Catalogue Launch Event
March 1, 2022, 5-6 pm EST
FREE – Online through Zoom
Presented by the Textile Museum of Canada in partnership with the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University.
The bilingual (French/English) catalogue is published by the Textile Museum of Canada and co-published by the Owens Art Gallery with additional support from the Art Gallery of Guelph. It will be available for $49.95 on February 15, 2022 at the Textile Museum of Canada Shop, the Art Gallery of Guelph Shop, and the Owens Art Gallery or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna Torma holds the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts – Saidye Bronfman Award and is known for her wild, fantastic imagery in cloth. For decades, she has revealed her inner thoughts about an unknown hostile presence, in a way that values handcrafted textiles as integral to a family’s ecology of mutual care and humanity.
In a compilation of interviews with the artist, exhibition curator Sarah Quinton foregrounds Torma’s voice to create new resonance with her personal narratives and social commentary: “Our very existence is in danger… Our living conditions, our ability to survive, depend on ecological thinking: the realization that the earth is a closed system, that everything is connected.”
Emily Falvey, Director/Curator of the Owens Art Gallery, offers a deep contemplation that focuses on Torma’s work Carpet of Many Hands. The author takes this monumental, stitched collage as a point of departure for a personal meditation on the relationship between trauma, the feminine, and the grotesque.
Art historian Anne Koval explores the artist’s personal history, how her interests in embroidery evolved matrilineally as her first language of expression and uses feminist strategies of diary-keeping, touch, and excess in her work.
Literary critic Kirsty Bell’s recent essay on Anna Torma and her artist-husband and sons reflects on the narratives in their work. More broadly, she is also interested in visual stories and the ways in which Torma integrates text into her textile art.
Catalogue designer Lauren Wickware has responded to Anna Torma’s stitched forms with a bold design that accentuates their minute gestures and magnificent physicality. In her trademark manner, she has elegantly extended the artwork’s materiality with a rigorous play of colour and texture. The book brims with luscious, detailed images of Torma’s distinctive stitched forms and tactile narratives.
Anna Torma: Permanent Danger
Exhibition curated by Sarah Quinton and organized by the Textile Museum of Canada
Authors: Emily Falvey, Anne Koval, Sarah Quinton
Catalogue designed by Lauren Wickware
ISBN 978-0-9809-0889-3 (hardcover)
112 colour pages
The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation has generously supported this exhibition and catalogue, helping to secure Anna Torma’s stature in New Brunswick’s visual arts communities and ensuring her well-deserved legacy. Carole Tanenbaum made a significant financial contribution to the catalogue that deepens the Textile Museum’s commitment to bringing visibility to artists working in the context of today’s challenging socio-economic and cultural environments. We are extremely fortunate to have received funding for Permanent Danger from the Canada Council for the Arts–Arts Across Canada program. Without this assistance, the catalogue and associated programs in Toronto, Guelph, and Sackville would not have been possible.
The Textile Museum of Canada aims to inspire understanding of the human experience through textiles. We are the only museum in Canada delivering programs and exhibitions dedicated solely to textile arts. The Museum ignites creativity, inspires wonder, and sparks conversation through the stories held within our global collection of textiles, and active engagement with contemporary art practices. For more information, visit: textilemuseum.ca, @textilemuseumofcanada, and #TextileMuseumofCanada, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Image: Anna Torma, Permanent Danger (detail), 2017, Hand embroidery and reverse appliqué on 3 layers of linen, silk thread, double sided, 206 x 125cm, Courtesy the artist. Photo by Darren Rigo.
Textile Museum of Canada
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