2019 Lectures & Events
Shamji Vankar is the heir to a wealth of traditional weaving and dyeing techniques practised in the desert region of western India. The small village of Bhujodi is renowned for its distinctive weaves. Motifs may be worked with a supplement in the local wool—providing an effective herder’s shawl to keep men and women warm during the desert night. These same techniques are also worked in naturally dyed cottons and silks—providing a showcase of exceptional beauty and skill.
Bandhani has a long and illustrious history in western India. The technique of wrapped thread resist evolved into a powerful expression of identity for cultural groups as well as a simple and quick pattern technique that could be applied to trade textiles. Bandhani gave us the “bandana,” a trade textile in its most popular form.
The study of natural dyes leads directly to the creation of handmade pigments and inks. Join inkmaker Tim McLaughlin as he leads the audience through this colourful new territory and sets the stage both historically and culturally for the rise of handmade ink. Tim will introduce the new calligraphers—those who have dedicated themselves to return to handwritten scripts and who are making ink central to their practice.
After a decade following the strict ceremonial weaving protocols of the Haida and Kwakwaka’wakw people, Meghann O᾽Brien is excited to share a point of change in understanding as her practice stretches to transform and occupy twenty-first-century space. Drawing from her personal immersion in the concept of the “deep local,” Meghann presents her reinterpretation of a living body of knowledge that has been built through time spent on the land and study with traditional teachers.
Anna Heywood-Jones is a Canadian artist based in Vancouver. Her practice intersects the disciplines of visual art, craft, language, and the natural sciences. Through her work, Heywood-Jones strives to convey notions of slow loss and transformation, examining the metamorphic nature of human, vegetal, and geological expressions of existence.
We tend to view artisan work in very particular ways. Traditional craft is executed by individuals, but the way an artifact looks—its form, its very identity as a “thing”—belongs to a community. Where do designers fit into this relationship? After more than 30 years of working with communities of makers, Maiwa is seeing the basic understanding of artisan and community shift.
Weaving. Block printing. Bandhani. An exhibition of exceptional work being done by some of India’s most accomplished contemporary artisans. All five artisans have secured an international reputation through a focus on detail and a dedication to taking traditional techniques to new levels.
“Join me and the Maiwa team as we gather around a collection of cauldrons. You’ll receive a bag with a pashmina wool scarf, some string, and something sturdy to tie your bundle around. I’ll guide you through the process and then...while our bundles simmer, there will be stories to share, and we will fold the instruction sheet into a tiny book”.
“Noren” is the name given to traditional Japanese cloth dividers that hang in doorways and windows. The works in this exhibit will feature both traditional and contemporary designs. Yoko is assisted by her daughter Kazuho Kano (who will also be present at the opening). Yoko and Kazuho join us from Japan.