Drawing into Threads is a collective of textile artists, designers, embroiderers, researchers and civil society advocates spread between Toronto, Karachi and Islamabad. Each of us have varied expertise, and these drawings and embroideries trace the encounter between our different worlds. All the works presented here are made collectively; no single author or lead exists. Done in Toronto and given to embroiderers in Pakistan, they were used as prompts for further creative exploration. The resulting embroideries were sent back to Toronto to spur additional drawings, repeating the cycle for nearly ten years, culminating in this multifaceted group of collaborative pieces.
Drawing into Threads would like to acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Thea Haines, Shelagh Keeley, Samina Mahmud, Farzana Jabeen, Siddiqa Malik and Nasira Omer.
About Munira Amin
Munira Amin is a product designer and cofounder with Rachel MacHenry of Handwork Studio. Local crafts and cultures inspire her, and she is interested in sustaining traditional making and collaborating with artisans. She has worked with artisan communities for most of her professional career. She has been involved in initiatives around the world, including providing design consultation, product development, technical and market-readiness support and training to a variety of artisan-focused enterprises, including government trade facilitation offices, UNESCO, artisan organizations, international development institutions, importers, design companies and brands in Pakistan, Canada, Peru, Chile, India and the UAE.
About Ana Galindo
Ana Galindo is a Toronto-based designer. Her work experience spans over 30 years, from working for the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City to teaching textile design in the USA and Canada. Her professional areas of expertise relate to graphic design, repeat-pattern design (analogue and digital) and embroidery.
About Ganaele Langlois
Ganaele Langlois is a textile researcher and practitioner. Her book, How Textile Communicates: from Codes to Cosmotechnics, is coming out in January 2024. She researches how handmade textile work builds local and transnational communities and the importance of traditional textile techniques in creating sustainable environments.
About Rachel MacHenry
Rachel MacHenry is a designer, researcher, educator and partner with Munira Amin in Handwork Studio. She has extensive international experience developing textiles and craft objects in collaboration with artisan communities in Nepal, India, Pakistan, Peru and elsewhere for public and private sector clients, including international projects for the Government of Canada and UNESCO. Her design work focuses on inclusive and sustainable practices and community-focused design and has been shown and sold internationally, as well as being included in several museum collections.
About Imran Shehzad
Imran Shehzad has worked as a professional embroiderer since he was in his teens. He was trained by a family member in traditional embroidery skills and has worked in the field for over 20 years. He supports his family with his highly skilled work.
About Tahir Hussain Shah
Tahir Hussain Shah supports his family through his work as a professional embroiderer and is known for his abilities in aar work (traditional hook stitches), as well as a wide variety of other textural and dimensional stitches.
About Muhammed Naheed
Muhammed Naheed has worked as an embroidery artisan since the age of 9 and supports his family through his skills. His expertise includes many 3-D embroidery techniques, as well as the hooked chain stitch.
Farhan is an expert embroiderer who works with both hook-needle and regular needle techniques and likes to develop textural stitches.
Rizwan has been embroidering since a young age, and currently supports his family with his work. He is skilled in chikenkari (white-on-white embroidery) as well as a wide range of specialized dimensional stitches.
235 Queens Quay West
This exhibition can be found in both our East Vitrines and Big Vitrine.