Micheline Beauchemin

Micheline Beauchemin, tapestry weaver (b at Longueuil, Qué 24 Oct 1930; d at Québec 29 Sept 2009). Beauchemin began her career making stained-glass windows but early on turned to the vibrant colours found in skeins of wool to hook, weave and embroider spectacular wall hangings. She then studied at the École des beaux-arts in Montréal, winning a scholarship to study with Ossip Zadkine in Paris (1953). Travels to N Africa and Greece inspired her to take up embroidery, a favourite occupation as a child, and in 1954 she sent Visage de Mistra to Chartres.

Back in Canada in 1957 she used a tumult of wool, acrylic, gold and silver threads, and aluminum to create some 60 tapestries, floating walls and forms in space. These works can be found in Place des Arts (Montréal, 1963), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Tokyo, San Francisco and cities across Canada. In 1977, 1978 and 1979 she sold the Oiseau totem curtain, a tapestry, and 30 wings of floating nylon thread to business buildings in Montréal, Shawinigan and Québec City, respectively.

In the 1980s she was represented at the 10th Biennale Internationale de Tapisserie de Lausanne, Switzerland; Barbican Centre, UK, and in exhibitions at several Canadian galleries. The Musée Marcil, Québec, has a piece with a central panel of aluminum wrapped by woven fabric of wool, silk and opalescent acrylic thread. Beauchemin travelled and studied in Japan, China, India, the Canadian Arctic and the Andes, adding depth and mystery to her love of light, water, wings and nets. Her honours included the Order of Canada and she was a member of the Royal Society of Arts of Canada.