ThreadsThrough Time and Weaving Cultural Identities
October 26, 2023 - March 17, 2024
The Vancouver Biennale is a non-profit charitable organization that exhibits great art in public space, creating a catalyst for learning, community engagement, dialogue, and social action.
Opening this fall, we are pleased to host two travelling exhibitions from the Vancouver Biennale program titled Threads Through Time and Weaving Cultural Identities. The exhibitions feature weaving as a central practice and an important cultural life-force of Muslim and Indigenous communities, transcending time, space and language.
Threads Through Time is a manifestation inspired by the monumental public art installation Paradise Has Many Gates: a life-size chain-link mosque created by the Saudi Arabian artist Ajlan Gharem installed at Sen̓áḵw – Vanier Park, Vancouver. During its installation for the 2018-2020 Vancouver Biennale exhibition, the artwork inspired a historic collaboration amongst Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Islamic weavers and designers. For Threads Through Time the Muslim community and Jacquard weavers responded to the mosque, creating a 15’ x 32’ prayer rug covering the floor. The second exhibition Weaving Cultural Identities features 10 woven artworks as part of the dialogue inspired by Gharem’s mosque.
The second exhibition Weaving Cultural Identities features 10 woven artworks as part of the dialogue inspired by Ghartme’s mosque. For this exhibition, textile artists and graphic artists from diverse cultural backgrounds were asked to collaborate based on their own experience and histories, creating a series of works that celebrate the rich significance of textile arts, with a focus on the payer rug and weaving traditions. Together, participating artist developed a platform and process for community dialogue through arts-based discussions around often complex issues of belonging, diaspora, assimilation and honouring the land.