Ontario's Textile Fall PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Exhibition and event line up
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In the recent issue of Textile Forum from the European Textile Network Beatrijs Sterk says “In the second year of our magazine’s existence, we found ourselves obliged to declare the term textiles does not denote material (TF 2 / 98 page 1) Indeed Textiles are neither materials nor techniques, but a method of production using flexible materials and specific techniques; in that they resemble architecture, which also produces results by using (more ridged) materials and specific techniques, but which is, as such, not synonymous with a material or a technique. Due to these characteristics, textiles and architecture cannot be categorized as an end in itself that can be perceived as ‘art’ since the two disciplines will always be functional; inextricably, they will always represent mind and body.” FT 3 / 2012 . page 34

What is "fibre"? what is Textile Art? Where is the thread? If you have questions, reading is one way of finding answers, attending events going to see exhibits is another.  And this fall in south central Ontario there is plently or work to see that can answer your questions or make you want to ask more. Make a schedule and take advantage of having this amount of work to look at, enjoy and wonder how it is made and why.

Wunderlust Image

  Left: NorBlack NorWhite / centre: Jordan Bennett / right: The Color Collective Image acquired from TMC website

 September 15 - November 18, 2012
Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue  Toronto, ON M5G 2H5, Canada

fibreworks 2012
fibreworks 2012,
September 29 - November 11 2012
Cambridge Galleries Queen's Square
opening Friday October 5 ,7 pm

The 14th edition of this popular biennial juried exhibition is a showcase of fibre artists from across Canada. The exhibition honours the community’s rich textile manufacturing history and the Galleries’ also considers acquisitions for its permanent collection from the works selected for the exhibition.

JURORS: Lyn Carter and Fynn Leitch

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Lizz Aston (Toronto, ON), Jolie Bird (Halifax, NS), Heather Cameron (Salt
Spring Island, BC), Anne Devitt (Toronto, ON), Sarah Gotowka (Montréal, QC), Elizabeth Hewson
(Innisfil, ON), Thea Jones (Toronto, ON), Andrew MacDonald (London, ON), Nancy Anne McPhee
(Halifax, NS), Petrina Ng (Toronto, ON), Nicole Panneton (Montréal, QC), Liv Pedersen (Calgary, AB),
Melina Sevilla (Brampton, ON), Barbara Sutherland (Calgary, AB), Tammy Sutherland (Winnipeg,
MB), Kelly Thompson (Montréal, QC), Kim Vose Jones (Fredericton, NB).

Cambridge Galleries presents contemporary art, architecture and design from three locations in the City of Cambridge:Design at Riverside, Preston, and Queen’s Square.

Hearther Cameron Arbor Vitae
Heather Cameron  Salt Spring Island, BC,  Arbour Vitae, 2012. Wool on canvas, 165 x 137 cm
Liv Pedersen Max
Liv Pedersen , Calgary, AB. Max, 2012 Tapestry weaving 33 x 23 cm
Sarah Gotowwaka Sampler

Sarah Gotowka , Montréal, QC. 21st Century North American Embroidery Sampler, 2011 Hand embroidery on linen 76 x 107 cm

Sarah is also part of the Colour Collective which is featured in WANDERLUST at the TMC

 Andrew MacDonald Green Man

Andrew MacDonald London, ON, Green Man, 201, Knitted yarns, plastic, 83 x 61 x 15 cm


Elizabeth Hewson Wag the Dog

  Elizabeth Hewson Innisfil, ON Wag the Dog, 2012

New Zealand wool, merino wool, wire 33 x 40 x 10 cm

the images for fibreworks 2012 have been provided by the Cambridge Galleries and used with permission

To see images from past fibreworks and other textile exhibitions at the Cambridge Galleries check out these  facebook Albums
You can read my story on "Sections From the Permanent Collection 2010" in my "fibre report" column in A Needle Pulling Thread Fall 2010


Proud to be celebrating 25 years!  With unbeatable shopping & dynamic up-close-and-personal instruction. Designed to intrigue, involve, excite, stimulate and celebrate the art of creating your own personal style, come 'live' the Creativ Festival experience. It's comprehensive, creative and fun! More to see, more to do, more to buy!


