Yellowknife glass artist Carole Tetlow stages Rivers and Robes, her first solo show in more than a decade, at the Gallery of the Midnight Sun on Saturday.
Tetlow, who first moved to the Northwest Territories in 1986, has been creating art from glass since being stunned by the power of stained glass on a trip to Istanbul in the late 1970s.
“We walked into an old, old mosque, and I saw this rosette window. The sun was right behind the coloured glass – it streamed in and made a tunnel of light that was vivid, it looked almost real,” she recalled.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to make that.’ I got back to Vancouver and took stained-glass lessons.”
Alongside her career as an architect, Tetlow has developed a home studio in Yellowknife with a kiln that helps to create her glasswork at temperatures of up to 900C.
“I have to push my grandson away. He moved a car into the studio, which is a two-car garage. Now we have this imaginary line – and he keeps crossing it,” she joked.
“But it makes a lot of energy, which is good. You don’t want to work alone.”
The NWT Arts Council-backed Rivers and Robes show is “a celebration of the flow of changing seasons and the unique textures of northern landscapes,” a press release stated.
One piece, described as a “one-of-a-kind scarlet red glass robe” titled the MMIWG Robe, will raise money for the Spruce Bough supportive living complex. The entire sale of that piece will be donated to the Yellowknife Women’s Society.
Some 40 pieces will be on display at the gallery from 1pm till 4pm on November 19.
“I’m kind-of relieved to get it out of my studio,” Tetlow laughed.
“It gives me room to do more stuff. When you hear other artists talk about their work, it really gets the juices flowing and you feel like you’ve got to get back, doing your own work.”