Featured Artist: Betty Weaver

Featured Artist Betty Weaver
by Betty Weaver

Originally from Southwestern Ontario, she moved to BC in her 20s and learned to weave. Once here and settled in at the Jones’ farm she sought out a lady everyone called Granny Levins in the hopes of learning to spin. Granny Levins said she would teach her to spin if she would learn how to weave. Soon Betty became a member of the Weavers Guild, a group that gathered once a month to share ideas and show their creations. Weaving is a solitary activity so having a place to share your work is a great way to spur each other forward. Joanne Oaks was the main force behind the weavers guild which went strong for 15 years. Unfortunately weaving is not a craft you can make money at easily in the modern day with fast fashion replacing the labour intensive handmade and locally made items, which is in part the reason why weavers go on to pursue other hobbies and interests. Betty carried on weaving luxury scarves as they would sell for $100 and the sale justified the labour and resources, but as she was not interested in fashion she went on to sell blankets and eventually gave up the idea to weave for a lifestyle and took a job in town. That being said, she did not give up weaving, instead she is weaving art and that is where we can still find her creating today. Today she uses different weaving techniques to create imagery within a pattern. She took a course at Capilano College but she mostly self taught by studying what other cultures had done, reading books and articles, trial and error and evolving the knowledge she was already grounded in.

Betty has created collections of pictoral works that she showed in galleries in Vancouver and Ontario. What stimulates her creativity is playing with a particular material and in that ideas are born. In the process of playing you start thinking about what the material signifies to you and how that can influence the form of the piece. With an art piece you are working through a thought process that you are trying to indicate through the piece.

“I like weaving because it imposes limitations. By sticking to natural fibres it brings another limitation and I like structure.”

Betty Weaver is putting together a show which will be displayed in the Miyazaki House for the month of July. It will be an event that would be a shame to miss. Betty very eloquently put her thoughts into words when she related to us her vision behind the show.

Unfortunately words cannot give justice to the heart and passion that one could clearly feel when listening to her talk about the show:

“It is a collection of 5 pieces that are around seven feet long and hang together to create a space. There the viewer can interact with the pieces. We don’t see the world clearly. We all are looking through veils and over time if we look at ourselves we can figure out where our preconceptions are and our experiences and teachings. With the hangings I want to create a physical representation of the veils I wear to view the world. I want to invite you in to see what veils you wear.”

Betty Weaver

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