Friday, January 03, 2014

The Four Meditation Panels of the Manitoulin Circle Project

 Earth Ark , 2011, 90" x 90"
 Earth Ark detail - hand quilted using embroidery in some areas
 Mended World, 2012, 96" x 96"
Hand pieced circle using mending stitch (back stitch).  Machine pieced surrounding square.
The panel was then hand quilted on a frame.
 Precious Water, 2013, 86" x 86"
 Completely hand stitched with reverse applique dots, hand embroidery, then hand quilted on a frame
 Layers of Time, 2013, 92" x 92"
Completely hand stitched, put together with layering. Hand embroidered, and then hand quilted on a frame.

These four panels make up the Manitoulin Circle Project, which occured in Little Current on Manitoulin Island between 2009 and 2013.  Four four years, participants met in the church hall every Thursday and stitched the pieces by hand.  There was usually a quilt on the frame as well as hand-construction of parts of the panels.

These art textiles were designed by Manitoulin Island artist, Judy Martin.  Judy taught all of the techniques, and worked alongside the community to complete these panels which will be permanently installed in the sanctuary of the Little Current United Church sometime in 2014.

A tour of the panels has been organized to visit art galleries in Ontario and elsewhere.  The Thunder Bay Art Gallery very generously initiated this art project and published a catalogue for the exhibition with an essay by the materials-arts scholar, Dr. Elizabeth Kalbfleisch.  Thank you Thunder Bay Art Gallery director Sharon Godwin and curator Nadia Kurd for your support in regard to the MENDED WORLD exhibition.

Mended World exhibition will be showing at the art gallery of Sudbury in early 2014.  There will be an opening reception January 18, 2 pm with Judy Martin present to speak about the work.  The exhibition remains open until March 2.

The photographs in this post are by Sioux Lookout photographer Klaus Rossler and were taken during the Thunder Bay Exhibition.  Thank you Klaus.

Click here for more acknowledgments.


  1. I meant for this post to be published on Manitoulin Circle Project blog page, but it came up here.

    I have put the same images on to the 100 quilts blog and onto Manitoulin Circle Project blog.

    There are different texts but the same images throughout, all by Klaus Rossler.

    The exhibition is going up soon and I am a little frazzled by the energy of that and the fury of many small decisions.

    Tomorrow, I'll post the invitation which I received on New Years Eve in the mail because I am a member. It was the first time I had seen it.

    So often, when these big things happen...I am surprised at how little control I have about the income. I have to let so many things just happen.

    That's a little hard for me.

  2. These are unspeakably beautiful, awe-inspiring in every way!

  3. Exhibitions are always difficult but so worthwhile once they open.
    These pieces are truly beautiful and awe inspiring. I hope the exhibition goes well.

  4. truly wonderful to see these 4 panels together. remarkable work - each and all.

  5. congratulations on such a mammoth achievement - it wonderful that so many people will get to see this work.

  6. good to see these today. sitting with the magic feather cloth for days now you give me hope and stamina to finish.

  7. I'm glad it came up here, this project is so beautiful and inspiring! I still think I'd like to do some kind of community project, but life has had other things in mind for me, so for now, I'll just continue to be inspired by both the beauty of the work and the coming together of the community for this!

  8. Oh my! How beautiful. It's great to see them together in one post. It would be even better to see them in person. Have you thought about extending the tour into Southern Ontario? Congratulations!!!

  9. Speechless...May the exhibition go smoothly. Blessings.

  10. Judy, i come here often to admire your work, and usually leave without commenting--words seem inadequate--i wish you could see my face and hear my heart beat instead.

  11. Judy, these are so wonderful and I am so glad they are going out into the world. We had a community art project here that many people worked on and was shown in the city, but when it returned to it's home, no one wanted to help to give it a home even though it was about everyone. They just didn't understand. It is now in pieces in storage.

  12. Stunning beauty, a monumental accomplishment for the many, many women in the project and now add your photographer who has documented the four for us.
    May these four treasured quilts stand to represent the dedication, strength, tenacity and the pride of your community - and you, Judy.

  13. Overwhelming; an amazing project in every way. Congratulations to every single one of you who have done this.

  14. you know this work is bigger than you imagined even.

  15. Posting here was a happy mistake, since it gave me the opportunity to see these beauties. They are really exquisite! I hope the exhibition will be a huge success.

  16. Good to see the four panels here together, and so well photographed. So difficult to catch these whites and creamy colors...
    I am trying to buy the catalogue from the gallery. Let's see if they ship it to Spain. Hope so...


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx