Woven Steel
Jan 20
Jan 29 2023
window installation in-person

Waterloo-based artist Sharl G. Smith’s practice explores the sculptural potential of bead-stitching. Most commonly found in the form of jewellery, this ancient technique is a form of weaving where small glass beads are stitched together by hand, one at a time, to create diverse objects. By working with contemporary materials and rendering this traditional craft into larger scale sculptures, Smith gives power and presence to a historically underappreciated art form. The works in this installation are woven by hand using hollow stainless steel spheres as beads and industrial steel cable as thread.

Bead-stitching has a rich multicultural history, locally and globally. Coming from an architectural background, Smith focuses on developing the three-dimensional capacity of beadwork, building increasingly larger forms with a strong structural foundation derived solely from the tension of the thread-web, warped by specific combinations of beads. The resulting forms use a distinctive visual language of rhythmic undulations radiating out from central spines simultaneously reminiscent of the rigid vaulted arches in gothic cathedrals as well as fluid organic lifeforms.


Sharl G. Smith, Sun Drops Studio


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Who should visitors contact with questions regarding accessibility?
Paul Vouroit
Can people get to the venue using accessible transit?
Arches of white glass beads that look like the vaulted ceiling of a cathedral glowing with light
Interior view of beadwork sculpture by artist. New steel sculptures will be similar in form.