WhiteFeather will be artist-in-residence at the Icelandic Textile Centre/ Textilsetur Íslands for the month of September 2016.
The one-month residency will be used to creatively materialize biogeographical data obtained through genomic sequencing. WhiteFeather will produce textile translations of her Norse/Icelandic DNA, which will include exploring geo-specific, natural/ecological dye methods with local flora (lichen) and sulphuric mud, as well as experimenting with using geothermal heat sources found in southern Iceland to develop new heat-set dye methods through burial. She will also collect fibres from the landscape, including fleece snags left by sheep herds on barbed wire fences and branches (September in Iceland is when the annual sheep round-up happens).
The Icelandic Textile Centre aims to promote or develop Icelandic and international textiles and to encourage research in the field of textile art and design. The residency is situated in a former Women’s college, and residents have access to the Kvennaskólinn Museum, the Textiles Museum and the tapestry of ‘Vatnsdæl’. The residency will also include instruction in traditional embroidery from centre director, Jóhanna Palmadóttir. This training is preparation for contributing to the Vatnsdælur Tapestry, a living textile record of an historical event representing the period from which WhiteFeather’s Norse ancestry has been traced.
Other events arising at the residency will include an end-of-month open studio event and group exhibition at Bílskúr Gallerí with other September residents.
WhiteFeather has also been invited, while in Iceland, to present a lecture to the students and faculty at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavík. Iceland Academy of the Arts offers the only university-level degrees in the arts in Iceland. WhiteFeather’s lecture, Biotextiles: Weaving Miniature Architectures for Live Cells will detail her projects with engineering mammalian tissue on textile scaffolds.
WhiteFeather gratefully acknowledges funding support for the residency from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des art et des lettres Québec (CALQ) and from the Textiles & Materiality Research Cluster of Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University. Also, in-kind support from Fluxmedia.