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Each quilt tells a story
Textile artist has her first solo show

Adrian Lysenko
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, May 5, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - After more than 3,000 hours of hard work, textile artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree will be having an exhibit at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.

NNSL photo/graphic

Textile artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree standing next to her quilted piece, Nuliajuk Mother of the Sea that will be featured in her exhibit Through Her Eyes at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. - Ian Vaydik/NNSL photo

The exhibit, Through Her Eyes, will feature 10 large quilted pieces from the artist each dealing with a diverse amount of subject matter from the 2008 market crash to breast cancer to the Inuit legend Nuliajuk, the mother of the sea beasts.

"I wanted it to be vague and I wanted to be available to do whatever was happening in the world, so I could just play and I could have fun with design and exploring ideas that are affecting us," said Lampi-Legaree.

"It allowed me to put into visual form what I was seeing in the world and hopefully it will mean something to people when they look at it."

Aside from international issues a few of the artist's pieces focus on issues close to home.

The piece "Dreams of a six year old !?!" is an image of two rusted Lysol cans.

"I can't imagine any six-year-old dreaming that in their adult life they would have an addiction issue that would require the use of Lysol," she said.

The artist got the idea for the piece after going for a walk near Frame Lake to discover some cans of the cleanser.

"It seems to be congregation area for people who are most wounded and probably had very difficult lives from the very start," she said.

First solo exhibit

Lampi-Legaree first started thinking about having a solo show when her children were getting ready to leave home. With more time to herself, the artist wanted a challenge to focus on.

"It seemed like the time to kind of push myself and do something that was really going to stretch me in many ways, ways that I hadn't even anticipated," she said.

The textile artist said she spent almost every waking hour working on the pieces, especially as the date for the exhibit approached.

"By January I was saying to everyone at Christmas time, 'Don't call me. I won't be out; you're not going to see me; I'm not coming to anything. I need to get this finished and I need to do a good job at this,'" said Lampi-Legaree. "So I basically disappeared from the world."

Aside from the show the textile artist will also be the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre's artist in residence during the long weekend in July where people will be able to see the artist demonstrate her quilting talent and technique to the public.

Until then Lampi-Legaree said she is going to be looking forward to taking a break from textile art to work on watercolour painting.

The exhibit opening will take place on Saturday night at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre at 7 p.m.

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