John McQueen, Untitled #106 Section 4, USA, 1982, Image acquired from TMC Website 

 Natural Resources: Textiles and Material Translation

Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Aveune Toronto Ontario 
Oct 17, 2012 - Jan 6, 2013
Curated by Natalia Nekrassova and Roxane Shaughnessy

 Exhibition Overview from the TMC website:

Drawing from the TMC’s rich international collection, Natural Resources explores artifacts from a variety of global sites and their translation into environmental materials through their structure, technology, function and surface design. While today's “smart” fabrics are frequently associated with architectural design, textiles as sustainable resources and architectural solutions have a long history going back to Palaeolithic times, representing an archetypal form of “green” material that has endured to the present day. The exhibition explores the interrelationships among the complex properties of materials and their construction, function and design, and investigates new innovations where invented forms reference traditional techniques and technologies.

If you don't know about John McQueen's work you can read an article about him on line in the Fibre Arts Magazine Archive  first published Nov./Dec. 2004

   Fibre Content

 fibre content 

Oct 27- 28

Burlington Performing Arts Centre

440 Locust St., Burlington, ON


 Fibre Content Juried Exhibition of Fibre Art

The show is a powerful opportunity to view and make a personal connection with the patterns and passion expressed in fibre art. You will see traditional, contemporary, representational and abstract art wall quilts, in a variety of themes and sizes, in diverse mediums including fabrics embellished with threads, beads and found objects, painted and felted fibres.

You will be dazzled by 128 works of art created by 65 artists. These extraordinary pieces will be complemented by the impressive setting of the new BPAC that is drenched with natural light and open space. Some works will be for sale.

Admission includes a detailed catalogue of all the works displayed at the show and access to a vendor marketplace of related art merchants.

Come and join us in the beautiful downtown Burlington area, situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, close to a local art gallery, restaurants and boutique shopping.

Dahlia Clark


Dahlia Clark , Guelph, Meditation #1, 23 ¾ x 35 ½

The simple shapes of Meditations series provoke contemplation, contrast the domplex doodle quilting which its self is meditative, meditation #1 is inspired by Cardinals who return before the snow disappears

Dahlia Clark on Facebook  


Heather Dubreuil 53rd Street


Heather Dubreuil , Hudson, 53rd Street 18” x 24”

Inspired by a photo I took from a window in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, this piece is made with fused hand-dyed cotton and machine stitched

 Leah Huges Poppy Cock

Leah Huhges , Orangeville, Poppycock, 22” X 21” Original design quilted on canvas, displaying techniques such as painting, thread painting, beading and raw edge appliqué. An eclectic mix of fabrics and embellishments were used

Tracey Salewski

Tracey Salewski, Georgetown Ontario, Bronze Rectangles 12’ x 13”  

This piece was submitted to a blow torch to get the colouring and then sewn and beaded to add texture 
 Images for 'fibre content" are  courtesy of the organizers used with permission

Hard Twist 2012
 Hard twist: Touch Me Feel Me
Nov 1, 2012to Jan 27, 2013
Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West  
Toronto, ON M6J 1J6, Canada
Opening  Nov 1, 2012 | 7-10pm
 2012 JURORS:

Gareth Bate – Toronto artist and curator of the World of Threads Festival

Miriam Grenville – Toronto artist and creative director at Grenville Design

Rachel Machenry – Toronto-based textile designer and design educator

Helena Frei and Chris Mitchell – Hard Twist curators

 "This year’s Hard Twist offers the opportunity to get in touch with your inner textile aficionado – to knit your brows over the lint portraits, attempt to unravel the meaning of the stockinette-stitch QR codes, get tied up with a game of cat’s cradle or wound up over whether the embroidery that’s giving you the finger is a political statement or a personal insult. But whatever you do, however you feel, you must try the bee beard!

Hard Twist, an annual juried show of work that celebrates the intimate, layered and complex relationship between people and textile, has become an important annual event within the Canadian fibre art community and a signature event for the Gladstone since 2006.

