Rachelle LeBlanc, figurative art textiles

PICNIC – 55″x54″ Hand dyed & hooked wool, cashmere on linen

Textile artist Rachelle LeBlanc’s hand hooked surface works blur the line between traditional craft and contemporary art.

THREE GRACES – 30″ X 32″ Hand dyed & hooked wool, cashmere on linen

Transformations – Hooked Sculpture at the Leighton Art Center in Calgary, Alberta was a dream come true. Ever since I starting hooking wool, I have wanted to create an installation that filled a gallery with sculptures of children. The reward I get from a project like this is the moment I walk into a gallery, and find myself surrounded by my work. This exhibition did not disappoint.. When I teach students, I often talk about choosing work or projects that take your breath away. These little people took a full year to make. From August 2016 to August 2017, from sun up to sun down, through heat flashes, and many tears, it was all worth the hard work.

One of the challenges with this project was creating the stands. Each stand was created using red earthenware clay, glazes, and fired in high temp kilns. It was my first attempt working in large-scale, and that came with surprises. After 5 attempts to create a large reproduction of my blanket chest, I finally had one without cracks.

Storytelling connects us to one another and helps explain who we are. When we are displaced, we carry our traditions, memories and history with us and try to recreate what has been left behind to define a new sense of belonging.

Physical and emotional displacement can compose the essential elements of human existence. Events such as birth, growth, emotion, aspiration, conflict, and mortality, are part of who we are and can help tell our story. Rachelle’s work draws on this storytelling narrative, where the tension between the real and the imagined is played out.

The work presented in Transformations, takes what is traditionally perceived as floor coverings, or 2D tapestries, and re-introduces the medium as 3D forms expressed in modern and contemporary figurative contexts.
Rachelle LeBlanc
Feb 24, 2018

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