October 08, 2018
WAR - A Personal Response QUARTER SECTIONS
The six artists of Articulation Textile Group come together with their personal family responses to war, in all of its forms.
This is the third of my 10 pieces to be seen in the War Exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. Held at the Sidney Museum, in Sidney BC (Vancouver Island) from October 16 through November 29th, 2018.
Title: Quarter Sections
Materials: cotton and silk fabrics and threads
Techniques: applique, hand embroidery
From the air, quarter sections across the Prairies lay an elaborate quilt of constantly changing patterns over fields and streams. The winsome colours of the different crops epitomize immigrants’ dreams of prosperity and order, come to fruition. What is not so visible is the struggle to make it so: the misery of mosquitoes and black flies, the backbreaking work of meeting the homestead requirements for cultivation – cutting trees, pulling roots and stumps, and removing stones before plowing, seeding, and harvesting, all mostly by hand. Worry about the short growing season, bad weather, insect infestation, injuries and death. The need for capital begetting the need to work – for the railway, in lumber camps and mines – leaving behind women and children to cut trees, plant gardens, tend livestock, dig wells, and build houses. The constant threat of hunger, the loneliness, the cold of the winter, the searing heat of the summer.
As children, we would visit the family farm and see the remains of one of the sod houses that sheltered our grandparents when they were very young. We would marvel at the fortitude, capability, and endurance of our ancestors and be grateful for the winsome-coloured future they bequeathed to us, all from a quarter section.