Participants range from established artists with impressive track records to students in the process of refining their focus. The works are tiny and huge, straightforward and complex, representational and abstract, and speak of things as disparate as biblical lyrics, global warming and the fate of dryer lint.

Each year, co-curators Helena Frei and Chris Mitchell weave this wild diversity into a rich and complex tapestry inhabited by a powerful sense of human creativity." from website


Emily Comeau Cats Craddle


Emily Comeau Cats Craddle full


 Emily Comeau Cat's Cradle.

These photos are only of the prototype of the proposed work. The Proposed work will be much larger when complete. It will have 80 individually cast (no 2 alike!) plaster fingers attached to a wooden board measuring 48" x 48", with wool yarn strung between them. Image provided by the artist used with permission

lara Taller Braid

 Laura Taler , Braid I, 2010, 42" x 32" x 32", metal cable

 Simultaneously root and hair-like, Braid I is in the process of being unravelled.  Repetition, weaving, winding and unwinding are embedded in the figure of the braid.  It is able to conjure innocence, wisdom, sexuality, the phallus, snakes, faeces, strength, control, the maternal, and the passing of time.  It is both an intense coiling and the promise of release, embodying aspects of touch, gesture and sensation that are central to the process of recalling the past. Image provided by the artist used with permission
Andrea Van derKooij swell



Andrea Vander Kooij  Swell

 Andrea Vander Kooij ,  Swell 17” x 14” x 10.5” (43 cm x 35.5 cm x 26.5 cm) nylon/lycra patchwork, polyester stuffing, over wooden stretcher, 2012. Image provided by the artist used with permission


Philip Hare "I hold my father's heart with my mother's hands"

   Philip Hare "I hold my father's heart with my mother's hands", 2012 (18" X 22") Philip Hare and Elsie Hare.  The mitts were knitted by his mother, Elsie, in the last year of her life. Image provided by the artist used with permission

To see images from past Hard Twist exhibitions check out these  facebook Albums
November 2009 more textile things to see

November 2008

 You can read my review of the first Hardtwist exhibition that took place in 2006and was organized to coincided with the Textile Society of America's symposium which was held in Toronto

 fibreQUARTERLY Volume 3 Issue 1/ Winter 2007 Touch don't touch” review of  hand-face-body Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, Ontario. October 14-November 26 

world of threads
 Worlds of Thread Festival
Oakville and Toronto
November 2 -25, 2012

The line up of exhibitions for a World of Thread Festival is as follows: in Oakville running November 2 - 18, 2012 there are 7 Common Threads International exhibitions which where juried and or curated by the organizers with 3 Independent exhibitions being brought to them for inclusion and to provide a shopping experience there is a Artwear Boutique at the Oakville Place Shopping Centre. In Toronto:  running November 9- 25, 2012 there are 4 Common Threads International exhibitions along with 6 Independent exhibitions (including Hardtwist) 
Emily Jan
 Emily Jan detail of dikdik [dikdik is a small antelope]

De rerum natura (On The Nature of Things)

Common Thread International Exhibition

 Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre,

1086 Burnhamthorpe Road East, Oakville. 

 Nov. 2 - 18, 2012

Opening Reception: Sun. Nov. 4, 2012, 2 - 5 pm


emily jan

 Emily Jan  an MFA graduate from Concordia undergrad from the California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts) where she studied painting and drawing. I took this photograph at the Concordia MFA open Studio in February 2011 

De rerum natura (On The Nature of Things) is a highly eccentric exhibition evoking the collection of a mad 18th century naturalist. All the artwork is dealing with themes of nature, plants and animals. Curator Gareth Bate has observed that environmental work is the most dominant theme in contemporary fibre art. This lush and colourful environment is filled with striking and sometimes bizarre work. The show features the work of 35 artists from Canada, Denmark, United Kingdom and USA. They are working in a huge variety of media. There will be installation, sculpture and 2D work. The title of the exhibition is based on the ancient Roman poem De rerum natura by Lucretius who's rediscovery was a major inspiration for Renaissance artists.

