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‘Living | Language | Land: Word Portraits from the Earth’ by Lorraine Roy | Summer exhibition series presented by the Elora Mill

July 13 - September 10, 2023

‘Living | language | Land: Word portraits from the Earth’ by Lorraine Roy, part of our summer exhibition series presented by the Elora Mill

Gallery Exhibition: July 13 – September 10, 2023  |  Artist Reception: Sunday July 16th from 2-4PM

Elora Centre for the Arts  |  75 Melville Street, Elora Ontario

‘Living | language | Land: Word portraits from the Earth’ a solo exhibition by textile artist Lorraine Roy is a collection of textiles inspired by 26 specifically chosen words from endangered and minority languages from all over the world. These beautiful, poetic words – many of which have no direct translation to English – reveal complex and elemental connections to land and nature.

This collection of visual interpretations, or ‘word portraits’, illuminate these unique words and spark curiosity about their meanings and the cultures from which they spring. Intimate connections between culture and spirituality, colourful linguistic expressions, and evolving relationships with nature are vividly integrated in these textured compositions.

With these pieces, I re-interpret each of the words into fabric pictures based on the information provided and my emotional response. My purpose is to offer a fresh lens on the human experience from within, rather than outside, the natural environment.

More about the Living-Language-Land Project

The original Living-Language-Land project was spearheaded and organized by artist Neville Gabie and neuroscientist Philippa Bayley of the UK. Their goal was to offer a platform to minority and endangered language-holders to share a word and story that reflects a relationship to land and nature. The project endeavored to enlarge the lexicon we can all draw from in reflecting on those relationships.

Contributions were invited from around the world, acknowledging that only a tiny fraction of minority and endangered languages could be represented in this project. All contributions were created by communities themselves, and all contributors received some compensation to support their wider work.

Learn more at living-launguage-land.org

About the Artist

Raised in rural Southern Ontario, Lorraine Roy completed an Honours B.Sc. in Horticultural Science before opting for a professional career in art textiles. Kindled by an early love of hand-embroidery, she eventually learned to ‘paint’ with fabric using her sewing machine. All her work explores connections between art, science and nature, drawing great inspiration from the biology, mythology and cultural impact of trees, classic symbols of our connection with the natural world. Lorraine continues to acquire fresh knowledge and insights about trees and nature, in order to better address and convey our mutual rich and complex kinship.


Lorraine Roy Art Textiles  |  Hillcrest Studio  |  Dundas, ON