2003 -2014  Copyright © Rachelle LeBlanc Textile Artist, Hooked Rug Studio. All rights reserved.

Rachelle LeBlanc  textile artist



“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

                                                                               Edgar Degas


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VIDEO INTERVIEW

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Rachelle LeBlanc Textile Artist, Contemporary Fiber And Textile Art Rug Hooking Medium Merges Fine Art And Craft in Fiber


When people ask me what I do, I often stumble a bit before answering.  Simply calling myself a rug hooker doesn't seem to fit anymore, (I am not convinced it ever did), besides most people still associate rug hooking with the shag rugs made in hobby class when they were children. 
I have been called a textile artist, fiber artist, an artisan, and to some extent, I am all these things.  I identify myself as a fine craft visual artist that uses rug hooking as an art medium. After many years of working as a fashion designer, I felt a change was needed. During a weekend trip to Shelburne Museum in Vermont that change found its roots.  Intrigued by the hand hooked rugs found in the museums' collection, I set out to learn everything I could find on their history and how they were made.
What started out as a simple research project quickly grew into a career that I never would have imagined.   Armed with an old latch hook generously donated by my mother in law and some left over cashmere fabric from a coat project, I started experimenting with different techniques and materials transforming my ideas into rugs.
During those early experiments, I discovered that there was something very meditative and magical happening every time the wool transformed itself into a loop. The slow and labor intensive nature of this technique quickly gave voice to my imagination and unleashed the creative energy I had hidden for so many years.  
For the past five years I have approached each new project with a contemporary voice with imagery that expresses the importance of valuing our own experiences and crafting work that honors both life and place. I achieve my palettes by dyeing 100% wool and cashmere fabrics using natural and synthetic dyes. With the help of my old dressmakers scissors given to me by my first boss, the woolen fabric is hand cut into strips 1/8", 1/4" or 3/8", then hand hooked using the same latch hook my mother in law gave me, onto a 100% linen canvas.
I create designs that are iterative narrations through figurative and symbolic subject such as family, places and ancestry. The goal for my work is to create images that will express simple truths that evoke feeling, provoke memories and even transport the viewer to a time of innocence. Every piece invites the viewer to linger over the unanswered questions it provokes, with hopes that the tension stays with them after they have stepped away.

Rachelle LeBlanc Textile Artist, Contemporary fiber and textile art. 

This video interview was filmed in my studio by Corinne and Gary Funk from artsquest.ca. 

Copyright © 2011–2014 ArtsQuest.ca.




When a comment gets translated into art
 

My two daughters have long been my inspirations and muses for the art that I create. When I received the invitation to participate in the Florence Biennial in 2015, my head spun empty and I had no idea on what to make. 


I few months went by and still nothing came until my daughters and I were in the car telling stories and thinking back to our lives in Montreal.  Little did they know that a comment made by my eldest in a
car ride that faithful day would end up being translated into art.  The moment I heard " you paid more attention to Ema then you paid to me when we were growing up",  I found myself wondering what that would look like.  


My creative block was gone and the design was born.  Based on the Florentine artist Botticelli's painting called The Primavera, I designed a triptych with the subject that expresses what first came to mind when I heard my daughters comment.  Life expressed through art is an extraordinary process.