Friday night Kelowna witnessed Canadian art reborn in the new Genesis fashion line. Award winning designer Sheila Keighron launched ‘Genesis’ a collection of women’s clothing inspired by the artwork of one of Canada’s most distinctive and celebrated Aboriginal artists Daphne Odjig. We were lucky enough to have A-OK photo contributor Lise Guyot on site to take some photos of the event.
Born in 1919 on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Odjig has received numerous accolades for her art including an appointment to the Order of Canada in 1986, an election to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, and in 1998, a National Aboriginal Achievement Award. In 2002 Canada Post chose to feature “Genesis”, one of Daphne’s 1976 works, in its holiday stamp collection. In February 2011, Canada Post again featured three different pieces of Odjig art, a first for a Canadian artist to be featured in three separate stamps.
Keighron has brought together an exciting collection of classic designs that subtley incorporate and pay homage to the art of Daphne Odjig. “It’s so gratifying to know this amazing artist and to create this line of clothing that brings her art into a new dimension”, comments Keighron. Keighron has extensive fashion design and manufacturing experience in Ireland, best known for the Justin Paul fashion line. Her long and close friendship with Daphne Odjig inspired her to bring Odjig’s art to life in a line of high end women’s fashion.
The Genesis fall 2011 collection utilizes the finest Italian wools , cashmere and silks carefully sourced, each piece individually designed by Keighron and made in Canada. The line includes many pieces, from soft flowing full length coats to scarfs infused with the wonderful colors of Odjig original art. “My collection is layered and flowing and elegant. I have sourced only the best materials. It is so fitting that we call this line Genesis as it is Daphne’s art once again come to life in a different form” says Keighron.
Genesis is not only an important launch into Canada’s fashion scene as well as the Canadian art world. The Genesis Fall collection can be seen at and odjig.com
The Kelowna Art Gallery will also install an exhibition of selected works by Daphne Odjig in the Front Project Space from Wednesday, September 7 to Sunday, September 18, 2011. This is a rare opportunity for the public to view works by an internationally recognized artist of this calibre in our community. This exhibition is free to the public. The art of Daphne Odjig is available through Hambleton Galleries in Kelowna, who has represented her since 1978.