Historical Contribution from….. the @TrailerParkBoysYou might recall that back in November I paid a visit to the Trailer Park Boys in Nova Scotia to be their guest on Episode 70 of the TPB Podcash. What I didn't mention in my account of that adventure was that - just like Chris Hadfield gave me his mission patch after our time together - the Boys each gave me something of theirs as a souvenir at the end of the show. You didn't think I was going to keep that from you, did you? Of course not! But I did want to make sure that I incorporated those contributions into the project in some significant way before spilling the beans. I am pleased to report that that work is done and we're ready to share the news with the world. First of all, to the contributions themselves: Ricky is frequently seen in that houndstooth bowling-style shirt. He gave us a swatch of fabric from that; Julian is always seen in his muscle-tight black T. He gave us a swatch of one of those; Bubbles is famous for his specs but just as central to his look are his scruffy Chaplin-esque leather boots. He gave us the tongue from a pair. Once I had these pieces back in Toronto, I met up with textile artist Holly Boileau - like all of the textile artists who've contributed their work to the project, she's another Harbourfront Centre Craft Studio alumnus. Holly and I discussed how to best present this material somewhere on the strap or in the case. Once we'd determined what real estate to occupy, Holly went off to consider the possibilities and I'm absolutely thrilled with the results... The Grenfell Mission was established in St. Anthony, Newfoundland in the late 1800s providing medical support to underserved communities. At the same time, they created a foreign market for locally produced textile crafts made using a traditional and idiosyncratic rug-hooking technique. This proved to be a powerful economic empowerment tool especially for women in precarious outport communities not only in Newfoundland but throughout the Atlantic provinces. It was a way of making valuable items out of scrap materials. Many of the pieces created for this market remain highly valued among craft and folk art collectors and inspired future generations of famous, feminist Canadian artists including Nancy Edell, Joyce Wieland, Jackie Winsor and Miriam Schapiro. It may seem like a big gap between the Boys of Sunnyvale Trailer Park and Canadian feminist art stars but both seem to have found a way to look at the commonplace and see the art that lies within and I'm glad that the connection is made right there on the strap that holds Voyageur! Thanks again to the Trailer Park Boys, Swearnet.com, Bob Stamp and Holly Boileau.
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