Between Thought & Expression: Surrealist Techniques for Textiles


  • Maiwa Loft #6-1666 Johnston St. Vancouver, BC, V6H 3S2 Canada
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With Michael Brennand-Wood

$350 [Includes $75 lab fee] class limit 12. May 27, 28, 2017 (Sat, Sun 10am-4pm).

Surrealism mined the particularly fertile ground of the unconscious to artistic ends. Techniques that freed the imagination and games that allowed the artist to bring the logic of dreams to the surface were part of a revolution in imagery and expression.

A large part of contemporary textile culture is focused on getting something right. Artists working in almost any style can find detailed instructions stating how a work should look. In this workshop participants experiment with the idea of doing things wrong, exploring the familiar in unfamiliar form, and using techniques and approaches that don’t belong together. The intention is not to make a mess, but rather to harness the spark that comes from unpredictable combinations. 

The work of selected Surrealists, such as Max Ernst, will be referenced. We will use collage, decalcomania, frottage, cut-up, drizzling, and automatism to open up a dialogue between cause and effect. The workshop should be fun, stimulating, and exploratory.

Supply List


About Michael Brennand-Wood

Michael Brennand-Wood is internationally regarded as one of the most innovative and inspiring artists working in textiles today.

A defining characteristic of his work is a sustained commitment to the conceptual synthesis of contemporary and historical sources, in particular the exploration of three-dimensional line, structure, and pattern. He has persistently worked within contested areas of visual practice: embroidery, pattern, lace, ornamentation, conflict, and floral imagery. He believes that the most innovative contemporary textiles come from an assured understanding of both textile technique and history.

Michael Brennand-Wood is a visual artist, curator, lecturer, and arts consultant. Since 1979 he has occupied a central position in the research, origination, and advocacy of contemporary international art textiles. He has exhibited in major galleries and museums worldwide, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.