Weaving Cultural Identities: Conversations between Now and Then

27 September 2023
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Driving from Vancouver to the Museum of Surrey you get a sense of being in-between. The landscape changes from dense city to farmland as you drive over a bridge, through a tunnel, and under a river. At the museum, layers of belonging, displacement, diaspora, the land, and identity greet you. A schoolhouse, a cabin, a town hall from another time. A textile dye garden alongside these layers of history tells you that this is a place that continues to consider ways of bringing the spaces between land, people, and cloth together.

01 Dyegarden

The dye garden outside the museum. 

On the day I visited, there was an exhibit of mythical creatures—unicorns, dragons, and mermaids—and a historical collection of cars, clothing, and items that belonged to the settlers and Indigenous peoples of this place. In the Indigenous Hall, nestled within these conversations between now and then, real and imaginary, sits the Weaving Cultural Identities exhibition. Commissioned by the Vancouver Biennale and created through a collaboration between designers and artists, this collection of prayer rugs considers the many ways that cloth can tell stories and create connection.

All photos by Amanda Wood unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © Amanda Wood except as indicated.
image description: a dark-haired woman smiles directly into the camera

About Amanda Wood

Amanda Wood is a hand weaver, artist, and educator. A graduate of the Capilano University Textile Arts program, and an active member of the Canadian Guild of Weavers, she teaches materials driven workshops in her studio and online at the School of Sweet Georgia. Her workshops are places of exploration, compassion, and engagement with materials. Guided by the temporality, materiality and physicality of her hand weaving practice, Amanda is currently working with materials and processes that also rely on skill and hand work such as photography, and printmaking.

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