Portière for a Century Home
80 inches x 108 inches
Portières are door curtains – quilted hangings that were a feature in homes before central heating. They can still be seen in European homes, either as an additional draft excluder which was drawn over an exterior door or hanging in a doorway in the interior of the house, to keep the heat in one room.
This portière was designed to keep the warmth in the (better insulated) extension to a century home in Ontario. The front is comprised of a number of large “pixels” which, when viewed from a distance, transform into a lakeshore landscape, but you have to stand way back and very screw up your eyes to make it out!
The challenge for me in creating this work is that it is made entirely from pre-worn clothing, mostly by the client, or by her late mother. All the labels were sewn on the back of the quilt, so that each time the portière is drawn back to allow you to walk through, there is some familiar fabric touched, or a familiar label seen.