A collaborative exhibit featuring artwork from women opens on International Women’s Day (Sunday, March 8) at The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford (32388 Veterans Way).
“Home” features the combined work of women who have incomes and live in comfortable, safe homes and those who access the Warm Zone – a service that supports street-entrenched women in Abbotsford.
The exhibit includes several pieces that connect to the theme of “home,” but the main focus is a large fabric weaving upon which the women collaborated.
Women brought in strips of fabric that represented home to them, including strips of flannel blankets, saris and tablecloths.
Some women cut pieces of fabric from sentimental items such as a favourite blanket or sweater.
Others created something unique for the weaving, such as a long knitted strip.
Because the women from the Warm Zone don’t have access to fabric in the same way, a variety of donated fabric pieces were made available from which to choose.
The weaving is bordered by woven cedar bark, donated by Donna Villeneuve who sits on the International Women’s Day planning committee.
Villeneuve is Salish and for the Salish people, the cedar is the “tree of life.”
The exhibit was initiated by Abbotsford artist Linda Klippenstein, who also sits on the planning committee for International Women’s Day at University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).
“The idea of doing a truly collaborative piece has been percolating within me for some time. I’ve done art projects with the women at the Warm Zone before but they’ve always been for the community. I wanted to try to do something with the community,” she said.
Klippenstein said fabric was chosen to represent home in the weaving because “it’s something that’s common to all people regardless of social or economic standing.”
For more information about the exhibit, visit thereach.ca or call 604-864-8087.