Submitted by: Kimberly Murgu, SCC Festival and Curatorial Assistant
Cindy Hoppe has worked in a variety of media over the last 40 years, and for more than 25 of those years, she has placed her focus on fibre art. Cindy works with recycled materials and incorporates machine embroidery with hand knitting to make beautiful wall hangings and garments. Using sewing machines and embroidery thread as her drawing tools, she gets to enjoy creating both public and liturgical pieces of art. One of her biggest enjoyments with this medium is the challenge she faces when reflecting the colours of our beautiful Saskatchewan landscapes, using only cloth and thread.
Cindy has completed 3 out of 4 years of a Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Saskatchewan. She decided to discontinue with her degree upon finding that university classes seemed to be more about talking about art, than actually creating art. Since then, her artistic career has taken flight. She has participated in shows all around Saskatchewan and Alberta; including having her work shown a total of 9 times in the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s juried show “Dimensions” since 1986. Also, her wall hangings are available exclusively at the SCC Fine Craft Boutique at Affinity Gallery.
For most of her career, Cindy has worked alongside her mother Myrna Harris. Myrna was also a felting artist, although she also worked in painting, pottery, photography, felting, weaving and spinning. Cindy worked in pottery with her mother for over 10 years, and has accompanied her in every new medium that she started. From painting, pottery and photography, to weaving, spinning, dying and felting, Cindy was always learning beside her. Myrna passed away in August of 2009. Cindy’s comment on her relationship with her mother is:
“We were each other’s touchstone for support in a vast prairie, where few understand the looping path it is to be an artist.” Cindy hopes to build the same level of connection with her own daughter and step-daughter.
Cindy is currently working in felting. She creates wearables, vestments, and wall hangings. Her wearables are mostly made from recycled materials. She uses leftovers from past projects as a seed for something new, and sometimes photographs will spark a patchwork project that turns into a jacket. Cindy enjoys taking interesting remnants of past work, and giving them a new life.
Cindy is inspired by daily walks and photography by prairie artists. She creates wall hangings for the home and church, and usually creates pieces in a series, finding growth and improvement over several pieces. Combining the techniques used for her wearables and wall hangings, she also creates vestments. These vests are sometimes inspired by scripture, but always inspired by nature.
Cindy also creates on commission. She makes custom wall hangings, church hangings, jackets and stoles. Her wall hangings are densely embroidered and quilted to give a detailed close up view on ones wall in their home. In contrast, her church hangings are on a much larger scale, so they are not as intensely worked on. She uses photos of the church to ensure she captures the right colours and feelings for the piece. Some of her jackets have included detailed dragons, parrots, trees, and even pianos. Her stoles are made to be reversible, and two common themes are lent/advent, and Christmas/Easter. She enjoys using context from meaningful scriptures to give personal meaning to each owner.