Elliott Louis Gallery Canadian Fine Art
BARBARA HELLER   

Barbara Heller
Future Reliquaries
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May 5 - 23, 2009 - Opening reception: Thursday May 7, 6:30 - 8:30 pm


Barbara Heller - Kilim Algorithm
Kilim Algorithm
37 x 24 Inches  
tapestry
$12,000 



The Future Reliquary Series

The Future Reliquary Series deals with three apparently separate but, in my mind, connected histories: weaving, computing, and religion.

Weaving is a binary system of up/down, just as computing is a binary system of on/off. The first computer was a Jacquard loom, complete with punch cards instructing the loom to raise or lower warp threads depending on the position of the holes in the cards. Weaving was now one step removed from the human hand. Today's computers are merely fast jacquard looms programmed in binary code and thinking is now one step removed from the human mind.

Religion is not only a store of faith, it is a store of history and social values. In the Middle Ages, the sale of shards of the bones of saints and pieces of the True Cross became a large commercial enterprise. These holy relics were housed in beautifully sculpted reliquaries and displayed in churches to be worshipped as the concrete symbols of faith and history. I am particularly fascinated by the reliquaries that hold the arm bones of saints, shaped like a hand and arm, usually in gold and often encrusted with jewels.

Today, we are creating a new religion, worshipping the technology we have created. Some years ago, I bought a new computer and wanted to recycle the old one, not just throw it in the garbage. Recycling depots for e-waste were not yet in existence, so I took the computer apart to at least recycle the plastic shell. What treasures were revealed within! I took apart a keyboard. I took apart a radio, then a mobile phone, a CD player. I saved the innards, the future relics of the saints of the connected society.

These tapestries depict the future holy status of today's e-junk in the context of ancient fabrics; one code of up/down (weaving) morphs into another code of on/off (computing). The pattern of the mother board or silicon chip morphs into the pattern of a traditional ethnic textile - contemporary computer parts are the concrete symbols of our worship, and the slits in the woven arm can be seen as the receptacles connecting the computer tower to the outer world.

Ethnic textiles are still woven all over the world by hand. No machines intervene as the weavers record their personal stories, their faith, and their culture in the patterned cloth. Weavers at their looms and we at our PCs tell complex stories in simple binary form.

Barbara Heller, April 2009




Barbara Heller - New Guinea Mudman - The Cover Up Series
New Guinea Mudman - The Cover Up Series
35 x 25 Inches  
tapestry
$12,000 

Doubt
The dancing's running late;
I have to wait alone;
When I'm in this state
They think I'm in some mystic zone
Communing with the Fates
And Furies of the infinite unknown.

The click here for more...



Barbara Heller - Surgeon - The Cover Up Series
Surgeon - The Cover Up Series
35 x 25 Inches  
tapestry
$12,000 

Medicine Man

I'm alone now.
My scoured body is draped and ready
Like a sacrifice to an Aztec god.
Minions scurry round in faceless silence,
Making no contact, preparing for the click here for more...



Barbara Heller - The Patriot
The Patriot
31 x 51 Inches  
tapestry

not for sale

Pride

Pride is a standard, not a sin:
The posture you bear for your kin and your kind;
The only true path through the thick and the thin
That measures your passage click here for more...



Barbara Heller - The Herald
The Herald
49 x 39.5 Inches  
tapestry
$16,000 

The Herald

Come and hear the trumpets singing
For the fallen and the wise;
Light the torches of beginnings
Floating far beyond the skies.

Reach around our darkest shadows;
Rise click here for more...



Barbara Heller - The Shaman
The Shaman
50 x 32 Inches  
tapestry
$16,000 

Following the gallery showing, this work will be on display at a Juried National Exhibition of works by Canada’s Craft Community at the Canadian Pavilion, Cheongju International Biennale, South Korea click here for more...



Barbara Heller - Still Life ... With Bird
Still Life ... With Bird
62 x 60 Inches  
tapestry

Not for sale.

Death be not proud, though I have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so ... John Donne



Barbara Heller - Bride - The Cover Up Series
Bride - The Cover Up Series
35 x 25 Inches  
tapestry
$12,000 



Barbara Heller - Ozymandias
Ozymandias
62 x 66 Inches  
tapestry
$40,920 

People bury land mines and then people bury the victims of land mines.  What are we doing to our world and what are we doing to each other?

Wail For Our Brothers
  
Wail click here for more...



Barbara Heller - French Foreign Legionnaires - The Cover Up Series
French Foreign Legionnaires - The Cover Up Series
35 x 27 Inches  
tapestry
$12,000 



Barbara Heller - Dreams, Visions, Memories I
Dreams, Visions, Memories I
49 x 37 Inches  
tapestry

not for sale



Barbara Heller - Dreams, Visions, Memories II
Dreams, Visions, Memories II
49 x 37 Inches  
tapestry

not for sale

The Hebrew reads, "The old men dream dreams and the young men see visions".



Barbara Heller - War Zones: Bosnia
War Zones: Bosnia
12.5 x 24 Inches  
tapestry
$4,100 



Barbara Heller - War Zones: Somalia
War Zones: Somalia
24 x 12.5 Inches  
tapestry
$4,100 



Barbara Heller - War Zones: Rwanda
War Zones: Rwanda
12.5 x 24 Inches  
tapestry
$4,100 



Barbara Heller - The Last Resort
The Last Resort
49 x 61 Inches  
tapestry
$29,900 



Barbara Heller - Good Bird / Bad Bird I
Good Bird / Bad Bird I
17 x 20 Inches  
tapestry
$4,700 



Barbara Heller - Good Bird / Bad Bird II
Good Bird / Bad Bird II
17 x 20 Inches  
tapestry
$4,700 



Barbara Heller - Bokhara Algorithm
Bokhara Algorithm
37 x 24 Inches  
tapestry
$12,000 



Barbara Heller - Heat Map Algorithm
Heat Map Algorithm
37 x 24 Inches  
tapestry
$12,000 



Barbara Heller - Ikat Algorithm
Ikat Algorithm
37 x 24 Inches  
tapestry
$12,000 



Barbara Heller - Future Relic - Kilim
Future Relic - Kilim
10 x 7 Inches  
tapestry
$750 



Barbara Heller - Future Relic - Flames
Future Relic - Flames
10 x 7 Inches  
tapestry
$750 



Barbara Heller - Future Relic - Africa
Future Relic - Africa
10 x 7 Inches  
tapestry
$750 



Barbara Heller - Future Relic - Turkey
Future Relic - Turkey
10 x 7 Inches  
tapestry
$750 



Barbara Heller - Teeter Totter Teddy
Teeter Totter Teddy
43.5 x 31.5 Inches  
tapestry
$13,700 



Barbara Heller - Teeter Totter Teddy Too
Teeter Totter Teddy Too
22.5 x 16 Inches  
hand painted on cotton fabric, hand & machine embroidered
$2,000 

to see more work by Barbara Heller click here.
to view Barbara Heller's bio click here.
 

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