Marguerite Gignoux is a textile artist based in Carrboro, North Carolina. Gignoux creates vibrant mixed media works, hand-made books, textile collages, and installations. “I cannot think well without thread and needle nearby. There are moments when a vintage map, a neglected piece of sheet music, or maybe an old letter needs to be introduced to a wild drawing or to some fine handmade paper,” she says. A collection of children’s drawings gathered from years of working with youth in her practice as a teaching artist will receive such treatment of awe and investigation during her May residency at Surel’s Place. Crooked letterforms, energetic sketches of porcupines, orchestra conductors, impossible tree houses, a rickety poem of sorrow are the sort of ingredients Gignoux has gathered and savored for years.
An active community-based artist, Gignoux has led projects with a variety of schools, museums, and health care centers throughout North Carolina. She also runs a summer residency art retreat program at Chateau du Pin, Loire Valley, France that she established in 2004. With this experience working in the community, Surel’s Place was thrilled to have her as the first artist participating in the pARTner School Program – an initiative which expands the influence of our resident artists into local schools. Surel’s Place has received grant money from both Garden City and the Boise Weekly Cover in support of this expansion of our program to bring art into schools. This inaugural residency took place at Answer Charter School in Garden City. Gignoux will work with 6th grade students once a week on a project called “The Secret Room.” Marguerite Gignoux guided the students through the structural design and illustration of an eight-page illustrated pop-up book. The book structure includes creating an interactive portal that allowed readers to look into the interior “secret room” containing the illustrator’s interpretation of the story’s climax or central theme.
Marguerite Gignoux led a workshop for the public where participants will create small textile collages with scraps of hand-dyed silk organza and screen printed cotton and linen. These will be passed around, each member stitching and contributing to the circle of making. Participants explored a medley of stitches, colors, and points of view – in addition to taking home a textile collage. Gignoux enjoyed her interactions with our community and expects that it will inform her own work. “When joined by a larger circle of makers,” she says, “my own ideas expand and this becomes fuel for new works.”
PICTURING: INSIDE | OUTSIDE THE LINES
Both Gignoux’s residency work and some examples of student work created during the pARTner School Program at Anser Charter School were showcased in an exhibition at Surel’s Place opening on Thursday, May 31st 2018. The exhibition was open during the Live-Work-Create District First Friday event on June 1st.