Tag Archives: women

A Path to Connection

At the heart of every longing is a quest for deeper connection. How can I help you make those connections?  This is my work and the work of Heather Plett.  Gathering in circle, allows us to connect again with each otherourselves, the sacred, and the earth.

Heather has included my submission about connecting to our earth in her new ebook, A Path to Connection.

A Path to Connection - mock book cover

 

From Heather’s website….

Four-paths-graphic-300x290The journey to connection has four paths – self, sacred, others, and the earth. We can’t make connections with any of these four without impacting the others. When we seek connection with the sacred, we must also honour the earth. When we seek connection with others, our connection with ourselves also grows. At the intersection of all four of these paths is a sweet spot, and that’s the place of deepest connection that we all long for.

 

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Download your free copy today.

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Heather Lair Retrospective

The beautiful art quilts of Heather Lair are on display at the New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada until Sept 1st.

This is a must see show. Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.18.06 PM

I felt like I was in the midst of greatness being surrounded by Heather’s work.

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Here are some of my favourites.

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Modulation in Harmonics, 2009

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Landscape on Red Field, 2013

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IMG_3286Being able to view all this work all in one place allowed us to see the progression of her talent over thirty years.

The pieces dated 2013 show some experimenting in painting fabric and random stitching.

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Where was she going with her ideas?  We will never know but I wish she were here now to show us.IMG_3285

I’m glad that we own one of Heather’s small pieces called “Celestial Bodies”.

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The Labyrinth Lady – Sylvia Senensky

Sometimes you sit in a coffee shop and, even though you don’t really mean to, you overhear the conversation going on at the next table. That happened to me last week. And I truly believe that I was in the right place at the right time.

The group at the next table were engaged in conversation and all of a sudden my ears perked up when I heard the name “Sylvia Senensky”.  I turned to the woman and interrupted. “Did I hear you say the name Sylvia Senensky, the Jungian analyst? “

Yes.

Back in the mid 1990’s the idea of the labyrinth had come into my consciousness.  A friend showed me a copy of a newsletter of the Jungian society in Canada which had an article about labyrinths. It was written by Sylvia. She and I were both native Winnipeggers. And that connection and my newly sparked interest in labyrinths possessed me to contact her, hoping that she would let me read her thesis on labyrinth work. After some initial questions, she wanted to know who I was and why I was so interested, she mailed me a copy.

Sylvia had a profound influence on my journey. Through her I discovered the Divine Feminine, the hidden feminine face of God which I had never experienced. I found it in the centre of the labyrinth.Ev & Sylvia Senesky

She opened a new way for me to engage in my theology and spirituality.

“In our lifetimes, we undergo multiple journeys in and out of the center… A journey into the dark can entail facing our own destructive capabilities as well as acknowledging and dealing with others’ conscious or unconscious destructive feelings and acts toward us. Equally important, it can connect us with repressed talents, with our latent creativity, and the open, loving hearts that are our birthright. The more we work with our inner demons, the more we open ourselves to the larger story of who we really are and what we can become.”

I attended workshops which she held in Toronto, early offerings which she was developing in her Jungian practise. She was committed to sharing the power of the labyrinth as a tool for personal and community transformation.

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laying out the Chartres design labyrinth with masking tape on plastic, Toronto, 1995

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labyrinth by candlelight

She spearheaded one of the earliest public labyrinths in Toronto in High Park in 2001.

HIgh Park Labyrinth, Toronto

HIgh Park Labyrinth, Toronto

In 2003 when she published her book, Healing and Empowering the Feminine: A Labyrinth Journey, I drove to Toronto for the launch.

book cover

Healing and Empowering the Feminine A Labyrinth Journey, Sylvia Shaindel Senensky, Chiron Publications, 2003,194 pp.

In the book she “probes the inner depths of the labyrinth as a source of archetypal feminine energy—the womb, the cave, the domain of the Goddess, the core of the earth, the encounter with planned chaos and the consequences of the ignored shadow. Senensky draws on powerful personal experiences, the stories of women she has worked with as clients and workshop participants, and a rich literature of myth and fairy tale that includes Theseus and the Minotaur, Demeter and Persephone, Inanna, and Vassilissa the Beautiful. Poems and quotations also serve as examples.”

“The Feminine is about process and relationship. It is about playing, experimenting, doing several things at once. It is not goal-oriented, although there may be a goal towards which we are heading. It is the process of getting to the goal that is all important. The twists and turns, the forward and backward movement of the labyrinth, the dancing between the quadrants, the act of allowing the unexpected to affect your journey, the still point at the center – that is static and containing while honouring the rhythms and movement of life and death – all form an exquisite portrayal of how Feminine energy manifests itself.”

