Member’s Gallery

Jardins Lointains (Distant Gardens)

Elissa Barber

July 4th to August 28th, 2024

Opening Reception: July 12th, 2024

Photo by: Elissa Barber - Jardins Lointains (Distant Gardens)

About the Exhibition

These tapestries and the combined techniques used to produce them were inspired by my trip to Paris with two of my best friends in September, 2023. We were in the city while I participated in a group show with several of my vases. The past few years have been challenging and much of our week was spent reflecting on our lives while trying to leave our realities behind, if just for a short while. Creating this work was a way of capturing and freezing this moment in time spent surrounded by so much history, such rich culture and incredible beauty.


I was particularly struck by the sculptures and tapestries on view at the Petit Palais and the paintings at the Musée d’Orsay. Les Nabis, a group of young French artists active in Paris in the late 19th century, were interested in finding a bridge between tradition and modernism and played a large part in the transition from impressionism and academic art to abstract art and symbolism. These are two early movements in modernism that I have always found myself drawn to. They have informed a lot of the work I have been creating this year while I expanded my minimalist, figurative line drawings into more rich and densely populated compositions. The tapestries in this show combine image making through the analogue printmaking method of monotype on fabric with collage and loose quilting techniques like trapunto. The three vases were experiments in colour and textural surface techniques using different glazes.


Elissa Barber (Hamilton, ON) was formally trained as an illustrator through Sheridan’s BAA(hons) program. Elissa has used image-making as a foundation in her dedicated studio practice exploring a variety of mediums with a focus on ceramics and monotype printmaking on textile. Employing the female form as the foundation of her work, Elissa explores themes of nostalgia, growing older and the personal and broader impact of a changing world. Consumed by creating art in a way that builds organically, Elissa works intuitively and draws upon an expressive use of materials that feels loose and emotive yet consistent and recognizable. She lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario.