‘Embroidery as Contemporary Expression’ is a collaborative project between four textile designers and four women embroiderers from the Middle East and South Asian diaspora, now living in Toronto. A series of haptic drawing workshops led to the design and creation of eight embroideries that express the diasporic experience and the challenges of maintaining and adapting one’s cultural heritage in the face of profound life changes.
Working collaboratively with designers, the embroiderers composed creative pieces that mix abstract and representational images from the drawing process. The resulting embroideries include traditional technical and cultural skills, using embroidery as a powerful medium of expression while inventing new and highly personal aesthetic languages.
The project showcases both a medium that is frequently seen as quaint — embroidery — and the creative talent and potential of these embroiderers who have often been systematically marginalized in the Greater Toronto Area.