Interwoven, a labour of weaving love, opens in Yellowknife

Woven works that took hundreds of hours to create are now on display at Yellowknife’s Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.

Cathie Harper has been weaving since 1979, when she took a course in basketry in northern Ontario. Her first exhibit, Interwoven, opened to the public at the museum on Thursday.

Harper said some of the pieces required nearly 300 hours of work.


“It all depends on the material and how complex it is,” she said. “I have to factor in collecting and processing materials as well.”

Last summer, Harper recalled, she couldn’t even have a cold shower during Yellowknife’s heatwave because her bathtub was filled with a thousand sticks of willow needed for a workshop.

“If I had looked at the weather, I would have used my outdoor soaking option,” she admitted.

This is Harper’s fifth exhibition in a gallery. The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre marks her largest venue to date.

“Sometimes you don’t really realize how impressive the work you’ve done is, until you actually see it all displayed rather than cramped in corners of the house,” she said.


The museum describes her work as “woven artwork made from dogwood, cedar, birch bark, yarn, hemp, wire and more,” promising an opportunity to learn about the weaving process and use of “unconventional” materials.

Interwoven will be displayed at the museum until November this year.