Gareth is setting up the De rerum natura  in opposition to Memento mori  his other exhibition at The Gallery at Sheridan Institute in Oakville. That exhibition deals with themes of death, mortality and grief. The work is dark and the polar opposite of life filled work of De rerum natura. All the Memento mori artwork engages with techniques or the aesthetic of fibre, but none of the work is actually made of fibre materials. Gareth is exploring the contrast of fibre/life and artificial matierals/death.

Wendy O'Brien
Wendy O'Rien   "Sentinel". [photo credit  Elisabeth Feryn]  is one of the makers in Memento Mori at the Gallery at Sheridan Institute 1430 Trafalgar Rd, Oakville
Maximo Laura
Maximo Laura is one of the makers in the three person show Myth Making
Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre,
2302 Bridge Road, Oakville, Ontario

Nov. 2 – 25, 2012 Opening Reception: Sat. Nov. 3, 2012, 2 - 5 pm

" Myth Making brings together three artists from Peru, Canada and the USA whose work is creating a new mythology. Lima, Peru's Maximo Laura's stunning tapestries explore Andean mythology and stories. Peterbough's Faye Jacobs "tree spirit" sculpture combines tree roots with tapestry. Chicago artist Noel Morical's massive wall hangings made of paint chips give the sense of constructing a universe or cosmic blanket. She will be creating a new piece especially for this exhibition." from world of threads website.
To find out more about the World of Threads Festival visit their website  http://www.worldofthreadsfestival.com/


Patricia Harris Gallery of Costume and Textiles
the Royal Ontario Museum
Opening November 3, 2012
“Water sleeve” evening gown   Vivienne Tam, Jade Collection Fall 2011   Digitally printed silk   USA   2012.37.1 Gift of Vivienne Tam    © Thomas Kletecka
“Water sleeve” evening gown  Vivienne Tam , Jade Collection Fall 2011
 Digitally printed silk  USA  2012.37.1 Gift of Vivienne Tam  © Thomas Kletecka  image provided by ROM and used with permission.

 BIG NAME: Vivienne Tam (Chinese-American) known for modern fashions based on Chinese
 imagery and traditions 

 BIG MESSAGE: Retro luxury meets glamorous 21st century China chic; references historic
 Chinese Imperial court robes and rank badges which clearly display a courtier’s status

 "BIG" is the newest exhibition in the Patricia Harris Gallery of Costume and Textiles at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Opening November 3, 2012, the installation showcases objects that, in one way or another, are BIG: big in size, big in historical significance, big news, created by a big name artist (Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, Vivienne Tam, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent, among them), or, simply, carry a big price tag. They are historical (a stunning hand painted and dyed export chintz hanging circa 1750) and contemporary (a fantastic John Galliano for Christian Dior Couture that took a Dior team over 500 hours to create). The exhibition’s 40 diverse objects, many never before displayed to the public, span the globe.  All have been drawn from the ROM's renowned collection of approximately 50,000 textiles and costumes. A feast for the eyes, BIG provides a fresh, clever way to explore the ROM’s collections."  from ROM press release

 Adinkra wrapper 2011.60.1 ROM

  Adinkra wrapper,  Handprinted cotton,  ca. 1960 - 1970  Ghana  2011.60.1
Gift of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust. image provided by ROM and used with permission.

 BIG SIZE: Three metres long and worn toga- style over the shoulder, at funerals, - great
 gatherings drawing hundreds of participants for many days.

: Adinkra symbols encode moral injunctions and proverbs. Here, the spiked circle
 evokes “like the star, I rest with God and do not depend on myself”.

Palampore (hanging) mordant painted and resist printed 2011.27.1 ROM
 Hanging (palampore) (detail) Mordant painted and resist dyed cotton  c. 1750
India for the Dutch market  2011.27.1  Gift of Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust
 image provided by ROM and used with permission.

BIG INNOVATION: Indian dyers’ mastery of  complex chemical formulae far surpassed European expertise until 1800.

