Joanna Staniszkis, [Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver, BC, May 5-19, 2003]
Joanna Staniszkis: Linen's Edge
Ballard Lederer Gallery
Vancouver BC May 5-19, 2003
Joanna Staniszkis is a brilliant Canadian textile artist whose inventive work has been commissioned by architects around the world. Her unique background includes studies in fine arts in Poland, and Lima, Peru; studies at the Chicago Art Institute; and extensive travelling for the purpose of textile research. Her cross-cultural references have embraced Oriental carpets, Uzbeki coats, Chinese robes and ancient Peruvian tunics.
Staniszkis projects are large in scale. She uses materials in such unconventional ways as ten-foot glass tubes stuffed with coloured cotton and assembled as a type of mural. Another project features a six-panel tapestry representing Vancouvers skyline. Her vast range of techniques and materials have included the incorporation of hundreds of dyed silk ribbons from a cargo parachute into a weaving, and translating traditional cross-stitch embroidery into computer-generated crosses of silk on plexiglass. In 1981, Staniszkis received the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in recognition of contributions she has made to the field of textile art.
The current work, Linens Edge, is an experimentation with translucent flax cloth, screen-printed with natural dyes. The work is an intense monochromatic installation filled with light and transparency. Swatches of dyed linen seem to scurry across the floor on their thin black wire supports, while larger fragments flow from above. Panels marked with repeated designs and narrative images are layered against walls and windows.