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Held Together

July 6, 2024
 - August 25, 2024

Artists: Sarah-Mecca Abdourahman, Tiffany April, Dinho Bento, Thoma Ewen, Chantal Gervais, Greta Grip, José Guénette, Claudia Gutierrez, Lea Hamilton, Leslie Hossack, Sayward Johnson, Gayle Kells, Sharon Lafferty, An Nguyen, Carmella Karijo Rother, and Lori Victor. 

Galerie Annexe – Level 1

This exhibit unites the featured artists through their shared exploration of the use of textiles in their practice. Whether it serves as inspiration, subject, process, or the very foundation of their work, textiles become an avenue for these artists to delve into the close connections we share with tactile materials. Through their creations, we embark on the artists’ journey to examine kinship, identity, and the intimate moments woven into our personal histories. 

Some of the pieces presented in this exhibit combine traditional craft techniques with modern technology or unexpected elements. Greta Grip's work, for instance, explores the fascinating tension between the digital age and the handmade. By upgrading her knitting machine with a USB port, Greta bridges the gap, seamlessly integrating the new with the old. Sayward Johnson takes a different path, showcasing her love for both textiles and metals. Johnson’s captivating sculptural work features hand-woven copper wire, which is oxidized and embroidered, blurring the lines between traditional craft and contemporary art. 

Textiles can be a powerful expression of identity and memory. Many artists use the methodical act of weaving, embroidering, or otherwise manipulating cloth to explore or immortalize memories. Chantal Gervais' poignant photographs depict love, loss, and grief through a unique medium – chiengora (dog's wool). Using hair collected from her beloved dog Tundra (2003-2019), Gervais spins the story of the bond that she shared, while taking joy in the study of the fibre and its transformative power. The abstract sculptures, woven from a departed companion's fur, become a tangible meditation on a cherished life and a tender loss. Similarly, Sarah-Mecca Abdourahman crafts narratives that marry past and present. Presenting her work on a blanket, a symbol of comfort and safety, the artist explores the roles of the women in her family, deconstructing societal expectations and revealing their multifaceted identities. 

By showcasing the diverse ways that textiles can be incorporated into art, we can discover a surprising intimacy woven into everyday materials, prompting a journey of personal reflection. As we encounter each piece, we reconnect with our own memories, identities, and the profound significance of thread – a humble material that binds not just fibre, but our stories and shared experiences. 

Curated by: Stephanie Germano
Editing & Curatorial Assistance: Siobhan Locke
Admin Support: Katie Heins
Installation: Rob Keefe


Image: Tiffany April, Warped and Wefted, 2019, acrylic and oil on canvas, 213.4 x 205.7 cm / acrylique et huile sur toile, 213,4 x 205,7 cm


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