REVIEW: The Poetics of Textiles

by - Saturday, October 27, 2018

On October 16, 2018 Tim McLaughlin delivered his lecture "The Poetics of Textiles" to the Maiwa audience. It was a wide ranging lecture touching on Carlyle's Philosophy of Clothes, John Ruskin, William Morris, Craft and Craftspeople, India, and our relationship with handmade things. Tim brought in Pablo Neruda's Ode to Things and drew a line from poetry all the way to Iris Van Herpen's fantastically staged contemporary clothing.

Tim McLaughlin's lecture was introduced by Charllotte Kwon:

It is a pleasure for me to be the one introducing Tim McLaughlin’s lecture this evening

Many of you here know Tim McLaughlin and know all that he does to make Maiwa shine.  But I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Tim McLaughlin - the artist, the writer, the chemist, the book designer, the ink maker, the photographer, the traveler, the film maker .  .  .

Tim holds an MA in Philosophy of Science from the University of Western Ontario.  For over 25 years he was active in experimental radio and hypertext fiction - for which he is included in the Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. In 2014 Tim took second prize in the PX3 Paris Photo Competition for his photos - Portraits Found and Taken.  In 2015 and 2017 Tim was appointed Shadbolt Community Scholar, graduate Liberal Studies, Simon Fraser University.  Tim has written for Hali Magazine, The Victoria & Albert Museum magazine and Surface Design magazine among many others.  Tim’s work is regularly exhibited in gallery spaces in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.  He co-wrote (with me) - the book -  Textiles of the Banjara published by Thames and Hudson - but in addition - you may not realize - he designed the entire book.

Tim is a designer extraordinaire - and in fact before coming to Maiwa, Tim was a sought after graphic designer.  After we contracted him to do the graphics for our huge exhibition in 2002 at the Vancouver Museum called Through the Eye of a Needle: Stories from an Indian Desert we found ways to keep him gainfully employed at Maiwa ever since.  Tim is one of the most creative people I have ever met.  He truly lives “the creative life” - He has a daily writing, drawing, painting, calligraphy practice and it is delightful to live amongst its midst. I get to be the recipient of many, many exquisite letters that come from imaginary countries - countries that he has mapped; designed the commemorative stamps for imaginary leaders and statutory holidays.  He created his own Saffron Gin and then designed an entire campaign for a launch of it in India.  I believed this for some weeks until I realized all his copy, drawings, meetings etc were fabricated.

He is often up in the wee hours making extracts from plants for inks and pigments, photographing in perfect tender morning light, cooking journals in the oven, painting portraits with iron gall ink, writing letters, writing New Yorker reviews for imaginary books.  You know - normal 6 am activities.

This evening Tim will take us on a journey of his musings - The Poetics of Textiles - so aptly named for a journey only Tim could take us on.

See all REVIEWS on the Maiwa Blog.

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