Introducing — Braiding Past Threads to Present Place

We are pleased to announce that we are launching a pilot program named Braiding Past Threads to Present Place, where eleven BIPOC, equity-seeking artists will gather ten times with skill holders from EartHand community from May to September this year to develop their own Ancestral Cloth projects and collectively identify unique challenges and opportunities in bringing the Ancestral Cloth model to different communities.

This BIPOC artist research cohort is comprised of Lex Battle, Sidi Chen, Sozi Tori Clark, Ada Dragomir, Daniela Guerrero-Rodriguez, Yasmine Haiboub, Kristin Man, Tiffany Muñoz, Xiangmei Su, Michelle Sound, and Rebecca Wang.

This group of artists all have some connections to fibre and textile art in their practices and are at different stages of their careers. By bringing them together, we hope to foster a supportive environment for them to share personal investigations into ancestral cloth traditions and provide opportunities for them to go on leading workshops for the EartHand and a wider community.

The gatherings will be offered in five themes: land-based work, fibres and plants, spinning, dying, and weaving. There will be two sessions on each theme to make up the total ten gatherings.

The community skill holders who will work with this BIPOC artist cohort are: Anna Heywood-Jones, Jen Hiebert, Cait Hurley, Meagan Innes, CZarina Lobo, and Sharon Kallis.

This project follows the “Ancestral Cloth Research Methodology” that emerged from paid online Ancestral Cloth Guilds (ACG) over 8 months of the pandemic. The inquiries of the program include

  • What is our relationship to the land where we live; where we access plants for colour and fibre — how do we deepen our roots and better understand/respect  traditions connected to this place?
  • Who were our ancestors? What stories do we know about where they lived regarding textile traditions and the plants with whom they were in relation? Do those plants live here too?
  • What skills are needed for  processing, spinning, dying and weaving; how can we build personal technical capacity to turn the plants/animals in our midst towards woven threads that our ancestors might recognize? 

This project is funded by