Julie McIntyre - Canadian Fibre Artist

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The collaborative series In Wait is inspired by Penelope, wife of Odysseus, who finds herself besieged by suitors during her husband's long absence. In order to avoid making a decision regarding matrimony, she announces she must weave a shroud before she can wed again. Penelope weaves during the day and her maids unravel her work during the night, thus never completing the shroud and allowing her to find a resolution in waiting.

My work often references icons, so the rocking chair was an obvious choice for In Wait.  As a child, I thought of these chairs as old people furniture, preferring the rocking horse for my spirited physical motions to nowhere. Once I had my daughter, the rocking chair was an intimate, soothing envelope where we cuddled, nursed, worried and comforted into asleep. As I drew, painted and sewed the rocking chairs for this series, I felt that it is the external motion of rocking that best portrays who I am while I wait for answers and news. I often feel that I am tethered to the post, waiting for the starter's pistol to go off and give me decisions that will send me into full speed action or quiet repose. However, internally my thoughts never run a straight line back and forth, but loop, circle and knot among themselves. While I was in stables watching horses recently, I recognized a similar anxious energy as the horses kicked, circled and whinnied in their stall, waiting to be led out to perform. Whoa girl, I realized, I should not have put the horse imagery aside! 


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