My name is Ira Polak Veronneau and I am the creator behind “Babooli Beads Art”. I was born in Moldova (USSR) and immigrated twice, first to Israel and recently to Quebec. "Babooli" means grandmothers in my mother tongue Russian.
Throughout my childhood I often observed my grandmothers, Mania and Bluma engaging in craft making. They worked full time, cooked, and took care of the household and only at night they set by the night-light and craft, enjoying a good TV show and a cup of tea. For my grandmothers, the craft was not only a channel of self expression but also the way to relax and meditate at the end of a long day and so it is for me. Following their passion, I also began creating at a young age, first by sewing dresses for my dolls and later on, outfits and accessories for myself. At the age of 20 I accidentally ran into a beads store and found the medium that unleashed my creativity. I am constantly experimenting, and expanding my knowledge, practice, and materials collection of: glass and gemstone beads as well as fabric, leather, thread, yarn, paper and more.
The brand’s name "Babooli" represents my tribute and appreciation to the grandmother's commitment to their crafts. I find it inspiring and moving how in the past, the women managed to create and embellish their outfits and homes, hand make gifts, spiritual and useful items. They learned from their mothers and taught their daughters. I was lucky enough to inherit their devotion.
I create jewellery and bespoken art objects such as décor and accessories, implementing weaving and embroidery techniques typical to ancient European, Indian, Indigenous, and African needlework craftsmanship. In my artistic expression I am interested to transform the traditional needlework into contemporary, inspired by modern art, design and street fashion. I am often challenging my creation by reusing old materials alongside and leftovers from fellow artisans. Through my artistic path I am constantly in a search of my own identity, responding to all the cultures that I was exposed to. I acknowledge and respect it's influence and contribution to my own unique artistic language and most of all thankful to Mania and Bluma for enlightening this fire in me forever...