Textile Museum of Canada - Digital Threads

How to use Digital Threads

If you are a student (secondary or postsecondary)

  1. Choose one of the five artworks to research as a topic for an essay or as inspiration for your own digital artwork. You can also investigate how the artists explore similar ideas in different ways. For instance, how do they approach geography? How do they approach the passage of time?
  2. Choose a few key ideas in one of the five themes to focus on for a research project. For instance, in Clothing and Communication, consider these questions: what ideas or emotions do different styles of clothing communicate? How do they communicate these ideas or emotions? Examine the related exhibitions and follow the links to Collection Connections. View the online records of the Textile Museum of Canada’s collection in order to frame answers to these questions, and to raise new paths of inquiry.
  3. After exploring the five themes, five artists’ projects and several of the related exhibitions and collection textiles, go to the Studio to try out different ways to combine components the artists have used in their projects.

If you are a teacher

  1. Each of the five artist projects can lead to investigations of related material. For instance, after viewing Scheuing’s site, Walking the Line, your students may want to spend some time on Google Earth. Chan’s site, Everyday Blue, Green, Red and Yellow, may provoke a desire to find out more about the Orchid Pavilion and the traditions associated with poetry in Confucian China. Berzowska’s narrative piece may lead to a discussion of styles of journaling, or to an inquiry into technological textiles. Thomas’s Great Tree of Peace can stimulate an inquiry into the many ways peace can be sought as a worldwide goal. Angus’ Til Death Do Us Part may suggest an inquiry into the “collecting bug” – what makes people collect things? Do all people collect the same kinds of things?
  2. The online database of 50 exhibitions and thousands of textiles provides a valuable research tool for educators and their students to use in investigating a variety of topics in disciplines such as visual art, fashion and anthropology.
  3. The Studio offers an introduction to a learning modality known as “in the style of….”. Students experiment with the different styles of experienced artists, deconstructing and reconfiguring components as they develop their own maturing styles.

If you are a lifelong learner

As a many-layered online experience, Digital Threads offers a variety of entry points. Here are a few suggestions for a freewheeling, curiosity-driven exploration of the site.

  1. Move through the artist projects one by one, revealing their hidden insights and surprises as you go. After you have seen all the artworks, go back to one of the themes and follow the links to the related Textile Museum of Canada exhibitions. Each exhibition description offers morsels of the history of contemporary Canadian textile art and of the state of life in Canada in the last 20 years.
  2. Look at one artist site in depth and then explore the related exhibitions. The Textile Museum of Canada’s exhibitions are at the vanguard of a worldwide interest in connections between traditional and contemporary expressions of culture.
  3. Look at one exhibition site in depth by examining images of its installation and its textiles. Click on Collection Connections, which will take you to the online records of TMC textiles that appeared in the exhibition. Now you can search for related objects in the Textile Museum of Canada’s database of textiles from around the world.
  4. When you have finished exploring, go to the Studio to experiment with elements of the five artists’ projects.
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