Textile Talks: Opposites Attract

Conversations with the Artists

SAQA Global Exhibition Opposites Attract explores contradictions and affinities: Yin and Yang, the irresistible force versus the immovable object, black and white, and other types of opposites. We had a great time talking to exhibiting artists Claire Passmore, Maria Shell, Maggie Vanderweit, and Libby Williamson about their artwork, inspiration, and process.

Exhibition Benefactor
Frank Klein

About the Artists
Claire Passmore is an artist from the UK. She started making quilts around 12 years ago when she lived in CapeTown in South Africa. While there she retired from her day job so spent her time doing stuff like riding horses, learning to dye fabrics, and exploring all kinds of surface design techniques.
Maria Shell’s work is grounded in the tradition and craft of American quilt making. She strives to take the classical components of a traditional bed quilt and manipulate them with the hope of creating surprising combinations of pattern, repetition, and color for the viewer. For the past ten years, Maria has been exploring the never-ending opportunities that the quarter log cabin, also known as the house top, quilt block offers both the viewer and the maker. 
Maggie Vanderweit’s work is displayed in textile art shows around the world. She creates original contemporary art quilts with hand-painted, hand-dyed, rust and botanically dyed fabrics, silk fusion, felt, hand embroidery, beading, collage, and intricately machine quilted surfaces. Maggie, now retired, presented a variety of talks, lectures, retreats, and workshops for conferences, galleries, museums, guilds, and art colleges. Maggie lives near Toronto in Ontario, Canada and she was the chair of the local organizing committees for SAQA’s 2020 conference, moSAiQA.
Libby Williamson is a fiber artist and teacher who works with an eclectic assortment of materials and methods to create unique, vibrant, fiber artwork. Using layers of her hand-painted and dyed fabric and paper, free-motion stitched components, and embedded found objects, her pieces emerge through an intuitive and evolving path.