The Cordage Community
Cordage Community by Marsha Charlebois, Welland, Ontario. Painted in 1988,
at 212 East Main Street (beside The Tribune), 46' by 10'. The history of
one of Welland's first industries is portrayed in this mural by another
local artist. The Plymouth Cordage Company, manufacturers of rope and binder
twine, opened for business in 1906. The 'cordage people' believed in leisure
activities as strongly as they did their work and were known for their
fairs, games and family gatherings.
of my research involved tracking down former employees with memorabilia,
since the library and museum had very limited resources on this subject
regarding costume, buildings, etc. My greatest uncertainty was depicting
the rope in a graphic manner. The most frequently asked question was not
"what is it?" but "why are you painting rope?"
outdoor painting, I find myself more aware of mood changes in the atmosphere.
A large format like murals creates perspective problems because of the
closeness of the work. Indoors, I have a tendency to work tighter."
Virtual Guide's Comments
muted colours and lack of facial detail in this mural gives an ethereal
quality to the images, suggesting that the memories of this time in Welland's
past are fading. What remains from the period is the rope, and that is
shown in some detail. It also suggests that the transitory, elegant lifestyle
of the pictures is based on the hard reality of the manufacture of rope.
the Artist: Marsha Charlebois, Welland, Ontario
studied art and camera ready production at Niagara College in Welland,
receiving the Niagara Peninsula Graphic Arts Award for 1978-79. She specializes
in pencil, pen and ink drawings, slate sculpture and also works with dye
and silk, acrylics and produces miniatures in mixed media.
early talent was recognized with awards at local shows up to the age of
16 when she stopped painting in order to develop other interests and start
a family. She currently works on a freelance basis as a commercial artist
and photographer and also gives workshops in various media.
has completed several indoor murals and her work in private collections
worldwide. Her art shows include many in Ontario and also one in Banbury,