Storytelling connects us to our roots and lives and helps explain who we are. When we move from one place to another, we carry our traditions, memories, and history with us and try to recreate what has been left to help define a new sense of belonging. Physical and emotional displacement can compose the essential elements of human existence. Events such as birth, growth, emotion, aspiration, conflict, and mortality, are part of who we are and can help tell our story. Rachelle’s work draws on this storytelling narrative, where the tension between the memories and the imagined plays out one loop at a time.
Rachelle LeBlanc is a Canadian Textile Artist whose work explores the shifting paradigms of people and place through narrative figures, landscapes, and sculpture. Influenced by the radical reshaping of the rural landscape she grew up in, she investigates how our lives are affected by our experiences, surroundings and the connections we form with other people, friends, and family.
Rachelle received a degree in Fashion Technique and Design from Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and worked as a sportswear designer in Montreal for twenty years, until moving to Alberta in 2008 with her husband and two daughters.
Every sculpture is made by hand using hand-dyed linen and woolen fabrics. There is an enormous amount of creative labor expended to create these works; the process begins with many sketches of the sculptures from various angles. Once I am happy with the concepts for each design, I create the patterns, I test and transfer the image on the linen canvas. I then stitch it together to form a closed linen sculptural of a figure and make final adjustments before finalizing the pattern. Hand-dyed wool is then cut into thin strips of varying widths. All other elements are also created by hand including the embroidered pieces that are digitally printed images on silk and silk threads. The stands are also hand-built in red-earthenware clay and finished using multiple layers of underglazes, stains, and slips, as well as mark-making to achieve the depth of color.