Monday, January 28

Wanderlust at the Textile Museum of Canada

Back in November, I visited the Textile Museum of Canada. After studying textiles in school back in 2005-2006, I haven't done much research or learning into what's going on in fibre-based art in the last few years. What I remember loving about studying textiles was how traditional and unchanging textiles can be, while at the same time there is seemingly endless opportunity for innovation.

On at the museum while I was there was an exhibition called Wanderlust. It had works by three artists who are Canadian, yet who live quite nomadic lifestyles and call several places home. The piece that caught my attention, pictured above, is by Jordan Bennett - a Newfoundland/Labrador artist who combines objects from popular and skate culture with an exploration into his Mi'kmaq heritage. I was struck by the simplicity of this piece. In the context of the textile museum, it feels at home with the permanent collection of centuries-old traditional pieces - relics of ancient cultures with equally ancient art practices. The catalogue tag on the shoe rienforces this image, yet the fact that the beading appears on a pair of throw-away skateboard sneakers sheds a contemporary light on this work and shows us that this culture is not so ancient after all. 

Here's a link to his website, and artist statement which sums up his intentions better than I can. 
For some very interesting reading about Native issues and popular culture this is one of my favourite blogs - Native Appropriations


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