Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Sheila Thompson, felt :: feutre canada's Chair of the Exhibition Committee is a Toronto-based fibre artist who grew up in Calgary. She has been enthusiastically felting since 2000, when she was inspired by some Nuno felted scarves she spotted at Granville market in Vancouver.
She considers herself a self-taught “hermit” felter, experimenting alone in her studio and trying to figure out what she wants to say and how she wants to say it. She thinks she might have achieved technical excellence faster if she’d started taking workshops sooner, but believes she needed to find her own voice first.
Her choice of materials and her vibrant colour palette are closely connected to her personal history as a geographer working in Canada, Africa, and the Caribbean. For the last few years her work has been concerned with narratives based on specific themes like migration, labour practices in the railway industry, and habitat loss.
Recently we were fortunate enough to discuss Sheila’s work at felt :: feutre canada.
Why felt :: feutre canada, and what are you looking forward to sharing with other felters?
In the summer of 2016, I popped my head up from creating a series of artworks around the theme Migration, to find that felt :: feutre canada intended to put on an exhibition on that very topic! What a fortunate coincidence. It made me feel immediately in tune with the organization. I hope to share ideas and insights with other felters so we can create exhibitions together that ignite our creativity, fire our imaginations, and inspire others to become felters. I am a hermit felter no more.
What are your looking forward to creating in 2019?
I will become a full-time artist in the spring and with much more time on my hands and intend to create much larger, more technically challenging, nuno-felted artwork with the help of my Gentle Roller machine. I hope to explore some more science/art collaborations with some scientists I know and also figure out how to become more engaged with the local fibreshed community.
Learn more about Sheila at: sheilathompson.ca