‘Speaking in Skins and Skirts’ brings textiles and the textual to North Vancouver

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      Anasyrma: from an ancient Greek term for “lifting the skirt.” 

      That’s the theme for one half of North Van Arts’ Speaking in Skins and Skirts, which finds textile artists Jane Kenyon and Eleanor Hannan combining their physical artwork with the words of poets Jude Neale and Elizabeth Dancoes. 

      “The spiritual implications of anasyrma are profound,” notes a release from North Van Arts. “While inciting transformation, it encourages laughter as a conduit to renewal. It resonates in art through time, from the mysterious things concealed beneath skirts in fables and fairytales to the compelling image of Marilyn Monroe’s skirts billowing over a subway grate.”

      Hannon had been working with Dancoes for the Skirt Power Stories series, which evolved into the Speaking in Skins and Skirts exhibition. 

      The Skin Series collaboration started in the early pandemic as a result of Neale’s poem, Where we Stood. That verse influenced Keyton’s work of using recycled cloth to depict “hundreds of conversations that have occurred over the years between two women, mothers, poets and artists.”

      The culmination of the four women’s works is an exhibition built on  friendship, mutual appreciation, and collaborative creativity.  Speaking in Skins and Skirts is all of theirs: the differing means, methods and mediums coming together into something greater than the sum of its parts 

      Speaking in Skins and Skirts will be at the Cityscape Community ArtSpace in North Vancouver from March 31 to May 31. Opening reception is on March 30 from 7 to 9 p.m, while a poetry reading, artist talk, and artist-led tour will be on April 1 from 2 at 4 p.m.