The wilds exhibition in the textile museum of Canada is one of the most significant showcases ever to be presented. The exhibition started in October 2019 presenting works of five emerging Canadian artists who used contemporary methods of textile making to showcase innovative and modern designs where the artists made mischief of neat and tidy systems of classification. The principal curator for the Wild exhibition was Farah Yusuf, who was making a second return since 2016, where he presented the group of artists from across Canada, who redefined how people relate to the changing environment and urban life (TMC, 2019). Through a range of textile processes and material., the artists rendered fabulous flora and fauna, which are defiantly uncultivated and untamed.
The Wild exhibition is built on the museum’s pledge of supporting emerging artists and presented opportunities where artists shared their prowess and expertise. This was by making public talks and lectures, presenting their works in workshops, and also undertaking another creative programming that entailed exhibiting their designs in textiles and apparel techniques and designs of the 21st century. Through partnerships, the artists ensured to showcase how the modern changes with regards to fashion and textiles have been affected, motivated, and inspired upcoming artists and students on various opportunities there are in the changing world of textiles (TMC, 2019). This was through a public panel discussion at the Museum, engaging in peer to peer mentorship programs, and making studio visits with students.
In the Wild exhibition, each of the artists has an opportunity to share their work with a major focus on their craft pieces that are focused towards challenging the environment, identity and culture as well as those that show crochet and beadwork. They will also have a chance to give a free talk at the OCAD U Rosalie Sharp pavilion where each of them will present their journey as upcoming artists and how their skills and proficiency have grown over time more so after the art school. The major topics considered include collaboration, apprenticeships, advanced education, grants and awards and studio residencies.
The major aspect being portrayed during the Wild exhibitions are the flora and fauna that have defiantly been uncultivated, untamed and aberrant (TMC, 2019). The museum contains a collection of over 13,000 textiles from distinct regions globally which serve to present an history of these areas of over 2000 years. The textiles are presented in different approaches including carpets, garments, fabric, artifacts and ceremonial cloths. It contains a collection of exhibitions that are drawn from different contemporary works of various artists as well as those that have been developed for the museum itself.
An essential significance feature of the exhibition was the fact that artists were allowed to be innovative and creative in their designs as a way of showcasing the changing trends in the textile industry in the 21str century., This allowed the viewers to explore areas that they ought to improve in, more so for the upcoming artists (TMC, 2019). Through innovative and creative ideas, the five artists who were showcasing in the exhibition also got to inspire younger generations of artists about coming out of the box and doing the best to generate textile designs that were environmentally friendly, and that inspired the future generations.
Carrie Allison, one of the artists in the exhibition, showcased pikes that were inspired and also honored by endangered Indigenous plants of Nova Scotia through beaded sketches. The sketches contrasted the western systems of classification by incorporating the indigenous ways of knowing. On the other hand, Emily Jan, a second artist, expressed her ecological concerns, mostly on the world’s rainforest and oceans, by use of her felted bestiaries of imaginary creatures. A third artist, who was Catherine Blackburn, through her textile designs, paid tribute to her late grandparents, where she was more interested in the traditional way of life and also had a theme of the land which sustained the Densuline people for centuries. A fourth artist at the exhibition was Omar Badrin confronted his experience of feeling alien as a visible minored by using crocheted neon skins, which were designed to stand out in most of his pieces. Finally, Humboldt Magnussen used ornamentation and costuming as a way of defying masculine norms. In his designs, the artists used mask elements as a way of showcasing and providing a safe space for people to have personal transformation and express their hidden inner nature.
The event offers the five artists an opportunity to explore and share their opportunities, identify their unique techniques as well as the engage in a one-on-one activity that allows investing for the future cohort of craft-based artists. The wild plays an important role to the overall function of the museum. Since, the museum forms an important aspect as the H.N. Pullar library, the Wild exhibition with, therefore, form a unique source of reference for the non-industrial textiles. The exhibition also connects artists from various background and recent graduates to take part the direct interactions and on-campus studio visits. To the Canadian and other visitors, the exhibitions within the museums have been used to create music and dance performances, public tours, school programs, workshops, round-table discussions and lectures that contribution a remarkable role in the education sector (TMC, 2019). The Wild exhibition contributes greatly by offering focused conversation, mentorship, relationship building and direct engagement. The publications and exhibitions within the museum have been associated with several awards such as the: Thor Hanse, a terrible beauty, Canadian Tapestry, Cloth and Clay.