EXHIBITION: Perpetual Motion: Material Re-use in the Spirit of Thrift, Utility and Beauty @ TMC (March 10 – Sept 3, 2012)
Upcycling (the repurposing of materials, giving them new life) has been a hot topic in craft over the past few years as consumption and waste has weighed heavy on a lot of makers’ minds. This upcoming show at the TMC pulls out pieces from their permanent collection that reflect this approach of seeing value in “trash “and creating something beautiful with it. I think it will be fascinating to see how this orientation threads through time and across cultures.
Perpetual Motion: Material Re-use in the Spirit of Thrift, Utility and Beauty
Date: Mar 10, 2012 – Sep 3, 2012
Curated by Roxane Shaughnessy
Combining the old with the new has been an enduring practice across centuries of textile production, providing a unique lens on the evolution of cultural histories, narratives and identities. In many cultures, cloth is precious, and cherished fabrics or worn out fragments have often been reused in inventive ways, employing techniques that have developed from utilitarian needs to a high level of sophistication. The reuse and reinvention of textiles to create new clothing and items for household use can been tied to scarcity, as well as to the high value placed on cloth for its aesthetic beauty and cultural weight.
As is evident in these artifacts from the permanent collection of the Textile Museum of Canada, the decorative possibilities that arose historically by integrating colourful fabric fragments into new forms have produced a repertoire of creative methods of reusing and recreating cloth. Scraps of leftover fabric are often stitched into patchwork or appliqué quilts, hooked to make rugs, or woven to create garments and floor coverings. All are elaborate examples of the ingenious ways in which valued cloth is transformed into new compositions across time and space. Evoking age-old ongoing cycles of tradition and innovation, the textiles in this gallery speak to the perpetual motion of human ingenuity and evolving skills and techniques in a global context.
Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue (Dundas St. W & University Ave., St. Patrick subway)