Textile artist aims to create a calming space

Hanna Yokozawa Farquharson’s work needs close examination to appreciate. Now showcasing her first solo show at the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery, the textile artist hopes that her work can provide an oasis of calm in a stress filled world.

The show took a while to prepare. While Farquharson has been part of group shows in the past, this is the first time she has been solo, and she said it took a great deal of planning and working with former executive director Don Stein to accomplish.

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“I like the simple colour, that’s why I need details inside. And people can get in there more, what’s inside. People can get inside themselves because they have to find why the artist made this one... That is a way to communicate.”

The majority of Farquharson’s work is built around light and white fabric, with only two pieces in a darker fabric.

“To me white is a kind of light colour, a prism colour... The prism is all colour mixed together.”

Working in cloth, she uses a variety of techniques, whether it’s something abstract or realistic, something more like quilting or something more sculptural. Farquharson said she wants to try things and see what people respond to.

“Everybody is different, so I want lots of people to find their interests.”

While this is her first in-person solo show, she also did a virtual show with the Yorkton Arts Council in August. She said that while more people can see the art online, with her work it’s very different than in a picture, especially as her work changes with different lighting and when looking close up. But she said it’s valuable to have an online show, because it’s important for people to have access to art.

“We can’t touch, but we want to know the text, the depth.”

Working with the Godfrey Dean in mind, Farquharson said that she kept the lighting in mind as she worked, because it opened up different opportunities.

“When we started planning this one, I knew the light is good here. So I had to think, if I make this, what kind of shadow I can create.”

While working primarily in cloth, Farquharson said she wants to try working in other materials, like ceramic, clay and wood, though on some pieces with this show she did try to get close to other materials with textiles.

“I tried to make something close to wood carving.”

While Farquharson didn’t know how stressful the environment would be when the show opened when she started, her goal was to create a calming space.

“I hope people can come here, feel relaxed, get energy.”

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