Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lesley and Yvonne

Pods Lesley Richmond

Cape Yvonne Wakabayashi

Construction Yvonne Wakabayashi

Lesley Richmond and Yvonne Wakabayashi taught me textile art at college.

Every class held new magic. Both of them were experimenting with different and new techniques. Both had an extraordinary visual language and skill set. Both were generous with the information they taught and patient enough to allow for complete disaster through experimentation.

Lesley is a wry and funny person. She is elegant, willowy and English. She speaks in a quiet voice.
Every year the textile student population seem to go through a "feminist" phase that includes graphic illustrations and constructions of the female anatomy. I remember walking into her office and it was strewn with projects to be marked. Many of the pieces were softly constructed vulva and labial forms.

Lesley looked around and said,"Dear me... some days I fell like a gynecologist."

Luxurious samples of her work made me want to reach as far as I could in my exploration of materials. No holds barred with the exception of poisonings and explosions.

Yvonne is a tiny but substantial woman who always teaches at 150%. She is conversant in textile work from North America and Japan. She spends time working in both countries and travels extensively. Her experimentation with materials have included constructions with pleated wax paper and indigo. She gives new meaning to the world of shibori.

Yvonne and her family were interned during the Second World War. The West Coast of Canada moved everyone of Japanese decent far away. This experience comes through in her work.

Both of these woman win prizes and awards all over the world.

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