Textile Museum exhibition celebrates history of floral designs

Amanda McCavour, Neon Bloom 2014 – 15, Thread/machine embroidery
Amanda McCavour, Neon Bloom 2014 – 15, Thread/machine embroidery

The Textile Museum of Canada has announced a new exhibition celebrating the richness of garden compositions and floral designs in the TMC’s global collection of textiles.

Bliss: Gardens Real and Imagined opens on Wednesday, May 4th and features over 70 historical works from around the world in addition to the work of contemporary artists Zachari Logan, Joanne Lyons and Amanda McCavour. 

From the legendary “winter carpets” of Persian kings embellished with spring blossoms of rubies and diamonds, to a simple quilt composed of floral fabrics, flower vocabulary has been a continuous element of textile design, bringing echoes of lush gardens indoors to transform interiors of grand palaces and modest homes. The very ubiquity of textiles and their universality provides a unique lens to explore the iteration of beauty in a single form – the flower – and the endless exploration of the abundance of nature by artists and artisans who have transformed its sensations in vast and varied colours, shapes and textures. Their visual language has persisted across nations and generations, imbuing everyday lives with inspiration and delight.

Drawing from the Textile Museum of Canada’s international collection, Bliss encompasses a world of floral design, exploring the age-old theme of gardens, real and imagined, that has nurtured textile arts for centuries. Bringing together a variety of aesthetics, styles and techniques, the exhibition offers insight into cultural and historical nuances produced from a single design source – from Persian wall hangings and Ottoman rugs to European printed fabrics, Indonesian batiks, Central Asian embroideries and Japanese and Chinese garments. The work of three Canadian artists further extends the investigation of the garden’s symbolic power in the 21st century; Zachari Logan, Joanne Lyons and Amanda McCavour explore the concept of beauty and our relationship to nature in their mixed media work, re-situating traditional imagery in a contemporary context.

Bliss: Gardens Real and Imagined is open to the public May 4 – September 18, 2016. For more information, click here.