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Nature Unbound: Textile Museum of Canada presents Wild

Nature Unbound: Textile Museum of Canada presents Wild

Featured Image: Omar Badrin, ‘Lacuna’, 2018

On through March 15, 2020
ARTISTS: Carrie Allison, Omar Badrin, Catherine Blackburn, Emily Jan, Humboldt Magnussen GUEST CURATOR: Farah Yusuf

TORONTO, ON – The Textile Museum of Canada is proud to present Wild, from October 2, 2019 to March 15, 2020. Wild features the work of five emerging Canadian artists who make mischief of neat and tidy systems of classification.

Returning to the Museum for the first time since guest curating Eutopia in 2016, Farah Yusuf has selected a group of artists from across Canada that are redefining the way we relate to the changing environment and urban life. Through a range of textile processes and materials, they render fabulous flora and fauna that are defiantly aberrant, untamed, and uncultivated.

Wild builds on the Museum’s commitment to supporting emerging artists and presents opportunities for the artists to share their practice through public talks, teach-ins, workshops, and other creative programming. In partnership with OCAD U’s Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers and with the support of the Jean A. Chalmers Fund for the Crafts, the Museum will host Craft Futures in the Spring of 2020. This two-day event consists of a public panel discussion at the Museum, three artist talks at the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion on McCall Street, peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities, and studio visits with students from OCAD U.

“At the Textile Museum of Canada we are strategically engaged with next generation arts professionals. We are keen to reflect and embrace their take on today’s world. At times personal, other times political – and sometimes both – these artists are fantastic communicators of matters of imminent importance. We need to pay attention to them.” – Sarah Quinton, Curatorial Director

Carrie Allison honours endangered Indigenous plants of Nova Scotia through beaded sketches that contrast western systems of classification with Indigenous ways of knowing. Emily Jan expresses ecological concern for the world’s oceans and rainforests through her felted bestiaries of imaginary creatures. Catherine Blackburn pays tribute to her late grandparents, their traditional way of life, and the land that sustained the Densuline people for centuries. Omar Badrin confronts his experience of feeling alien as a visible minority through crocheted neon skins that are designed to stand out. Humboldt Magnussen engages costuming and ornamentation to defy masculine norms – their suite of masks helmets provides a safe space for personal transformation and the expression of a hidden inner nature.

Together, these artists push against established limits. Their imaginative creations propose new ecologies that – by their unique and uncompromising nature – are wild.


Curator’s Tour of Wild / Wednesday November 6 from 6:00-7:00 (free with admission)
Textile Teach-in: Crochet / Saturday October 19 from 1:00-4:00 (free with admission)
Textile Teach-in: Crochet / Wednesday October 30 from 5:30-7:30 (free with admission)
Textile Teach-in: Embroidery / Saturday November 9 from 1:00-4:00 (free with admission)
Textile Teach-in: Embroidery / Wednesday November 20 from 5:30-7:30 (free with admission)
Craft Futures: Public Panel / Saturday January 22 from 6:00-7:30

The Textile Museum of Canada is located in downtown Toronto (55 Centre Avenue) and is open daily 11-5 pm, Wed 11-8 pm. Visit for more information regarding all of our exhibitions and programs.

Farah Yusuf is an independent curator based in Toronto. Her practice explores themes of cultural identity, hybridity, language and technology. She has held curatorial residencies at the Textile Museum of Canada and Humber College Galleries and currently at the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers at OCAD University. She is the recipient of grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Association of Art Galleries, and Ontario Arts Council. Past curatorial projects include of movement and dwelling (2017), Eutopia (2016), Occupy Space (2016), and Corpus Lucida (2012). Yusuf holds an MA in Experimental Digital Media from the University of Waterloo and a BFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practices at OCAD University where she was awarded the Curatorial Practice Medal and Governor General’s Academic Medal.

Carrie Allison is an Indigenous, mixed-ancestry visual artist born and raised on unceded and unsurrendered Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC), with roots in High Prairie, Alberta. Situated in K’jipuktuk since 2010, Allison’s practice responds to her maternal Cree and Métis ancestry, thinking through intergenerational cultural loss and acts of reclaiming, resilience, resistance, and activism, as well as notions of allyship, kinship, and visiting. She uses beading to connect with histories, narratives, relatives, and ancestors. Allison often looks to the natural world; fascinated by
Mother Earth’s living beings they become the subjects of deep contemplation and interaction. Allison holds an MFA, a BFA, and a BA in Art History from NSCAD University, and has received grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Arts Nova Scotia, and Canada Council for the Arts.

Omar Badrin is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Badrin draws on his upbringing in Newfoundland as a transracial adoptee to explore race and cultural identity through textile and sculptural artworks. Badrin received his MFA at OCAD University in 2015, where he was awarded a graduate medal for his work in the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art Media and Design program. Badrin has exhibited nationally and has received project and travel grants from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. In 2017, Badrin received an Honorable Mention for the Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award from the Textile Museum of Canada.

Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak, SK. She is of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweller, whose common themes address Canada’s colonial past that are often prompted by personal narratives. Her art merges contemporary concepts with elements of traditional Dene culture to create dialogue between traditional art forms and new interpretations of them. Blackburn has been included in notable national and international exhibitions and fashion runways. She has received numerous grants and awards for her work, including a Governor General History Award, the Saskatchewan RBC Emerging Artist Award, the Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award, as well as her inclusion on the 2019 Sobey Art Award longlist.

Emily Jan is a Montreal-based artist and writer originally hailing from San Francisco, California, Jan creates intricately crafted, hyper-realistic installations of found objects inhabited by both handmade and found flora and fauna. These environments, like enterable museum dioramas, mix elements of high culture with low culture, science with mythology, and history with current affairs. Jan has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, and has been awarded the Excellence in Fibers Award 2017 (Fiber Art Now and the San Jose Textile Museum, USA) and the People’s Choice Award at Fiberarts International Triennale 2016 (Pittsburgh, USA). Jan holds an MFA from Concordia University (2014), a BA with Honours from Brown University, and a BFA with High Distinction from the California College of the Arts.

Humboldt Magnussen is an artist and curator hailing from rural Saskatchewan. Magnussen’s art practice investigates queer community and notions of safe space through a personal perspective. They are interested in how complicated notions of identity and gender/sexuality can be visualized. They have exhibited their work across Canada and internationally; notable exhibitions include “Every. Now.Then: Reframing Nationhood” at the Art Gallery of Ontario and “Show. 17” at the Idea Exchange. They are the co-founder (along with Marjan Verstappen) of Younger Than Beyoncé (YTB) Gallery, a nomadic artist-run centre in Toronto, Ontario. Magnussen holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at OCAD University focusing on performance art and masculinity studies and a BFA from Concordia University from 2011 in Studio Arts.

The Textile Museum of Canada has been exploring ideas and building cultural understanding through the universal medium of textiles since 1975. Connecting international textile traditions to contemporary art and design, this national museum is one of Canada’s most engaging arts institutions, welcoming thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world each year. The Museum’s permanent collection spans 2,000 years and consists of over 14,000 artifacts from 200 countries and regions, uniquely positioning the Museum to speak to global culture as well as our increasingly global communities. A leader in the digitization of collections and interactive environments, the Textile Museum of Canada is recognized for its innovation in the development of landmark educational, research, and creative initiatives. |

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