: Chintz, India’s vividly painted  and dyed cottons, created a global fashion sensation. Europe’s attempt at imitation led to  the Industrial Revolution. 

men's trousers, 950.126.3 ROM
Men's trousers Cotton, wool c. 1925 - 1950  Nigeria  950.126.3
 Gift from the Estate of Rev. A.W. Banfield
 image provided by ROM and used with permission.

BIG SIZE: While the West African dress aesthetic values mass and the projection of stature, the most prestigious garments are  assembled from the narrowest hand-woven  strips of cloth - just two centimetres wide.

BIG EVENT: Kings and clerics don up to eight  layers of clothing for state events.

Abstract fiberglass furnishing textile 2001.122.1 ROM
Abstract Fiberglas furnishing textile by Owens-Corning for Co-FabCo  c. 1950 - 1954  USA
 2001.122.1 This acquisition was made possible  by the generous support of the Textile
 Endowment Fund image provided by ROM and used with permission.

 BIG INNOVATION: Fibreglass textiles do not  shrink, stretch, swell, rot, burn or wrinkle and are resistant to sunlight. 

BIG TIME SAVER: Low maintenance – no  ironing - and ideal for the “servantless” needs of
 postwar housewives.

Images and text have been provided by the ROM

 fogo island quilts 2

  Ouilt work by Iris Newman, Fogo Island, Newfoundland photo by Yvonne Mullock*
“Tradition in Transition: Contemporary Canadians Textiles”
Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre,
1086 Burnhamthorpe Road East, Oakville.
23 November, 2012, - 6 January 2013,
Opening 25 November, 2-5pm
curated by Sandra Reford,

 The "Tradition in Transition" exhibition in some ways is the bookends for Ontario's Fibre Fall. this exhibition curated by Sandra Reford for th 18th annual Carrefour Europeén du Patchwork September 13-16 2012 in Ste Marie aux Mines, Alsace, France comes to Oakville after the World of Threads Festival ends. “Tradition in Transition: Contemporary Canadians Textiles”Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre,1086 Burnhamthorpe Road East, Oakville.23 November, 2012, - 6 January 2013,Opening 25 November, 2-5pm curated by Sandra Reford,

 "With so many different styles of work from different regions of Canada, Reford hopes that all the pieces in “Tradition in Transition” will exist harmoniously. She admits, “It takes so long to make these works. My own work takes about four months to do- from developing the concept, to colouring fabric, and completing stitching. There was not enough time to offer a theme for this exhibit and so we are not all linked by a specific topic. Our influence of nature and landscape is really what I think joins us together more than anything,” she explained." from "Tradition in Transition: the freezing blue" by Christina Colizza fQ Volume 7 Issue 4
With the idea that "It takes so long to make these works" go out to these exhibitions and find a thread to follow. If you are interested in writing a review of one of these exhibitions contact fQ at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 *Yvonne Mullock is a Scottish Photographer   http://www.yvonnemullock.co.uk/index.html

Fogo isalnd quilt project http://quiltyquilts.blogspot.com/

The fall season in Montreal begins with the fall opening exhibition at DIAGONEL
Diagonal fall 2012
Disparaître: Diane Dubeau, Barbara Hunt, Stéphanie L'Heureux et Barbara Todd
September 15 - Octobre 20 2012, opening / Vernissage  le 15 septembre, à 14 h.
5455, rue de Gaspé, espace 203
Montréal, (QC)
"Diagonale is a unique in Canada: it defends and broadcasts contemporary artistic practices using fibers as a subject matter or material."
for more information on this show visit their website www.artdiagonale.org
 TMC is on the road and on-line

Portable Mosques: The Sacred Space of the Prayer Rug
October 4 - November 28, 2012
Acadia University Art Gallery

read reviews of this exhibtion:

R.M. Vaughan "Sanctuaries to go: Is a prayer rug the same thing as a mosque?" in the Globe and Mail

 Joe Lewis "Portable Mosques: The Sacred Space of the Prayer Rug" Selvedge Issue 46, p.90

Kai Chan: A Spider's Logic
October 20 - December 2, 2012
Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery

Drawing with Scissors: Molas from Kuna Yala
November 24 - March 3, 2013
Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives



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