Katy Biele: Something to Hang on to
Posted: Mar 22nd, 2023 | Gathering

The digital work you see below is an artistic response by Katy Biele to a yarn painting by artist Francisco Carillo from Nayarit, Mexico. Something to Hang on to is in the form of a video (6m 3s) and an embroidered textile work. Through this response, Biele highlights three main subjects that she personally tries to pay homage to on a daily basis the Cosmos or the non-material world, her ancestors, in particular the women in her family tree, and Mother Earth. These are the things that Biele hang on to for strength and guidance when she practices her own rituals such as meditation. 

Shown below is Biele’s embroidered artwork temporarily installed in the forest as part of the creation of the video; an act that completed the documentation process for the artist.

Below is the image of the object in the collection that inspired Biele to create her response. Learn more about this piece in our online collection by clicking on the live link below.

Yarn Painting by Francisco Carillo [TS03.23.124]
North America: Mexico, Nayarit, 1940 – 1990
Gift of Penny Bateman to the Textile Museum of Canada

Katy Biele (B. 1986) is a multidisciplinary artist from Chile, based in Victoria, BC, Canada. Her visual language explores beyond medium and color to create imaginary and intuitive worlds, often inhabited by faces and communicating between paint and fibre. Biele’s work ranges from paintings, fibre art, to expansive installations, using a variety of mediums and materials. Her fibre work is made in a freestyle manner in which she creates contemporary embroidery textures by playing with Latin-American colors.  

Another component of Katy Biele’s work is her painting style, in which she works principally on faces staring out from a parallel reality of imaginary people and vague memories showing family and peoples’ connections. Biele works constantly on commissions for collectors, projects and also releases from her website.

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 video is part of a digital project generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now initiative.

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