Chantal Guillermet – Country – Artist

In memoriam : Vimy

Walter Seymour Allward (Toronto 1876- Toronto 1955) is a monument sculptor and designer best known for the “Canadian National Vimy Memorial”. It is the largest of Canadian war monuments and commemorates Canadians killed in the First World War. It is situated in the Northern part of France on Vimy battlefield. The land for the Battlefield Park was granted by French Nation to Canada in 1922 in recognition of Canada’s war effort, and was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1996.

Allward is well known for his original sense of spacial composition, his mastery of classical forms and his brilliant craftmanship. Before submitting the final plan of the monument he made at least 150 design sketches.

I visited the place with my Canadian friends and was really impressed: I had never heard about it before. I got my inspiration from the monument itself and it was not easy to take distance as its impact is very strong.

I started by the background composition, using different shades of green and adding small inserts of red. I quilted the whole piece with oblique lines like furrows in a field. I used a picture of the engraved names of the killed soldiers to make a paper lamination and built the two towers of the monument with it.

Different groups of statues decorate the monuments. Using the head of a weeping woman, I traced it on silk organza and embroidered it with stem stitches on the quilt. She stands like a shadow.

At the end I applied a stripe of dyed tarlatane and saw randomly small red flowers (from a hand dyed piece of lace) like poppies; poppies being the symbol of killed soldiers during World War I.

I was also influenced by a book written by Jane Urquhart “The Stone carvers” whose plot takes place during the construction of the monument. A powerful and beautiful novel.

Detail views:


Original pictures:

  1. Bravo, your interpretation is excellent. I like your use of perspective and the weeping statues head is a wonderful touch.

  2. quilterpaola

    I did not know this monument. Your touching performance is well done. The icing on the cake is the image of the crying woman who gives the presence of the sad historical memory not to be forgotten. Bravo.

  3. carolinehiggs

    A very delicate and yet powerful piece. Great attention to detail as always, well done.

  4. A wonderful interpretation of his brilliant craftsmanship onto fabric. The weeping woman’s face is a beautiful, touching detail. Lovely Chantal!

  5. Great task to translate sculpter into texile art, especially in this size. Well done!

  6. very interesting is the transfer of the sculpture to fabric and the use of diffrent fabric.

  7. I was surprised you chose sculpture! As always lots of details in such a small piece. Interesting connections between France and Canada, sculpture, fiber art and literature- very interesting- bravo!

  8. This is a moving tribute to your artost and also to the people commemorated on the monument. The colours are gentle but the design has power. beautiful..

  9. Beautiful, interesting work and immediately recognizable in your own style. Wonderful tribute to all this people who lost their lives. Th crying lady is a soft, but strong addition. Bravo.

  10. A wonderful tribute to a very moving monument. It was a pleasant surprise to see a sculpture was your inspiration. The embroidered figure is stunning.

  11. I did not know this monument. He is a master sculptor and you have made a beautiful tribute to him and the victims of the war. The addition of the weeping women is very powerful.
    A beautiful piece.

  12. joanbrailsford

    A very moving representation of this monument, and beautifully stitched. I love the addition of the weeping lady and how you have depicted her in such a delicate way

  13. A lot of details and techniques in one piece. A great way to connect Canada and France. The statue and the weeping lady are very well executed. Bravo!

  14. studiociboulette

    Very clever way to introduce the artist sculptures into the landscape. I love the embroidery image of the sculpture. Beautiful colours. Bravo

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