A Love Letter to Vancouver: Sola Fiedler’s Tapestry Captures an Olympic Moment in Our City’s History
By Ariane Colenbrander
Canadian fiber artist Sola Fiedler grew up in London during World War II. Utilizing yarn purchased from thrift stores and estate sales, as well as from recycled sweaters, Sola recalls how upcycling played a key role in life after wartime. Her warm, detail-rich, colourful tapestries evoke cityscapes from Las Vegas to Sydney, Australia.
Sola’s attention to pinpoint detail is staggering, from the number of floors in a building to the colour of the trees and water. She is best known for her tapestry tributes to cities that have hosted Olympic Games, including Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002, and Sydney, Australia in 2000. Her work captures the architectural elements and spirit of each city at that moment in time.
In celebration of the City of Vancouver and Grunt Gallery’s 30th anniversary, Sola will present her Vancouver tapestry, inspired by the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. She began the tapestry in May 2009; over 5,000 hours later, the 78-year-old artist has completed a colourful ode to our city from the perspective of an eagle.
I sat down with deadline-driven Sola at her studio this week to learn about her experiences of living in Olympic cities (working some of the time in public spaces or on main stages), and how the original Vancouver tapestry she created 30 years ago compares with the one in the photo above and in the video below (view larger on YouTube).
The tapestry is for sale, with one heartfelt wish—that the buyer will keep the tapestry in Vancouver, either by donating it to a museum or to a major collection, to preserve our city’s rich heritage and its celebration of the 2010 games for generations to come.
grunt gallery Presents Sola Fiedler
Dates: August 29 and 30, noon to 5 pm; Artist’s Talk: Saturday, August 30, 1 pm
Venue: Mainspace Community Gallery, 116-350 East 2nd Avenue, Vancouver