble black and white sewing thread into exquisite artworks. Over the years, her woven imagery has become more meditative. 
Sandra Brownlee textile 1b; Photo credit © Karen Thiessen, 2014
Here's a link to images of her early work where she poured her energies into each line of weaving. The new work conveys a confidence and calmness, yet is as strong as the early work.
Sandra Brownlee textiles; Photo credit © Karen Thiessen, 2014
The above textiles are the inclusions for her Deluxe Edition catalogue, Departures and Returns.
Sandra Brownlee textile; Photo credit © Karen Thiessen, 2014
This textile is further evidence of the broadening of Brownlee's textile practice. In August 2011 she took a eco-dye workshop with India Flint. Naturally, Brownlee has taken what she has learned and has made it her own.
Sandra Brownlee textile; Photo credit © Karen Thiessen, 2014
The above text comes from Ray Bradbury's semi-autobiographical book Dandelion Wine. When I read Wikipedia's analysis and themes of the book, I realized that they summed up much of Brownlee's approach to life: elevating the mundane to a valuable possession (a weed made into wine), the magic and wonders of childhood, and working with one's hands and nature. 
Sandra Brownlee wire text; Photo credit © Karen Thiessen, 2014
This is a detail of Brownlee's homosote studio wall that she shipped from Nova Scotia to David's gallery. Sandra is now working with a new "fibre" to make the word physical: wire. If one were to spend time with this piece, one would find actual words.

Sandra Brownlee: The Word Made Physical: drawing, writing, weaving, stitching
May 1 - 25, 2014 at David Kaye Gallery in Toronto, Ontario.


Judy Martin said...

Your reviews of this exhibition are so thoughtful and respectful of the artist. Thank you for the time it took.

Sandra took the workshop class through the exhibition and spoke breathlessly about all of these pieces. I wrote down much of what she said, both to the group and just to me when I asked more direct questions, one on one.

I hope to post some of this experience some time. In the meantime, it was really a beautiful experience to revisit the pieces and think about them through your intelligence.


Karen said...

Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to reading about your experience of Sandra's show!