denirée isabel: Barkcloth and Me
Posted: Aug 18th, 2023 | Gathering

As part of the digital component of Gathering, the Textile Museum partnered with the curatorial collective Mending the Museum. denirée isabel was one of six artists invited to interpret pieces from the Textile Museum’s collection.

denirée created the interactive PDF Barkcloth and Me in response to a fragment of bark cloth from Venezuela.  Learn more about the Mending the Museum project here. Click on the link below to view denirée’s work .

Barkcloth and Me (2023) 

Follow denirée isabel as she investigates the relationship between herself and the origins of Barkcloth: from Northern South America, Venezuela. Informed by the artist’s own ancestry DNA results, we explore the regions of the world that make up the ethnography of Venezuela. Through native trees, we speculate which of these could have contributed to this object and draw on the artist’s personal reflections, all in the pursuit of understanding an object that has little to no information about its origins, cultural significance or how it came to exist as the sole object from that region of the world to be within the Textile Museum of Canada’s collection.  

denirée isabel is an artist, educator, and dreamer interested in large scale installation, performance, and participatory/community art. Navigating the sticky terrains of emotionality and presence, she creates spaces (physically and symbolically) that prioritizes sharing and healing. While upholding an ethos of experimentation, curiosity, and care.  

With a BFA in Textiles a minor in Art History from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, an advanced diploma in Textiles from Sheridan College. She has completed residencies in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Harbourfront Center, Sur Gallery and The Powerplant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, Ontario. She exhibits regularly in Toronto and Halifax.  



Below is the image of the fragment that inspired denirée. Learn more about the pieces in our online collection by clicking on the live links below.

Bark Cloth [T85.0282]
South America: Northern South America, Venezuela, 1900 – 1970
Gift of Ron Simpson to the Textile Museum of Canada

This work is created as part of Gathering, the inaugural installation of our new Collection Gallery, featuring community stories told through our global collection. Grounded in community participation, the installation presents over 40 pieces from the Museum’s permanent collection of over 15,000 objects from around the world. Choices of objects, responses, and retellings were gathered via open online calls for reflection, through partnerships with local organizations, and through artists’ interventions. Gathering explores themes related to migration and diaspora, the search for comfort in the domestic and familial, reclamation of ancestral traditions through contemporary artistic responses, and the relationship between textiles and the environment. 

This project is made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now Strategy Initiative.

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