Two-woman show: Scissors and Felt/Feutre et Ciseaux, November 19-25 at Galerie 1040

Tuesday, November 19-Monday, November 25, 2019

The vernissage is on Friday, November 22, 7pm-9pm

Julia Waks and Josée Hurteau are proud to present their first exhibition together, Feutre et Ciseaux – Scissors and Felt at Galerie 1040 from Tuesday, November 19 to Monday, November 25. The artists will be present at the vernissage on Friday, November 22. Though their work is different from each other, along with their own artwork they have come together to collaborate and create two pieces in Hurteau’s medium—felt, based on Waks’ scissor theme. Money raised from the sale of the collaborative pieces will go to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

For artist Julia Waks, this series of studies were produced in response to the loss of her father and mother; conceived while sifting through her parent’s personal belongings, reflecting on what the scissors meant to them and the importance these belongings hold to her.  Waks’ parents’ scissors are her tangible mementos of their lives, used as an essential tool of their trade and livelihood in the shmata or garment industry in Montreal in the late 50s to 70s.

While in the practical sense scissors are used to cut and separate, Waks uses her parents’ scissors to connect: with her past, with her parents and with the gestures they made thousands of times. “The same weight in their hands as they cut endless material now rests in mine, connecting me to the past and them to the present. While using these scissors, I began a contemplation of my parents’ identities outside their role of mother and father; their working identities as creators, using their hands to fabricate clothing,” said Waks, continuing, “My mother, when not working in the factory, mended, altered and created garments at home for me and her clients—knitting, crocheting and creatively crafting, all of which impacted my own identity as an artist who creates images.” 

With each drawing, painting, print and collage of the scissors, Waks observed and appreciated the classic functional quality of their design, but also how with delicate and nuanced manipulation, drastic changes in mood and meaning could be created. The scissors took on a life of their own, and became the physical site where the memory of her connection to her parents could be explored. 

Felt is a non-woven fabric that is created by rubbing wool with warm water and soap. Artist Josée Hurteau discovered artisan felt making under the apprenticeship of Suzanne Skeates. Over the course of various projects—scarves, hats, jewelry, clothes etc.—Hurteau discovered that the felt could be a canvas to create the images that filled her head. That is when she started creating felt paintings. Felting is not new; in prehistoric times people made their clothes, boots, hats, even carpets and tents (yurts) out of felt. They used hair from the animals around them (goats, sheep, camels), hunted animals (bears, beavers) and even used their own hair to make felt markers. Although people knew the art of weaving, felt was more insulating and durable.

“Women have been my inspiration for the past year. It is from their eyes, their energy, their varied cultures and their challenges that my imagination takes flight.” Hurteau is a painter without paint; painting with wool that she felts and stitches. The long physical process of felting gives her time to step back as she creates her pieces. Her work expresses her vision and is influenced by the creations of Sandra Zilberzweig, Canan Berber and Elke Trittel. Featuring an explosion of colours and shapes, Hurteau loves to believe that her art brings peace and joy to the beholder.

Josée Hurteau & Julia Waks 

Two-Woman Show: Feutre et Ciseaux – Scissors and Felt

Tuesday, November 19-Monday, November 25, 2019

The vernissage is on Friday, November 22, 7pm-9pm

Galerie 1040,1040 Rue Marie-Anne East, H2J 2B4

Opening hours: Tues. 4pm-7pm; Wed. & Thurs. 1pm-7pm; Fri. 11am-9pm;

Sat. & Sun. 11am-7pm; Mon. 11am–2pm

Artists will be present each week day after 4:30 pm and all day Saturday and Sunday

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