Say It In Red’ May 5 to July 3, 2010

Say It In Red’
May 5 to July 3, 2010 at the
Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
3 Rosamond Street East
Almonte, ON
613-256-3754 x15
Artists: Mary Young & Marilyn Crawford
Exhibit opening: May 8th 2 pm to 4 pm

With the 2010 Olympics still a recent memory, it seems appropriate to continue the ‘sea of red’ theme with this celebration of Redwork embroidery. Preparation for the Vancouver Olympics took several years.The artists preparation for this exhibition began exactly ten yearsago. It was in the spring of 2000 that Marilyn Crawford and her daughter, Anna, toured Britain in a little red rental car. Marilyn chose to capture those memories in redwork. Marilyn shared herenthusiasm for this medium with Mary Young and so their adventure began.

The first piece was based on familiar. Mary drew some of the lovely buildings and landmarks in Perth where she lives. She was pleased with it and Marilyn and Mary decided to extend their vision to Lanark County and its heritage. Following their Eastern Ontario piece, Marilyn made a wall hanging of flowers and birds of the area. They shared their knowledge with the members of the Lanark County Quilter’s Guild and many of them are still ‘redworking’. Because they were frustrated by the Australian and U.S. content of the patterns available for purchase, they decided to design patterns with Canadian images. Demand for these patterns across Canada was very satisfying. Many of the contemporary pieces in the display were made from our patterns. Mary would like to give credit to her daughter, Janet, who inherited a ‘drawing gene’ that she does not possess and
captured many images on paper that were in her head. You will recognize her distinct, sometimes whimsical style, in several of Mary’s pieces.

Over the years the artists have had the pleasure of speaking to quilt quilds from Cornwall toPeterborough along the St.Lawrence River system and from Arnprior to Ottawa along the Ottawa River system as well as guilds located between the two.They have had the honour of displaying their pieces at the Quilt Gallery in St.Jacob’s and at the Perth Museum as well as the Festival of Quilts in Perth.

Their collection of antique redwork pieces is a delight, giving the viewer an insight into women’s work and attitude to life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They embroidered on cloth vignettes and images that were important to them as we are doing today.

Although they are no longer producing patterns, Marilyn and Mary are still capturing red embroidery threads, life as we see it. Like photographs they are stitching memories for their children and theirs. We hope you enjoy the exhibition, ‘Say it in Red’.

For more information:

Michael Rikley-Lancaster
Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

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