February 28, 2017 to April 15, 2017
Brandon, MB – From now until April 15, Daly House Museum will be featuring the exhibit, “Kaleidoscope: Embroidery Through the Ages” in their special exhibit room in the Museum. The exhibit, curated by the Brandon Embroiderers, is a tribute to the art of embroidery in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
In keeping with the theme, the exhibit emphasizes the timeless art of embroidery, while detailing how the art or craft has changed over the last 150 years. Women of all cultures and times have decorated their homes with embroidered household items, and clothing has been lovingly ornamented. At one time needlework was taught as much as the three R’s, and a woman was valued if she could master the skill. In the 1950’s, thread became very affordable and women bought iron-on patterns and kits as projects. Lately, embroidery has changed, as new threads and materials are available. What was a decorating practice has become an art on its own. Embroidery is often personalized and used as mementoes and as gifts. Sylvia Barr, co-curator of the exhibit proclaims enthusiastically, “when you scan the room from old to new, you can really see how embroidery has changed. It’s become much freer, more personalized, more artistic. Much less reliant on rules, kits, and patterns.”
The passion for embroidery is evident when one speaks to Darlene Tufts-Dunlop, current president of the Brandon Embroiderers. Tufts-Dunlop finds the experience of embroidering “de-stressing” as she often puts on relaxing music as she stitches. But working in a group situation is also rewarding. Members meet weekly and have developed strong friendships as they work, socialize, and share techniques. “Belonging to the club is an opportunity for growth,” says Tufts-Dunlop, who hopes embroidery won’t become a dead art. She welcomes the opportunity to learn from people with greater expertise. “Their work is inspiring.” Members have travelled to conferences to expand their knowledge. Summers generally feature a “stich-in.” The club always welcomes new members.
The exhibit illustrates the variety of techniques and highlights cultures such as Japanese, Ukrainian, and Chinese. There is a piece from India which was created by men. Some of the modern wall hangings are more like “media” that one would find in an art gallery. For example, one group member created a small framed hanging called “Boston Leaves” to commemorate an experience she recently had with her grandchildren collecting leaves in a park. Another, “Tundra Treasures”, was inspired by a trip to Canada’s far north.
The exhibit runs until April 22 at the Daly house Museum, 128-18th Street. Regular admission rates apply. Call the Museum at 204-727-1722 for more information or to book a tour.