Paper Cut




Barbara Klunder

Barbara Klunder was born in Toronto in 1948 and grew up in an artistic household, which was her basic education, and attended Ontario College of Art 1965-66. She started doing illustration at the age of 17 (for the Globe and Mail) and continued as a freelance illustrator and designer, winning many awards over the years and designing two type fonts. At the age of 28 she started designing hand-knit sweaters and had a huge success with them in New York, launched with the help of Vogue Magazine. Both the sweaters and her custom carpet designs helped push her skills as an illustrator and designer. A show in 1991 at the Textile Musem of Canada of 14 very large hand-hooked rugs from makers around the world was launched with the theme of the environment, a cause Barbara has always supported. “Tapestries for the Environment”. In 2009, she was awarded The Les Usherwood Award Lifetime Achievement, awarded each year to someone who has made a lasting major contribution to the Canadian creative community.

Over time, working on commissions for illustrations and her textiles, Barbara’s interests grew towards making conceptual pieces that had ‘commentary’ built into them. Her first show utilizing commentary as a medium was titled,“27 Downsized Purses”. It was a solo show at the Canadian Craft Museum in 1996 of small purses made out of materials from nature (birchbark, pine cones,wood) combined with embroidery, knitting, rug hooking, store bought hardware and graffiti.

Next she created ‘Hooked Paintings’ using textiles, with the rug-hooking technique, utilizing thousands of stripped pieces taken from all kinds of clothing, from T-shirts to ballgowns. Her subject matter was Music, a frequent theme in her graphic work over the years. Since then Barbara has be a prolific artists, creating personal and commissioned works with abundant inventive and great productivity.

She has created numerous theatre, music and event posters, including a twelve year run designing both the Vancouver and Toronto Jazz Festival posters numerous cd covers, production posters for the Tarragon Theatre, Harbourfront and Theatre Passe Muraille, plus many environmental, human rights, and good-cause fundraising posters and t-shirt designs.



“Between great joy in creation and furious grief at the injustices of our age, Barbra Klundra has found ways and places for personal expression, a conceptual versatility to shape and combine any number of mediums to communicate her beliefs. – Robin Laurence