Learning & Knowing | Exhibition

Normal Wear and Tear

Anie Toole


Normal Wear and Tear explores natural colorants with iron as a modifier to darken, sadden, patina or destroy the textile fibre. The woven crossings are a metaphor for communication and family relationships as a part of a larger scheme. The mixture of locally grown (Quebec) and exotic dyes on maritime wools tells the story of the vestiges of time. Lake dyes, usually discarded after the dye bath, give color to the register of interventions on the warps and wefts, noting the placement in the warp through coded sections, the duration of the dip and the concentration of the solution.

I weave cloth that is emotional and mathematical. The starting point to my work is the memories and relationships evoked by the patterns and motifs of clothing and decor from heritage textiles. Multi-layer weave structures are resolved using a mathematical approach and extensive sampling. In contrast, my approach to natural dyes and embellishments is intuitive.

The transmission of textile knowledge is done through sample books and using various notation. I ask, how do you write cloth? How similar is the cloth reconstructed from its recipe to the original one? My practice materializes the slippages that occur from this —and other— translations.

Clothmaking and printmaking are both series of repeated gestures and manipulations of specific tools. Every thread goes through my hand’s multiple times through processes of natural dyes, mechanical resists, weaving, unweaving, overdyeing and hand-finishing. The soft structure of fibers allows me to transform the work in space.