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Rock N’ Roll Meets Embroidery In Artwork Inspired By Diy Culture

22sep(sep 22)2:30 pm16dec(dec 16)4:00 pmRock N’ Roll Meets Embroidery In Artwork Inspired By Diy Culture(september 22) 2:30 pm - (december 16) 4:00 pm

Event Details


Surrey, B.C. | Surrey Art Gallery is pleased to announce another exhibit completing their four textile-themed shows this fall. Kathy Slade: This is a chor­­­­d. This is another. opens Sunday, September 23 from 2:30 to 4pm. Admission is free. This solo exhibit explores Slade’s decade and a half long practice of making textile-based works that put sound at the centre of the image. Pop music, literature, art history, rock n’ roll, and film stills inform the artist’s embroidered panels created between 2002 and 2017. Her minimal, monochromatic works are charged with the passion of fandom and female desire to upturn power.

The embroiderer has been traditionally depicted in art as a quiet and lonesome female figure. In Slade’s artworks, however, a noisy, assertive spirit rips out of her stitched and printed images. One panel depicts Veruca Salt from the 1971 film Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as she brazenly declares, “I want it now!” Italian conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti (1940–1994), famous for a series of embroidered maps of the world, influenced Slade’s artistic practice.

In a series of panels reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s silkscreens, Slade shows Boetti playing the drums. Her largest installation is a pom-pom made of orange yarn, sitting silently on the Gallery floor but invoking the energy of cheerleading chants at pep rallies. Celebrating the do-it-yourself culture of both rock and roll history and non-professional textile-making, Slade’s work underscores the idea that we can all be artists.

The DIY culture of textile arts is echoed in her instructional abstractions of “Learn Guitar” manuals and stitched notations of guitar chords popular in rock music. The title alludes to the punk rock maxim first coined by Mark Perry in 1976: “This is a chord. This is another. This is a third. Now form a band.” and points to the ease with which anyone can be a rock star, an artist, a revolutionary.

Other artworks in the show include embroideries based on song lists scrawled on crumpled scraps of paper or inspired by sheet music of 1960s chanteuse Francoise Hardy and 1980s new wavers Duran Duran. The exhibition also features silk georgette scarves with slogans that range in references from New Order to Brexit.Surrey Art Gallery Curator of Exhibitions and Collections Jordan Strom says, “Kathy Slade gathers her miscellany and elevates them as lost moments from the not-so-distant past.

Her embroidered images may appear at first to be austere and meditative, but with closer examination, they unleash a raw energy—a raucous noise and yearning for a better world.”The opening reception will also celebrate Surrey Art Gallery’s other textile artworks on exhibit: Maggie Orth’s interactive colour-changing weavings in Moving Towards Stillness, the 20+ fibre-based artworks from the Gallery’s collection in Connecting Threads, and the abundance of beloved items for the home and wardrobe in The Art of Warmth by Peace Arch Weavers and Spinners Guild.

About the Artist

Kathy Slade is a Vancouver-based artist, curator, and editor. She is currently completing her MA at European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland and holds a BA from Simon Fraser University. She works in a variety of media including textiles, sculpture, sound, performance, film, video, print, and publication. Through her practice, Slade points to moments and events in literature, art history, and popular culture from which to reimagine existing texts, to create looping structures, and to produce remakes that play on repetition and ideas of original and copy.

Recent solo exhibitions include I WANT IT ALL I WANT IT NOW, Walter C. Koerner Library, Vancouver, BC (2018) and Blue Monday, 4COSE, London, UK (2017). Slade founded READ Books at Libby Leshgold Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, where she holds the position of Head of Publication and Communication.

The exhibition Kathy Slade: This is a chor­­­­d. This is another. will be accompanied by a publication of the same name that documents the exhibition and includes essays by Brady Cranfield, Lina Morawetz, and Jordan Strom.


Admission to all exhibitions and events is free unless otherwise noted (donations gratefully accepted).

 Panel and Opening Reception

Sunday, September 23 | 1:30−4pm

Celebrate the opening of our contemporary textile art exhibitions! A panel discussion with Connecting Threads artists Roxanne Charles, Bettina Matzkhun, and Ruth Scheuing will start at 1:30pm; reception follows at 2:30pm. Visitors will also have the opportunity to engage with a new participatory installation Bearing Witness by Roxanne Charles and Debbie Westergaard Tuepah and learn some weaving techniques in the process.

Exhibition Tour

Saturday, October 20 | 2:304pm

Unravel the threads (figuratively speaking) in our textile exhibits Connecting Threads and Moving Towards Stillness to learn about how the artworks are made, what inspired them, and how they challenge our assumptions about art. Exhibiting artists Kathy Slade and Robin Ripley will accompany Gallery Curator Jordan Strom to share their reflections on their works!

About Surrey Art Gallery

Internationally recognized for its award-winning programs, Surrey Art Gallery is the second largest public art museum in Metro Vancouver. Founded in 1975, the Gallery presents contemporary art by local, national, and international artists, including digital and audio art. Its extensive public programs for children through to adults aim to engage the public in an ongoing conversation about issues and ideas that affect our communities and to provide opportunities to interact with artists and the artistic process. Admission is free.

Surrey Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the City of Surrey, Province of BC through BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Surrey Art Gallery Association.

Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750-88 Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada. 604-501-5566 | HOURS: Tues-Thur 9am-9pm | Fri 9am-5pm | Sat 10am-5pm | Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mondays and holidays.



September 22 (Saturday) 2:30 pm - December 16 (Sunday) 4:00 pm

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