The Hive-Dress: fabric, thread, steel, paper and audio installation, La Centrale Gallery (Montreal), 2003.

The Hive Dress (La robe-ruche)

Julie Faubert, Héloïse Audy

A Space Main Gallery

April 28 – June 3, 2006

Copresented by: Mayworks Festival of Working People in the Arts

Artist talks April 28th 7PM

Quebec artists Julie Faubert and Héloïse Audy interviewed over one thousand women to create The Hive-Dress (La robe-ruche), an innovative textile and sound-based installation that gives voice to the contemporary world of the seamstress. Originally shown at La Centrale Gallery in Montreal (2003), this moving work traces an intimate and gripping portrait of an often unrecognized milieu: that of mainly immigrant women, working in the textile factories of Montreal. Asking them to write down what they thought about at work, on thin strips of paper, the artists then sewed together the assorted sentences one after the other onto an endless ribbon, made from unused pieces of fabric left over from the factories. This impressive amalgam of fabric and paper has taken the shape of a gigantic skirt in which the public can enter.

The Hive-Dress attempts to reclaim an invisible part in the ordeal of the seamstresses, the stream of thoughts and emotions that accompany their daily work, the thought process which runs freely, while their bodies are restrained to repetitive routines. The multi-lingual voices of these diverse women, hidden inside the walls of the gallery, evoke some of the invisible barriers which the artists were confronted with through their process, while offering a confounding amalgamation of these women’s lives realities and ephemeral reveries.

Since 2000, Julie Faubert and Héloïse Audy have collaborated on in situ projects where their common interest for abandoned public sites charged with specific histories has lead them to reanimate and reinvent the memory of these spaces.


Julie Faubert lives and works in Montreal. A recipient of a bursary from the Fonds québécois de recherche sur la nature et les technologies, she completed her Masters in Visual and Media Arts at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQÀM) in 2005.

Héloïse Audy also lives and works in Montreal. After studies at the Canadian National Theatre School, she obtained her degree in Visual Arts and Art History from the University of Montreal in 2001, and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at Concordia University, in the Fibres Department.