The opening of the Sheila Hicks exhibition — Material Voices at the Textile Museum of Canada — is Hicks’ first solo exhibition in Canada; it was also curator Karin Campbell’s first exhibition in Canada. The curator was present and was able to tell me about the great support this exhibition received from both Canadian and American sources, she also described the show as one of the smoothest she’s had the opportunity to work on.
The way visitors move through the space itself seems to mimic the weaving technique in Hicks’ material works. It was an exhibit full of texture, mixed media, bright colours as well as colours true to the material used. Hicks is able to beautifully manipulate her materials using armatures, or by combining fabrics to create interesting shapes and figures that climb along the walls, or stretch from floor to ceiling.
Some artworks carry elements of trompe l’oeil, meaning they resemble other media such as paintings hanging in frames, where the weaving of fabrics is made reminiscent of brush strokes through the use of a picture frame as a support. Overall a beautiful exhibition of a tactile art come to life through the legacy of Sheila Hicks and her lifelong career.
The show is on until February 5, 2017 at the textile Museum of Canada, Curator Karin Campbell.