Skip the navigation
Search the Exhibitions
Search the Exhibition Close the search box

Perpetual Motion: Material Re-use in the Spirit of Thrift, Utility and Beauty

Date Mar 10, 2012 - Mar 10, 2013
Curated by Roxane Shaughnessy

Exhibition Overview

Combining the old with the new has been an enduring practice across centuries of textile production, providing a unique lens on the evolution of cultural histories, narratives and identities. In many cultures, cloth is precious, and cherished fabrics or worn out fragments have often been reused in inventive ways, employing techniques that have developed from utilitarian needs to a high level of sophistication. The reuse and reinvention of textiles to create new clothing and items for household use can been tied to scarcity, as well as to the high value placed on cloth for its aesthetic beauty and cultural weight.

Additional Information

As is evident in these artifacts from the permanent collection of the Textile Museum of Canada, the decorative possibilities that arose historically by integrating colourful fabric fragments into new forms have produced a repertoire of creative methods of reusing and recreating cloth. Scraps of leftover fabric are often stitched into patchwork or appliqué quilts, hooked to make rugs, or woven to create garments and floor coverings. All are elaborate examples of the ingenious ways in which valued cloth is transformed into new compositions across time and space. Evoking age-old ongoing cycles of tradition and innovation, the textiles in this gallery speak to the perpetual motion of human ingenuity and evolving skills and techniques in a global context.

Related Programs and Events

I2011_MagicSquares_rp

Curator’s Tour
Wednesday June 20, 6:30 pm
Join Roxane Shaughnessy in the galleries for a tour of Perpetual Motion: Material Reuse in the Spirit of Thrift, Utility and Beauty.
Free with admission.

Installation view (2012) Photo: Jill Kitchener
Installation view (2012) Photo: Jill Kitchener
Installation view (2012) Photo: Jill Kitchener
Installation view (2012) Photo: Jill Kitchener
Installation view (2012) Photo: Jill Kitchener
Installation view (2012) Photo: Jill Kitchener
Installation view (2012) Photo: Jill Kitchener
View Collection Artifacts from this Exhibition