Chilliwack — Taking up residence in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre is a beautiful display of light and craftsmanship. Local artist Sylvie Roussel-Janssens has brought one of her incredible installations to The Centre, a stunning sculpture called Gratitude. This piece is not only something that will take your breath away to witness but is also a thoughtful piece about finding the things you’re grateful for.
In December of 2020, the Northwest Network offered an option for artists to create an art project at home to replace a residency that the artists had previously been offered. Sylvie saw the opportunity to reinforce two of her commitments with this and set to work. She sought out to make a new piece using recycled materials while also letting go of past disappointments and embracing joy.
“My commitment to reducing the environmental impact of my art practice is growing,” explains Sylvie about her chosen medium. “I now choose to work with what is around me, especially with discarded plastic and synthetic textiles. Working with what I have is becoming increasingly important.”
“I have been using snow fence material for a few years. It becomes the warp for weaving various materials. For this new piece, I sorted through piles of fabric front past projects. This process gave me time to reflect and remember all the projects that were realized but also the ones that never had a chance to be shown or produced,” Sylvie continues. “2020 was a year to take stock of what remained and what I had to let go. I made 267 meters of ribbon out of the fabric remnants for weaving. Making something new out of something old is at the heart of many craft traditions from all over the world. Such is the case for the quilting, basketry, and rag rugs of my native Quebec. I now live on the traditional territory of the Stó-lò people, surrounded by huge cedars. I often think about the beautiful indigenous woven cedar bark baskets. I am inspired by that beautiful design.”
Sylvie has become a well-respected artist who works closely to improve her own work and the community as a whole. Whatever it is that she’s creating, her passion for the environment and history shines through in her work. Having invented ways to meld recycled materials and synthetic fabric to create window pieces, installations, and sculptures with integrated lighting, Sylvie is reinventing her artistry.
Come see this beautiful installation in The Centre windows, where it will be displayed during both the day and night. These beautiful sculptures are truly a sight to witness and encompass an artist’s journey over months.