2013 Lecture Series

by - Thursday, August 08, 2013

2013 Lecture Series
Maiwa Textile Symposium
Seats are available in all lectures

There's a Plant I'd Like You to Meet

Thursday, September 12, 2103
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)

 GET TICKETS to Michel Garcia 

In 2013, Michel Garcia returns from France to report on new discoveries in the world of natural dyes and techniques.

Michel has spent recent years travelling the world and attempting to unravel the secrets of indigenous dye knowledge. Many strange practices produce unusual colours. He will share stories and the fruits of his research in this lecture. Among the highlights are biomordants: plants which accumulate alum in their leaves. This development is one of the most exciting to hit the world of natural dyes.

Well versed in both botany and chemistry, a curious investigator of dyestuff and dye procedures, Mr. Garcia has been asked to troubleshoot and fine-tune natural dye works all over the world.

A French national born in Morocco, Michel Garcia was nineteen when he first discovered natural dyes. Since then he has followed his love of both plants and pigments. In 1998 he formed the association Couleur Garance (Madder Colour). The association hoped to connect young ecologically sensitive artisans with the substantial expertise of an older generation of dyers. Under his direction, Couleur Garance produced over twenty monographs on natural dyes and dye plants.

This talk will be fascinating both for experts and those who are new to natural dyes.

Unravelling Political Knitting

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)

 GET TICKETS to Adrienne Sloane 

From the famous tricoteuse Mme. Defarge (in A Tale of Two Cities) to contemporary yarn bombers, knitters have long been incorporating the political into their stitches.

As artists, sculptural knitters are offering a visceral response to such contemporary issues as war, climate change, and species preservation. At the same time these makers are bringing knitting back into the public sphere.

This presentation will begin with a look at the historic origins of political knitting and move through the varied responses to wartime in America. Adrienne will include an overview of current trends with particular attention to recent youth-driven knit activism: yarn bombing or yarn graffiti. These politically motivated installations attempt to beautify public spaces while adding a touch of the handmade to industrialized environments.

Adrienne will also present a survey of her own imagery and explain the challenge and success of using sculptural knitting to speak to political issues.

Adrienne Sloane, a Boston-based artist, has exhibited nationally for over 20 years. Her work has been published in Fiberarts Magazine, American Craft, the Surface Design Journal, the Crafts Report, and Fiberarts Design Book Six. With a degree in anthropology, she has married her passion for textiles with one for travel by consulting on knitting projects in Peru and Bolivia. Knitting both by hand and by machine, she is mindful of the historical context of her medium. www.adriennesloane.com

The Peripatetic Alchemist - Travels With a Dyepot

Thursday, September 19, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)

 GET TICKETS to India Flint 

In 2008, with the publication of her first book, Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles, India Flint brought a radical new perspective to an ancient practice. She rethought the entire dye process. Her book forcefully and eloquently champions ecologically sustainable plant-based printing processes to give colour to cloth. When it first arrived on the scene, Eco Colour was both an eye-opener and a game-changer.

While India Flint’s practice is focussed firmly on the use of plant dyes, it embraces cloth, paper, and felt and is expressed in works for the wall as well as pieces for the body including costume for contemporary dance theatre. She is known for the highly distinctive ecoprint and has made a commitment to using bio-regional colour—meaning that dyes are extracted from windfall plants wherever she happens to be. Join India Flint for an hour of storytelling and slides. India has also hinted that at the end of the lecture she may have something of a surprise up her eucalyptus-patterned sleeve.

India joins us from Australia.

Song of the Cloth

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)

 GET TICKETS to Jason Pollen 

This lecture is a joyful dance through the world of fibre art and surface design: a deep dive into sources of inspiration that have motivated artists and designers through the ages.

Join Jason Pollen and discover the musicality inherent in the visual language of textiles. Sequences and rhythm are the fundamentals; the mark, colour, and thread are the unique components. Listen to the pulse and flow, the harmony and cacophony of fibre-focused work.

Jason exhibits his fabric constructions internationally. He has designed textiles for dozens of fashion and home furnishings firms and regularly collaborates as scenic designer for the Kansas City Ballet. He was named Fellow by the American Crafts Council in 2006 and is President Emeritus of the Surface Design Association.

Jason received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in painting at the City College of New York. He was on the faculties of the Royal College of Art in London, Parsons School of Design, and Pratt Institute before serving as chair of the fibre department at Kansas City Art Institute. Jason now lives in Kansas City.

African Textiles

Thursday, September 26, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)

 GET TICKETS to John Gillow 

Every year John travels to different parts of Africa to collect and research traditional textiles. In the west, in Nigeria and the Francophone countries, are the superlative indigo dyed textiles, made with stitched and paste resist. Nearby are the stunning stripweaves of Ghana and its neighbours. In Central Africa, he finds Ndop indigo cloth, beadwork, and the fantastic head-wear of Cameroon as well as the classically abstract Kuba raffia weavings and embroidery. In the north are fine weavings in wool and silk, exquisite costumes, and intricate metal-thread work.

His vast collection and knowledge appear in the book African Textiles: Colour and Creativity Across a Continent published by Thames and Hudson. John joins us from his home in Cambridge, UK.

Islamic Textiles

Saturday, September 28, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)

 GET TICKETS to John Gillow 

John Gillow, author, lecturer, traveller, and collector, has spent more than 40 years in the Islamic world. The fruits of his research are well displayed in his latest book, Textiles of the Islamic World, published by Thames and Hudson. John joins us from his home in Cambridge, UK.