Many years later I had lost contact with Sylvia and tried to find her on the internet. Her website was not to be found. She seemed to have disappeared.

That day in the coffee shop I found out why.

The lady had been a childhood friend of Sylvia’s. She told me that Sylvia had moved from Toronto to BC, had fallen in love but then tragically developed dementia. She is now in a personal care home.

Sylvia’s eyes were very unique and I often wondered why she always looked so sad. The woman in the coffee shop unlocked this mystery. Sylvia was born without eyelids, a genetic trait for which she had had many surgeries. It was because of this that she chose not to have any children.

I felt glad for the update about my mentor and thanked the woman very much. I told her of Sylvia’s profound effect on my life. It seemed to make the news of her mental demise a little easier.

Thank you Sylvia for your wisdom and insight. You held the thread for me as I traversed the labyrinth of my own personal healing. You had the courage to share your discoveries with the world in person and in print. I’m grateful that I have a signed copy of your book to study and which to refer.

I am also grateful for your deep personal journey and how I walked with you for a few brief steps of it.

“…We have lost touch with what it means to live in the mystery of existence. Most of us get caught up in the ebb and flow of daily life, following paths laid out for us by social structures we have come to accept as the norm. We forget that life is not lived in a straight line. We forget that death is always sitting on our left shoulder.”

Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth woven mat, Evelyn Ward de Roo

Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth woven mat, Evelyn Ward de Roo

Sylvia has 24742_apa bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy and Masters degree in Adult Education and Applied Psychology. She is a Zurich- trained Jungian Analyst and a graduate of Jean Houston’s training program in the Cultivation of Human Capacities. She spent the first part of her career working with physically handicapped and emotionally disturbed children, followed by many years teaching at community colleges in the Toronto area. She has lectured internationally on Jung and the labyrinth and its connection to the Feminine as well as being an experienced workshop leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Educate More Girls

educategirlsMy friend is celebrating her birthday today. Happy Birthday Heather! Instead of presents she is asking you to gift your support an educational initiative in Uganda.

Interview with Nestar Lakot Okella – Uganda Kitgum Education Foundation from Heather Plett on Vimeo.

Read about it here and consider donating. I did.

http://heatherplett.com

#bringbackourgirls

#educatemoregirls

 

Everyday Bag

I just pressed the “SEND” key on an submission email to a juried contemporary fibre art show which celebrates the tradition and history of textile arts. This show will be part of an exhibit at Dufferin County Museum and Archives called Stitches Across Time.  It calls Canadian fibre artists to produce work that is inspired by one of six artifacts specially selected from the museum collection in Rosemont, Ontario (northwest of Toronto). These are rarely seen textile pieces.

Of the six possible inspirational pieces I chose a vessel, this dainty, century-old evening bag.

Evening Bag open

ca. 1920. Embroidered in oriental-style flowers in shades of blue, turquoise, green, pink and coral on ecru silk in satin and Pekinese stitches, this bag is a vibrant and charming piece of work. The bag is lined in textured coral silk, complete with a small interior pocket. A metal filigree frame with hinges at both ends and in the centre of both sides facilitates access. The handle is a metal chain and the entire piece is finished with a turquoise stone mounted on the centre front of the frame. The finished size is 13 cm across the top, widening to 18 cm at the bottom, with an overall depth of 14 cm.

I love to make vessels, especially coiled baskets from scraps. Essentially they are stitched versions of the old-fashioned rag basket.

My entry is called “Everyday Bag”.

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“Evening Bag” inspired me as a women’s vessel, a purse, and also because of its colour scheme.

Evening Bag

2014_EDWR_Stitches1c finished edge

My entry is also a ‘purse’ stitched from pieces of deconstucted clothing, a 100 year old Chinese silk scarf, dress lining, dupioni silk, a hand dyed flour sack, and quilting cotton. The metallic thread which I employed in the top coils mimic the metal filigree frame. Due to the nature of wrapping thin strips of cloth over a fibre rope core it has a ragged everyday appearance. It has miles of thread and about 20 hours of construction.

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A sturdy, but classy market basket replete with turquoise stone.

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“Everyday Bag” back

The exhibition, Stitches Across Time, opens on September 12, 2014 at 7 pm and will continue to November 9, 2014.

I hope my bag is chosen.

Last year a piece of mine, But Will it Hold Water, was accepted into Threadworks and is touring Ontario for 3 years.

UPDATE JUNE 2014: Everyday Bag has been accepted by the jury into the show!  Opening Night Sept 12, 2014.

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UPDATE Sept 13 – My piece has won a Juror’s Award!