Textile innovation has consistently been at the centre of technological and social evolution- from string technology to the first drop spindle, spinning wheel and computer- our lives have been tied to what we wear and how it was made. Now, as we look for a path to sustainability, textiles and the holders of pre-industrial technologies once again may hold a key to how we move forward.
How can we be makers without first being buyers?
How do we separate consumption from production?
Those of you who know me know this is what I obsess about… I am thrilled I get the chance to talk about this at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto on Monday, August 31st.
I will discuss two specific projects as examples of how a contemporary community engaged art practice rooted in environmental concerns and traditional hand technologies have brought together diverse people for shared learning in a playful yet productive rediscovery of an urban landscape. The Urban Weaver Project and Terroir: Urban Cloth are both collaborations with First Nation weavers, ecologists, gardeners, spinners and weavers focused on discovering potential fibre from invasive plants, growing flax for linen as an alternative agricultural crop and working together to create community celebration events for the labour of harvesting and processing. Both projects provide possible answers to the question of how, in a city, artists and craftspeople can be producers without the need to first be consumers.
Please help spread the word to your contacts in the Toronto area who might be interested in the talk!
The talk is free and takes place in the mezzanine.
Please register here so we know attendance expectations. Come early if you wish to purchase a copy of Common Threads from the gift shop for signing! Guests may bring an eco-friendly packed lunch, but no food is allowed beyond the mezzanine level of the museum. A big thanks to the Textile Museum for hosting me for this during my brief pass through town.