in 2017, after a year of work/studies in Fibre & Material Practices at Concordia University, Montreal, Coates decided university was not the form of education she craved and set off on her own again.
a series of research, residencies, and short courses would follow and quickly become the path to pursue.
(photo by Carl Atiyeh)
mid may I gave myself a holiday. a 12 day journey to Bali and full blown immersion of it's culture for cloth. lead by the wisdom and guidance of Threads of Life and an incredible team of women weavers from the eastern region of Seraya, I, along with 4 other women, were given the opportunity to deepen our knowledge of Balinese ikat, natural dyes and backstrap loom weaving.
the following is a glance at the process and resulting piece I have to hold in my hands and feel from the experience. (tune into to my research for more)
step 1 - wind the warp. step 2 - prep the loom. step 3 - plan weft ikat design & tie resist. step 4 - indigo dip, dry, repeat. step 5 - partial untie & morinda root over dye. step 6 - fully untie, unwind, split and rewind. step 7 - weave & watch magic unfold.
the back strap
Threads of Life Weaving Week
Umajati Retreat, Ubud, Bali
about Threads of Life, Bali
'Threads of Life is a fair trade business that works with culture and conservation to alleviate poverty in rural Indonesia. The heirloom-quality textiles and baskets we commission are made with local materials and natural dyes to an exquisite standard usually only seen in museums.
They work directly with over 1,000 women on 11 islands across Indonesia, helping weavers to form independent cooperatives, to recover the skills of their ancestors, to manage their resources sustainably, and to express their culture identity while building their financial security.'
learn more about their work and upcoming workshops
a heaping pile of scraps, found and recycled fabrics, 14 days of puzzling, and 5.5 metres of patchwork yardage later, I constructed my very first saree. 'Stitched between Seams' is a meditation on my own migration between Canada and India. an exploration into the makings of identity and questioning of the embedded meaning, memories and emotions we attach to our clothing.
for everyday we see how the saree is worn, reused and repurposed. first draped on the body, washed and hung out to dry on the line. then torn to use as a rag or carry vegetables to the market. it's remaining pieces later stitched back together to make blankets or shawls.
the life of the saree has always reflected many cycles mine has simply been stitched in reverse.
part of a residency on migration
curated by the Kakar Art Collective
Art Ichol, Madhya Pradesh
about the residency
held at the incredible Art Ichol, a creative escape some 8km from the city of Maihar, this residency was an opportunity for 7 female artists from various corners of the world to come together and discuss, question and reflect upon the topic of migration. be it political or personal, local or international, we each came with our own story and shared a collective experience throughout the two weeks. accompanied by daily sessions in and out of the studio, the resulting impact came to be so much more than a culmination of artworks alone.
Disjoints & Dislocations | curated by Katharina Kakar and hosted by Ambica Beri alongside her outstanding team at Art Ichol, in the company of Ketna Patel, Megha Joshi, Karuna B. Sukka, Priyal & Julia Klemm, with documentation and interviews by Carl Atiyeh.
works on view at Art Ichol, Madhya Pradesh