In this interdisciplinary exhibition from the Textile Museum of Canada, landmark Canadian artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collections are integrated with the work of contemporary Canadian artists creating a dialogue of personal and cultural expressions across time and space. Celebrating the imagination of landscape and the human presence in and around it, Dreamland: Textiles and the Canadian Landscape introduces a seamless play of storytelling, whimsy, utility and materiality, speaking to a continuity of patterns and practices that locate the past in the present – and the present in the past. Drawing upon the Textile Museum of Canada’s rich archive of textiles that embodies a diversity of this country’s significant social histories, regional traditions and local stories, Dreamlandhighlights a shared imagination rooted in lived experience. Historically, Canadian textiles have often taken the form of vernacular objects, whether utilitarian and domestic items or community and individual expressions of life and landscape. Dreamland foregrounds such evidence of everyday lives in the form of hooked mats, hand-pieced quilts, handmade household articles and personal objects with stories that have dynamic links to specific regions, families and individuals.
Interwoven with these histories, contemporary artists from across the country offer artworks that emerge from the same impulses – precise articulations of place and memory, tradition and transformation, conveyed through diverse media including textiles, video, installation, sculpture, painting and performance. Artists include Amalie Atkins, Douglas Coupland, John Henry Fine Day, Jérôme Fortin, Grant Heaps, Jason McLean, Graeme Patterson, Ruth Scheuing, Michael Snow and Barbara Todd. Titled for the first book of poetry published in Canada in 1868 by Charles Mair, Dreamland is a lyrical collection of cultural and individual expressions of the deeply embedded presence of creativity in the Canadian landscape and the role of utopia, ingenuity and human affection in day-to-day lives.
Presented by the Textile Museum of Canada with the generous support of the Textile Museum Volunteer Association.
Curated by Shauna McCabe, Natalia Nekrassova, Sarah Quinton, and Roxane Shaughnessy.