Phuong Nguyen, Turtle Shell, found ceramic rice bowl, plastic twine, resin, 2021. Photo: Greg McCarthy

Fibreworks 2022

Artists: Omar Badrin, Shaya Ishaq, Poline Harbali, Erin James, Don Kwan, Tina Marais, Andrew McPhail, Phuong Nguyen, Xan Shian, Heather Shilinglaw, Anie Toole, Lan Florence Yee, Heather Yip.

July 18, 2022 - October 8, 2022
Queen's Square Gallery

Now in its 19th year, Fibreworks was established in recognition of the regional textile industry that once flourished along the Grand River. The exhibition has also played a critical role in the development of Cambridge Art Galleries’ permanent collection of contemporary Canadian fibre art.

Fibreworks 2022 is juried by Yasmeen Nematt Alla (artist, writer, facilitator) and Hitoko Okada (fibre artist, curator). This year, the jury received submissions from over 250 artists from across Canada, after a thorough selection process 13 artists were selected for exhibition.

With over 250 submissions, jurying this show was both a challenge and an absolute delight. The chosen works stood out because of their ability to investigate materiality in ways that spoke to the current tremulous moment we are uncovering. Questions of objecthood, of intricate creation, of diasporic storytelling, and of ancestral immigrant knowledge emerged as important themes in this show. How do we come together to stand witness to each others' narratives? How do we find ourselves grounded yet moved by materiality? How do allow our bodies to sense textures and care when we are not there to touch and to hold? This group exhibition pokes at these questions in heart wrenching and heart-warming gestures of creation, while offering the audience back a question of their own: How do we advocate for makership to carry care beyond ourselves? 
- Yasmeen Nematt Alla

As a co-juror for Fibreworks 2022 group exhibition, I was delighted by the favourable number of submissions and the incredible works that were submitted by all the applicants. It was not an easy task, but as we shuttled back and forth weaving through the selections process, the thread of connections between the ideas, practices and approaches explored in the selected works began to slowly take shape. Resonating themes emerged out of pandemic impact and reflection. Relational narratives that explored lived experiences of racialized, sexualized, gendered and minoritized bodies; liminal spaces of diasporic identities; intergenerational meaning making; relationship to earth wisdom and ancestral knowledge; and recovery from climate crisis and consumerism are interconnected throughout the selected works. This group exhibition invites the idea that change is vital, and offers inquiry into how we may shape, adapt, relate and hold multiple possibilities for a deserving future.
- Hitoko Okada

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