Date: Jun 24 - Sep 3, 1995
Artist: Naomi London, Janet Morton
Curated by: Sarah Quinton
Knitting has been practiced throughout history in a variety of settings and for a variety of reasons, both functional and decorative. Around the world, knitting styles have become personalized and regionalized – some traditional patterns are identifiable with nationhood and political affiliation – others are anonymously produced for practical, often sentimental reasons. This 1995 exhibition featuring the work of artists Naomi London, Jean McRae and Janet Morton, examines these interconnected themes.
Knitting has been practiced throughout history in a variety of settings and for a variety of reasons, both functional and decorative. The three artists in this exhibition are engaged with the laborious process of knitting, with connections to sculpture, clothing, photography and performance.
In 1992, Naomi London (Montreal) organized The Sweater Project, a collection of non-functional garments that she commissioned to be made by a group of senior citizens.
In Two Walking Days (1992), Jean MacRae (Vancouver) knit "en plein-air," documenting her response to Vancouver's urban landscape.
In April 1995, Janet Morton (Toronto) spent 29 days knitting a giant-sized blanket - a public ritual titled Newsflash: Madame Defarge eat your heart out - containing daily headlines from the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and Toronto Sun newspapers.
London's impossible sweaters, Morton's knitted texts, and MacRae's pictures and symbols prod us to examine how we relate to common objects. These are imponderably tedious projects; quirky, invented working processes where humour, hard work and fantasy reside next to one another, simultaneously confounding and confirming what we think we know about knitting. London, MacRae and Morton expand our perceptions of knitting as a practical, solitary, intimate and economical activity by literally "taking it to the streets."