Craft Ontario

1106 Queen St. West
Toronto
M6J 1H9

info@craftontario.com
416-921-1721

HOURS:
Monday 11 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday & Wednesday 10 AM – 6 PM
Thursday ~ Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM
Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

Closed all major holidays.

Formerly the Ontario Crafts Council, Craft Ontario is a not-for-profit service organization that works to have craft recognized as a valuable part of life. We promote and celebrate professional craft through providing member opportunities, and advocate for craft practice by educating and empowering diverse audiences.

Our location hosts a gallery and shop, where you can experience the handmade work of over 250 craft artists throughout Canada.

THE THREADS WE CARRY, ACROSS BORDERS | PAR NAIR | APRIL 27 – JULY 7

the threads we carry, across borders is a solo exhibition of hand-embroidered textiles by Indian-born, Toronto-based artist Par Nair that examines the lived experiences of diaspora and complexities of intergenerational knowledge. Through these works, Par addresses traditional knowledge, cultural histories and family archives, while shedding light on stories and voices of people historically silenced in colonized spaces.

In the series ‘Letters of Haunting’, Par has hand embroidered letters of love and longing to amma (“mother”) on silk sarees. Dyed in bold orange and green, and unfurled to their full, impressive length, the sarees fill the gallery and demand attention. Their melancholic messages are amplified and unmissable. The sarees themselves have been passed through generations, highlighting the significance of textiles in the context of migration.

In ‘her stories were blue’, Par has hand embroidered intergenerational portraits of women on mundu and thorthu (common textiles in Kerala). Smiling and crowded together in familial intimacy, the subjects exude warmth and a sense of belonging. By carefully hand embroidering stories of mothers and daughters, Par aims to create safe spaces of healing.

The exhibition highlights needlework as a canonically underrepresented art practice while asking, how can diasporic bodies find belonging and healing? ‘the thread we carry, across borders’ unravels the intricate tapestry of South Asian diaspora through the lens of Indian textiles.

Par Nair (she/her) is an Indian-born interdisciplinary artist, researcher and educator who lives and makes in the Toronto area. Her practice centres hand embroidery, oil painting, installation, and creative writing to explore lived experiences of diaspora using decolonial methods and a return to ancestral practices.

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