Monday, September 17, 2007

Found Threads by Sophia Lada

If you didn’t make it to the New Gallery on Queen West and Crawford some time between September 5th and 16th it was a missed opportunity. Almost, fortunately for me I did see this emotionally powerful, gently beautiful exhibition of reworked cross stitch work by Sophia Lada and her late mother. Lada is not a textile artist , she has become one at the bed side of her mother. Stitching together while passing time during her illness, her mother passed on her skill in traditional Ukrainian needle work to her daughter . Using family table linens with orange and brown cross stitched boarders Sophia has created new imagery with in these “frames” combining traditional rendering of folkloric images with the personal, she has taken these recycled works into the contemporary realm. The worn used linens speak of family heritage, the passing of time and loss, while drawing attention to subtle beauty of both the material and subject matter this exhibition has provided a next chapter to the “From Baba’s Hope Chest”* ( not that I am confusing Ukrainian and Macedonian culture) or “Colour and Light” approach to presenting ethnic textile traditions.

This exhibition used the past to expand the current and Sophia Lada’s work is well worth discovering. Check out her website:

sophia lada

September 5 – 16, 2007
Reception: Sunday, September 9, 3 – 6 PM

A six-foot ritual cloth, embroidered by visual artist LADA
together with her then 96-year-old mother Marusia in 2005-2006,
is the centerpiece of FOUND THREADS. It was designed from
cut linen pieces and threads found in her mother’s sewing room.

Inspired by her mother’s hand-embroidered linens, LADA
gives them new life. Within their existing geometric borders,
she hand stitches multiple images with found threads. For LADA,
embroidery is a new medium through which she explores the
relationship between order, spontaneity, thread and ritual.

*new* gallery
906 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
T. 416.588.1200
gallery hours
Wednesday – Sunday 1 – 6 PM

* “From Baba’s Hope Chest: Macedonian Treasures from Canada” This was the first-ever North American touring exhibition on Macedonian culture. The 3,000 square foot exhibition was a "block-buster" by the Textile Museum of Canada, where it doubled visitor attendance during its six month run. It made its American debut in 2001.

Catalogue: From Baba's Hope Chest: Macedonian Treasures in Canada, Anne Wood, Textile Museum of Canada (1995) 24 pages 38 ill. 8.5x8.5 in. 0968068960

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