Friday, November 1, 2019

Beyond Needle and Thread, Mindy Harris' "Wonder Women"

Today we feature the Hand Embroidered "Thread Paintings" of Mindy Harris.  Mindy's "Wonder Women" exhibition is currently on display at Argyle Fine Art until November 6th.  

You can view the collection in its entirety online on our flickr page HERE

As an added bonus, check out Mindy's CBC Main Street interview with Diane Paquette, available online HERE 

We've selected some of our favorite pieces from the show, and wanted to feature the stories of the real-life "Wonder Women" depicted in these works...

"My current work attempts to displace the inherent voyeurism historically linked to the female form in art, and create a space where women are not just subjects, but rather the heroines of their own remarkable stories. The laborious nature of the work can't help but reference the historical constraints of femininity, and with each careful, meditative stitch, I humbly borrow from a long history of women using fiber work to speak in societies where they have struggled to be heard.”

-Mindy Harris, from the Artist's Statement, "Wonder Women", 2019

First up, we take a look at Mindy's portrayal of Josephine Baker...

(Left) Mindy Harris, "Josephine Baker", Hand embroidered cotton on canvas, 14" x 11", 
(Right) Josephine Baker, (Photo Credit, Conde Nast, via online source)
 Mindy Harris, "Be Fierce", hand embroidered cotton on canvas, 4" x 11"
"Josephine Baker was an American-born entertainer, French Resistance agent, and civil rights activist. Her career was centered primarily in Europe. Baker was the first African-American to star in a major motion picture, the 1927 silent film "Siren of the Tropics".
During her early career Baker was renowned as a dancer. Her performance in the revue Un vent de folie in 1927 caused a sensation in Paris. Her costume, consisting of only a girdle of artificial bananas, became an iconic image and a symbol of the Jazz Age and the 1920s. 
She was known for aiding the French Resistance movement during World War II.  After the war, she was awarded the Croix de Guerre, and was named a Chevalier of the Legion
D 'Honneur
 by General Charles de Gaulle.
Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States and is noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement." (Online Source, Wikipedia).

From here we move on to noted scientist and innovator Margaret Hamilton... 

(Left) Margaret Hamilton (photo credit, unknown, online source), 
(Right) Mindy Harris, "Margaret Hamilton" hand embroidered cotton on canvas, 14" x 11"

Mindy Harris, "Be Brilliant", hand embroidered cotton on canvas, 4" x 11"

"Margaret Hamilton is an American Computer Scientist, Systems Engineer and Business Owner. She was director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which developed on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo Space Program. She later founded two software companies—Higher Order Software in 1976 and Hamilton Technologies in 1986.

Hamilton has published more than 130 papers, proceedings and reports about sixty projects and six major programs. She is one of the people credited with coining the term "Software Engineering".

On November 22, 2016, Hamilton received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama for her work leading to the development of on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo Moon missions." (online source, Wikipedia)

Last, but not least, we examine the life and works of Malala Yousafzai...

(Left) Mindy Harris, "Malala Yousafzai", hand embroidered cotton on canvas, 14" x 11",
 (Right) Malala Yousafzai, (Photo Credit, National Geographic, online source)

"Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in Pakistan.  On 9 October 2012, while on a bus in the Swat District of Pakistan, Yousafzai and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism. The attempt on her life sparked an international outpouring of support for Yousafzai.  Her advocacy has grown into an international movement.  Based in Birmingham, she founded the Non-Profit Organization, the Malala FundThe 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time Magazine featured her as one of the most influential people globally. 

In 2017, she was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of Commons of Canada." (online source, Wikipedia)

Mindy Harris, "Be Courageous", hand embroidered cotton on canvas, 4" x 11"

This body of work also includes other important women from history, and still living today; Margaret Atwood, Jane Goodall, Frida Kahlo, and Greta Thunberg are all featured in this amazing show.  Don't miss it!

Mindy Harris is a multidisciplinary artist currently living and working in Lewis Lake, Nova Scotia.  Mindy received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, NS.

She has publicly presented work in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, painting and
handcrafted filmmaking. Her work can be found in private collections across North America.

All artworks by Mindy Harris are available for purchase.  For details please contact the gallery at (902) 425-9456 or via email at