Current Exhibitions

Alex Kinsley
FEATURED MEMBER

Kinsley’s work explores his personal and cultural identity defined by the environment of Hamilton, ON. His recent work, Iron Identity evokes and commemorates this identity through the use of oxides, coarse finishing, and the use of steel.

VIEW MORE WORK

SECURITY BLANKET: Embroidered textiles by Jennifer Smith-Windsor

COSBRussiaDetail

Image: Jennifer Smith-Windsor. 'SECURITY BLANKET: Russia' (Detail), 2018. Vintage military issue blanket, vintage doilies and lace, embroidery floss. 196cm x 136cm. Photo by Chris Snow.

As of April 8, 2021, the Craft Ontario Gallery is temporarily closed during Stay-at-home orders

The crisis of the global COVID-19 pandemic has drawn into sharp focus our collective global vulnerability against the threat of an unknown enemy. It has forced us to change our habits, from the way we work, shop, travel exercise, and perhaps most importantly, greet and visit friends and loved ones. It has forced us to ask critical questions such as: What does it mean to be safe and secure? How can we protect ourselves, our families, our friends and strangers? How can we secure our country from incoming, potentially unseen threats?

Coming at a time when we are all searching for comfort and the assurance that we will be safe, the SECURITY BLANKET series seeks to explore the above questions and more. The first object to touch a newborn baby, the blanket offers warmth and reassurance, but the blanket continues to be an object associated with well-being and security long after early childhood. Security is defined as a state of being safe and free from worry, but is there more to its meaning than initially suggested by this dictionary definition? SECURITY BLANKET explores two notions of security. First, the security of the home – represented by antique, handmade domestic textiles such as doilies and lace. And second, the security of the state – represented by eight government-issue military blankets from Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. These repurposed objects constitute a blank canvas onto which another layer of meaning can be added to their already nuanced histories. The intricate patterning created by the use of traditional embroidery stitches integrates these two divergent representations of security on both a physical and conceptual level, producing works of visually interesting contrast that provoke the viewer to consider their own relationship to home, comfort, safety and security.

Jennifer Smith-Windsor is a textile artist based in Stratford, Ontario. She was the 2019 recipient of the Craft Ontario Helen Frances Gregor Award for excellence in contemporary textile and in 2010 received the Mary Diamond Butts Scholarship in Embroidery and Needlecraft, also from Craft Ontario. Jennifer’s art practice focuses almost exclusively on hand embroidery. When hand stitching, she deliberately uses a limited range of stitches, exploring the wealth of possibilities that this restricted repertoire offers. Vintage, handmade textiles figure prominently in her work as reclaiming them and giving them a second life is incredibly important to her. They act as her starting point, a blank canvas onto which another layer of meaning can be added. She has always been drawn to cloth; embroidering as a child, sewing her own clothes as a teenager, studying textiles at university, working in theatre costume departments as a young adult and now with an active textile art practice. It is cloth’s intimate relationship to the body, its ubiquity in our lives, its associations with the home, its links to the past and its relevance to the future that continues to inspire her.

www.jennifersmith-windsor.com

Craft Ontario exhibitions are supported by the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.

OAC  TAC LOGOS 450w

 

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - Australia, 2020
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 82" x 53"

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - Australia (detail), 2020
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 82" x 53"

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - Great Britain, 2020
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 85" x 73"

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - Italy, 2017
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 76" x 61"

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - Russia, 2018
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 75" x 54"

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - Germany, 2021
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 68" x 54"

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - Germany (detail), 2021
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 68" x 54"

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - United States, 2019
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 76" x 64"

Jennifer Smith-Windsor. Security Blanket - Canada, 2018
Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 68" x 55"

Who We Are

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.