Threads Through Time Touring Exhibition
Weaving Cultural Identities: Threads Through Time is an extension of the original 2018 project: Weaving Cultural Identities, which featured 10 small scale prayer rugs designed and woven by artists from Indigenous and Islamic communities.
This multipart project is a collaborative exploration of weaving traditions and histories. For this phase of the project, the Vancouver Biennale invited Indigenous and multi-ethnic weavers to engage in conversations about migration, colonization and the subsequent demarcations of unceded lands.
The weavers have created five individual woven works, channeling their experience of the land through the voices of their ancestors. Inspired by this dialogue and in honouring these experiences, a team of Jacquard weavers and a Muslim graphic designer created a large border which holds these weavings together, cumulating to 31 x 15 foot rug. In this border, a poem by Muslim poet Efemeral is woven into the fabric in Arabic, reflecting the weavers’ acknowledgment and respect to Muslim migrant experiences.
They were exiled from their mosques
And in their mosques martyred
So in the expanse of their exile and martyrdom
They built a mosque
The Weaving Cultural Identities project was inspired by Saudi Arabian artist, Ajlan Gharem’s public installation Paradise Has Many Gates, a chain-link mosque installed in Sen̓áḵw – Vanier Park, Vancouver BC as part of the 2018-2020 Vancouver Biennale curatorial theme: “re-IMAGE-n”. By reimagining Vancouver’s Indigenous and migrant communities’ loss of identity and sacred traditions through displacement, we can work towards reintroducing traditional practices that reflect spiritual healing and cultural restoration.
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