Contextural - A Fibre Arts Cooperative

Contextural is a community of textile artists fostering a cooperative creative environment in support of the production of textile based artistic works.

Contextural contributes to the artistic advancement of its members through access to a collaborative working environment, professional development and the exhibition of new work. It was recognized from the start that access to a safe, specialized workspace would be needed so members could pursue a variety of projects. In this spirit, a collaboration was established with AUArts to gain access to the school's fibre studios during the summer months.

For the past eight years this self-directed summer residency has included more than 100 participants – many have been current AUArts students and AUArts alumni, some have come from across Canada, and some have travelled to work with the group from Europe and Africa. Each summer a theme is chosen and an “end of residency” exhibition is organized to include the greater arts community in the group’s event. Each year has presented a unique view on contemporary textile art being created in Calgary. In 2015, the chosen theme is: the Mark, the Hand, the Thread. This exhibition will take place August 23 through September 11, 2015.

the Mark, the Hand, the Thread

The experience of creating fine craft is an important element to understanding it. Our constant experimentation, planning and preparations allow us to rework ideas and techniques – and “the hand of the maker” becomes evident in each step along the way.

It’s during this making process that we learn about ourselves, and how to bring out the best in our chosen media. Our time, effort and passion leave a personal mark that is an integral part of our work. The “making” component of fine craft is often undervalued and (ironically) highly prized. Our theme explores how the uniqueness of each artist is expressed through their mark, their hand, their method and medium.