On March 31, Milieux Institute celebrated its one year anniversary and we have been busy! In celebration, we’ve taken a look back at some of the research clusters’ most memorable talks, workshops, projects, symposiums, and exhibitions.

The Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster has a lot of ongoing projects, but what would stand out the most is our successful implementation of student grants. We are really proud and happy to be able to provide members with seed funding and travel grants for their projects. The funding leads to so many great projects, including:

  • Sophia Borowska and Marlon Kroll’s (TAG) Tactual Realities: Weaving Virtual Environments explores how VR technology and weaving can inform one another and where their similarities lie, in order to re-conceptualize these media and their potential applications through translation and transformation.
  • Ryth Kesselring and Geneviève Moisan’s American Silk studies fibres produced by the asclépiade plant, also called the “American silk” plant. They hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of the state of its development into threads and fluff, and to study its water-repellent qualities. Part of the project, Kesselring and Moisan were awarded the Concordia Fine Arts Reading Room Publication Grant to publish a catalogue/research journal documenting their attempt at harvesting and weaving the milkweed.
  • MJ Daines’ leno weaving project combined archival research and weaving during an artist residency in the US. MJ used her residency to look through the archives to locate textiles which she analyzed and hypothesized about the methods used to create them. MJ’s interest in exploring leno structures has led to new innovations in how leno can be recreated on the Jacquard loom.
  • WhiteFeather completed an artist residency at the Icelandic Textile Centre, and presented an artist talk at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavík, Iceland. WhiteFeather’s residency project was to creatively materialize biogeographical data obtained through genomic sequencing. This included exploring geo-specific, natural/ ecological dye methods, including experimenting with using geothermal heat sources to develop new heat-set dye methods through burial.

Last Fall, many of our cluster members participated in the 48th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) Conference. Several members were selected to present in an exhibition of multisensory works entitled, Engaging the Senses through Textiles and Materiality Research-Creation at the Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal. pk langshaw’s “Parachute dévoilé” was on display at the FOFA Gallery on the Concordia campus. Additionally, the cluster provided a demonstration of the Jacquard Loom.

Members are used to exhibiting and presenting at festivals and galleries around Canada and the United-States. Members exhibited or spoke at Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador Gallery, Subtle Technologies Festival v.20World of Threads FestivalWear It Smart conferenceHTMlles FestivalKathrin Casein Gallery, and the Molior Colloquium, among many others.

Text by Elise Cotter, Geneviève Moisan and WhiteFeather Hunter

Member, Joanna Berzowska discussing T&M’s designs. 

Installation from Engaging the Senses through Textiles and Materiality Research-Creation at the Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal