Woven & Sewn in Time is an extraordinary collection of woven and sewn artworks created by artists living from Alaska in the west, through British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Arctic Canada in Nunavut and Nunavik, to Ontario and Labrador in the east. The only exception is the inclusion of works by Māori artists from Aotearoa (New Zealand) in our quest to continue our cross-cultural connection across the Pacific.
The original idea of this exhibition was to support exceptional woven Inuit grass baskets being made in the Canadian Arctic. The collection grew through a series of baskets coming into our hands through circumstance from Alaska and Labrador. The focus broadened even further when we discovered other woven and sewn containers, Innu tea dolls from Labrador, Dene birch bark baskets from the Northwest Territories, and Ojibway quill baskets from Ontario. We decided to take some further liberties with the “loosely woven” theme to include many varied contemporary interpretations on traditional containers. We encouraged artists to have fun, stretch their imagination, to take tradition in a more contemporary direction by utilizing new materials, colours and designs. The result is this inspired collection that includes many beautiful, innovative, often non-functional art objects ranging in materials from glass, silver, stone, brass, merino wool, jade to caribou tufting.
This exhibition was an adventure for our gallery, broadening our knowledge into the weaving world. We discovered a wealth of talent creating the most beautiful woven and sewn art. The variety, quality and originality of the artworks have surpassed our expectations. We know that there are many interested collectors around the world who will be as surprised and excited as we are.
Our thanks to the Najuqsivik Society for providing photos of the Sanikiluaq artists.