John will give a broad survey of the textiles produced throughout history, putting them in their social and geographic context. In this wide-ranging lecture he will cover not only what are considered to be the classic textiles of Turkey, Persia, Central Asia, and India but also those of the lesser known outposts of the Muslim world: North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt), the Balkans (particularly Albania), and Syria. He will also touch on Palestine, Iraq, south Arabia, Afghanistan, Indonesia and the Philippines, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Down the Mountain - Indigo and Silk Farming in a Japanese Village

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)


 GET TICKETS to Bryan Whitehead 

Originally from Vancouver, Bryan Whitehead now lives in a small mountain village in Japan. On the shady side of the slope in a house perched on a ledge reached only by a narrow twisting road, Bryan has a small silk and indigo farm. With traditional tools he reels the silk before spinning and weaving on an antique loom.

In his lecture, Bryan will explain how he comes to lead this quiet, magical life.

His story begins with his arrival in 1989, just in time to witness the last years of the traditional silk farming in the area. As an amateur cultural anthropologist, he spent the better part of twenty years learning from local Japanese farmers. They taught him the skills of silk farming, cocoon thread reeling, kimono weaving, natural dyeing, and the various indigo processes. Now he is the last silk farmer in the area.

“I try to look around my surroundings very closely, and I attempt to recreate sort of an emotional landscape of the colours, lighting, and textures in the silk I produce myself.”

Bryan is now sharing the cultural knowledge he so carefully collected. His ancient farmhouse is well known in Japan as a centre for the workshops he gives on these subjects. Some of Bryan Whitehead’s recent work will be available for sale at his lecture.

Journeys and Traces - Art and Life through Katagami

Tuesday October 15, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)


 GET TICKETS to Akemi Nakano Cohn 

At first there were shoji. The white, rice-paper room dividers. Akemi recalls growing up in a traditional Japanese family in Yokohama, Japan, where images were formed on the shoji as trees and birds cast their shadows on the white paper.

It was the beginning of her life in art.

For ten years Akemi studied Katazome – a traditional rice paste resist printing technique – under Master Haru Izumi. Then, in 1985, she emigrated to the United States. The cultural shift inspired new work and new ways of working.

Always thoughtful and contemplative, Akemi has said, “When using katagami cut-out stencil paper, I remark on the empty shape left behind after cutting. This ‘negative space’ indicates the trace of its existence. Negative space is evidence of a memory. My work is an attempt to understand memory through this process and inner observation. I am interested in observing a condition of adaptation and memory among plants, animals, and humans in their environment.”

Like completing a circle, her art work has returned to the traditional Japanese Katazome that she learned in her early career. She is returning to her origins, but with a richer, more mature vision.

Akemi has pursued an extensive series of international exhibitions and commissions. She is a master of the Nassen technique, which adds a dye to the rice paste to create both colour and resist simultaneously. She joins us from her home in Chicago.

The Plainweave Thread

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)


 GET TICKETS to Rachel Meginnes 

Rachel Meginnes believes that even the most simple methods offer infinite possibilities.

Her fascination with textiles began in high school and she trained as a weaver. Although no longer working directly at the loom, Rachel has kept many of her weaving processes alive in her current studio practice. As a dedicated maker, she accepts and encourages a need to work hands-on with her materials and enjoys the solitude that comes from producing such methodical work. Her original love for the plainweave structure has never ceased. Indeed, ideas inspired by the pure simplicity of plainweave have become something of a philosophy that runs throughout her work.

Join artist Rachel Meginnes in a thorough investigation of artistic process and her own personal growth as a maker in the world of fibre arts.

As a traditionally trained artist who has moved towards non-traditional processes and materials, Rachel will discuss her path from craftsperson to designer to artist. See her process evolve through a series of slides illustrating the history of her work.

Rachel is currently a resident artist at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. She has traveled throughout the world studying textiles. Rachel earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Fibers at the University of Washington in 2005.

The Sylvan Spirit

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC
7:45 (doors open at 7:30)


 GET TICKETS to Lorraine Roy 

Sometimes a tree is so much more than just a tree.

Join Lorraine Roy for a figurative walk in the woods: a survey of the ways that trees offer inspiration in both life and art. Her years of research into cultural, symbolic, and spiritual aspects will show how different cultures, present and past, have created a rich mythology around this arboreal object.

This living image is also fundamental to Lorraine’s own practice of layered fabric collage. From the beginning of her career, trees have provided both motif and motivation. Formally trained in agriculture and horticulture, Lorraine draws from a number of sources in her designing: biology, botany, environmental research, mythology, early and modern culture, literature, and spiritual writings.

This lecture will be illustrated with images from her own extensive body of work. Lorraine will also explain her artistic process whereby she is able to collage fabrics and threads in a painterly way.

Lorraine joins us from Ontario.

Off the Road in Bangladesh
with Charllotte Kwon

Thursday October 24, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC

 GET TICKETS to Threads 

Inspired by the 2012 visit of Living Blue to Vancouver, in 2013 the Maiwa Foundation was on the road again. Charllotte Kwon and a group of Maiwa staff landed in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and from there embarked on an epic journey through the tropical delta. What they saw astounded them: Bangladesh is one of the poorest nations on earth and yet there is an open optimism that the future will be better.

Join Charllotte as she retells the story of her 2013 visit. Inspired by Muhammad Yunus and his call to rethink the capitalist system in terms of social enterprise, Charllotte outlines the situation in Bangladesh and Maiwa’s reason for being there. Expect adventure, indigo, artistry, and textiles. The talk will be richly illustrated with still photographs and video clips.

An exhibition of textiles will be staged in the Net Loft.

To support the work of the foundation, the store will be open after the talk. Take advantage of a special 20% off everything in the store. All sales during this night go directly to the Maiwa Foundation.

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