True North leaves on European tour

Local felter, Sandra Barrett, has been recognized for her talents across the great blue ocean. Her piece, ‘True North’ has been accepted into the British touring felt exhibition, ‘Sea and Sky’.

She is one of only two felters in Canada to be accepted into this show. The other Canadian is Chantal Cardinal, with her work, ‘Sea to Sky Highway #1’.

In the Sea and Sky exhibition, there were 50 pieces chosen. 22 of these are original works by 20 members of the International Feltmakers’ Association. The combination of such has created a diverse touring exhibition.

The criteria for this show, along with the piece, included a description of the piece and the quality of felt.

Barrett felts from her own wool, harvested from her alpaca’s in Hosmer. She and her husband, David, sell their work out of the Eye Of The Needle workshop in downtown Fernie. Both Sandra and David are known around the Elk Valley for their expertise under the name Fernie Forge.

Sandra’s piece, True North, will tour around many places in Europe, including Woolfest in Wales at the end of June, the Big Textile Show in Leicester, and the Knitting and Stitching Show at London’s Alexandra Palace in October.

Sandra’s work of art paints a beautiful arctic scene, with polar bears floating on ice caps, amidst a sea illuminated by the northern lights. LED lights were felted into the sky, to give the effect of stars.

“Mirrors in the sea represents the numbers of provinces and territories in Canada, northern lights evoke the natural beauty and polar bears symbolize family values,” she said.

The title, True North, is taken from the Canadian national anthem.

“Sharing our identity is especially important as we proudly celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada this year,” said Sandra. “I’m delighted that True North has been selected to be a part of the IFA Sea and Sky touring exhibition of Britain.”

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