Textile Museum of Canada - Digital Threads Myth and Science

Sotto Voce

Date: October 21, 1998 - February 21, 1999
Artists: Sylvia Ptak and Celeste Scopelites
Curated by: Marsha Wineman

Exhibition Overview

Sotto Voce is an exhibition of sculptural textiles by Sylvia Ptak and Celeste Scopelites. These artists explore the ambiguities of communication through manipulated objects, fabrics and fibres, which make reference to handwriting, language, and both verbal and non-verbal communication. Through the elegant vehicle of manipulated threads, and using the metaphors of implied writings and bound objects, Ptak and Scopelites examine the quiet spaces between communication and comprehension.

Additional Information

Sotto Voce is an exhibition of sculptural textiles by Sylvia Ptak and Celeste Scopelites. These artists explore the ambiguities of communication through manipulated objects, fabrics and fibres, which make reference to handwriting, language, and both verbal and non-verbal communication. Through the elegant vehicle of manipulated threads, and using the metaphors of implied writings and bound objects, Ptak and Scopelites examine the quiet spaces between communication and comprehension.

Sylvia Ptak’s artworks are comprised of abstracted “words” worked into cloth. Plucked, ink-stained and distorted “weave structures” make up her word shapes. An experienced weaver, Ptak’s understanding of the architecture of weave structures informs the way she reshapes fabric, and connects her work to the histories of women’s craft practices.

Celeste Scopelites works with found objects, which she emphatically and skillfully wraps with a single length of fibre. Her familiarity with the laborious accumulation of hand-spun threads is evident: threads are wrapped around sealed boxes, branches, twigs and even the stems of crystal goblets, as if these objects stand in for a spinner’s bobbins.

Celeste Scopelites, detail of Conservatory (1998) Celeste Scopelites, Finis (1998) Sylvia Ptak, Unbound, (1998) Sylvia Ptak, detail of Unbound (1998)
Canadian Hertiage