Friday, 29 May 2015

Rachelle LeBlanc @ Harbourfront

Rachelle LeBlanc Embrace, 2014; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
On a recent visit to Harbourfront Centre, I saw Rachelle LeBlanc's Embrace in one of the vitrines. Seeing a hooked textile vessel with no evident seams caught my attention. In school I flirted with rug hooking and I can attest that to accomplish this requires a fair amount of skill. I would have liked to see all sides of the vessel. LeBlanc shows images of the reverse side of Embrace on her website. Embrace reads like a three-dimensional painting. 
Rachelle LeBlanc Embrace, 2014; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
LeBlanc is a Canadian textile artist with French Acadian roots. She currently resides in Alberta. Embrace is visual autobiography with images pulled from LeBlanc's life story. In her artist statement, she compares each loop to a pixel, the accumulation of which creates "intricate and subtle imagery." 
Rachelle LeBlanc Embrace detail, 2014; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
What baffled me was that the shape of the hooked vessel was akin to a ceramic vase. My eyes saw a soft textile, but my brain registered that vases are hard. The visual tension of hard and soft is interesting, like seeing concrete pillows or felted stones. With its subtle, soothing colours and intriguing back story, Embrace is a fibre sculpture that I could spend a lot of time with and always see something new.

Rachelle LeBlanc Deep Woods:Visual Arts Exhibitions January 24 to June 14, 2015 at Harbourfront Centre Lasting Effect (in vitrines).


Rachelle LeBlanc said...

Hi Karen,

I just stumbled upon your blog article and I wanted to thank you for writing about my work. I really enjoyed ready about your curiosity on the piece. Showing at the Harbourfront was a real treat

Karen said...

Hi Rachelle,
Your welcome! It was a pleasure to see your work. I hope to see more of it in future exhibitions.