Material Matters

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When I met my husband Peter he was living in his family home in Saint John, New Brunswick next door to a family by the name of McKelvey.  Peter and I were in our early 20’s, so while we were friendly with the neighbours, there really was no reason to interact regularly, the McKelvey’s were professionals with two young boys, we were just kids.  For some reason, perhaps it was just proximity, perhaps it was their 4 year old careening down our shared driveway on his bike in civil war garb  with no shoes on, smashing into the neighbours garage, we became friends.

The life we live now has been oddly shaped by that family who lived next door.  We collect antique Land Rovers because of them, I work in textiles because of them, we are proudly watching those two boys turn into incredible young men (I know we had no part in their upbringing, but somehow we still feel proud at their every accomplishment).  This makes the most sense for John, the younger son, as he spent the better part of a year staying with us on weekends when he was at college, but for Fen, who was a few years older, we didn’t have as much interaction.

Despite all that, when I was making a trip in December 2010 to Toronto, Fen and his partner Jill invited me to stay with them, and treated me like family for the entire visit.  They toured me around the city, taking me to gallery openings, Korean BBQ, the One of a Kind show, and most importantly, an impromptu visit to the Harbourfront Centre because they had found out about a textile exhibit they thought I should see.  Pae White’s Material Mutters was like nothing I had ever seen. Massive tapestries, carved paper images on paper, digital light video installations.  It is a very rare thing for two people with busy lives, one of whom has never even met you, to take you into their home and spend several days carefully taking you to all the places they know you will love.  What a pleasure.

And now I am pleased to announce that Fenwick McKelvey can now call himself a Doctor of Philosophy, after successfully completing his dissertation titled: The Eighth Layer: Time, Transmission, and Internet Routing.  This was on the heels of his recent marriage to Jillian Witt.  Congratulations to both Fen and Jill.




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