Discovering the textile art of Kirsten Chursinoff

Passionate about fabrics, yarns, wools, embroidery and quilting, textile artist, Kirsten Chursinoff, says her main artistic goal is to combine embroidery and quilting techniques to create works.

According to the artist, the materials she uses are both accessible and familiar, used to weave stories since the dawn of time. Textile art, she says, is the perfect medium to incorporate all the details embedded in gardens, among other things, whether real or invented. These details bring the viewer closer to an intimate experience of colors and textures.

Garden Escape by Kirsten Chursinoff. | Photo by Kirsten Chursinoff

His exhibition, titled Garden Escapeis presented to the District Library Gallery from the library of Lynn Valley Library until December 6, 2022.

From wearable art to just art

Everything is in the art of embellishing the fabrics by means of needle-stitched patterns with threads of different colors and different materials (silk, cotton, wool, metallic thread).

Embroidery, a symbol of elegance and refinement, has long been synonymous with ladies’ work or haute couture. It was used in the Middle Ages to adorn court clothes, as well as priestly vestments.

Its story began with a very simple idea: to use stitches for decorative purposes. Around the 19th century, it emerged in the world of art. Mainly used by women artists, this art is still practiced as a professional activity by highly skilled craftsmen, but also women to make collars, doilies, cushions at home.

Photo by Kirsten Chursinoff

Unlike textile, which is a material that can be woven or knitted, and can be divided into fibers or threads such as cotton, hemp, linen, wool (organic textiles) or acanthus stone, mineral textile fiber is found in construction (asbestos, metals, glass or rock wool).

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Technical secret and source of inspiration

Kirsten Chursinoff explains that she uses a kind of collage to design her works, takes photos, researches, spreads all possible colors that could work for the subject. She then cuts out shapes of fabric and arranges them in different arrangements until she finds something that is pleasing to the eye. The urban environment fascinates her and she draws her source of inspiration from nearby community parks and gardens.

Based in Vancouver, Kirsten Chursinoff works out of her downtown studio. A graduate in textile art from Capilano University, the artist has written articles for magazines such as Sew Daily, Quilting Arts, Art Quilting Studio. She has also participated in several individual and collective exhibitions as well as on orders. In 2006, she won the prize for Visual Art Development Award (VADA) presented by the Contemporary Art Gallery and of Vancouver Foundation. She is a member of the BC Crafts Council.

Art plays the role of bringing people together in their community and allows them to update their relationship with each other. In the same vein, the exhibition Garden Escape aims to encourage the public to see beyond culture, but rather to build a strong, engaged and close-knit community.

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