Reviews: Banjara Event, Joan Morris, Wrap Party

by - Thursday, November 01, 2012

Banjara Event

Laxmi Duclos listens to a question from the audience.

For many of us it was the highlight of the 2012 symposium. The Banjara exhibition brought home the nature of our work developing craft and the benefits of persistence and dedication over time. The exhibited featured some the highest quality contemporary embroidery being done by the Banjara community. We are deeply indebted to Jan and Laxmi Duclos who made the journey from Hampi, India to Vancouver with their nine-month old son, Solal.

Charllotte Kwon, Jan and Laxmi Duclos talk about the embroidery.
Jan spoke about the history of the Banjara people and the linguistic and cultural ties that connect them to other widely dispersed groups. Laxmi spoke about some of the challenges that face the Surya’s Garden Trust and about the steady progress of the co-operative. 

Side by side comparison of historic and contemporary work.

The embroideries themselves were the most spectacular element of the talk, with details about how the co-operative has worked from historic pieces to design contemporary work.

Jan and Laxmi Duclos work with Michel Garcia

With so many textile experts in the same space collaboration is inevitable. This was the case with a short demonstration by Michel Garcia of an organic indigo vat. By sharing processes such as these that artisans are able to add value to their work.

Joan Morris

The concluding voice of our lecture series was Joan Morris. Her erudite presentation took the audience through a maker’s long and successful career. Emphasizing that she saw each new challenge in her work as an opportunity for learning, Joan said that she will “say yes first and figure out the procedure later.” The results of this approach and her dedication to the work itself led participants in her workshop to comment that they felt in the presence of a master artisan as they worked.

Colin Whitworth readies the bar for the 2012 wrap party.

Wrap Party

The final event of the Textile Symposium was the Wrap Party. It was a high-energy affair with twenty-eight auction lots going on the block. There were some great deals and a few surprises. Participants rounded out the evening with a bit of dancing to Bocephus King and guests. The auction and raffle raised just over fifteen-thousand dollars for the Maiwa Foundation.

The success of the 2012 symposium would not have been possible without the dedication of our staff and volunteers. We feel we have a crack team. We can switch the net loft from a café to a lecture or exhibition hall in record time. That is a spectacular feat, but we have an equally capable crew working each and every aspect of the symposium. Each year we process almost a thousand registrants into twenty-five hundred spaces. We fill bins with supplies for close to fifty workshops in two locations. We have set-up and tear-down for workshops down to an exact science. It is all these people working behind the scenes that leads us to set our sights a little higher each year. We can’t wait to bring out the roster for 2013 …

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