Betty Wood: Still, Life – the spaces I remember

Longest Winter by Betty Wood 2022. Photo: Trina Turl

Exploring the intersection of memory and space through fibres

April 13 – 23, 2023
2104 Dundas St. W, Toronto

For her debut solo show fibre artist Betty Wood brings together her series of vibrant, large-scale tapestries exploring the intersection of memory and space. Lost and transient interiors come to life through vivid colours, mid-century design objects, furniture and plants – each a character-charged protagonist in her rich domestic scenes.

The domestic sphere has long been seen as a ‘feminine’ space, with needlecraft and textile arts often denied a gallery setting. Wood’s work engages with this prejudice by treating fibres in a painterly fashion and playfully transposing snapshots of private, domestic spaces into public settings to charge them with new meaning. These textile works celebrate quiet resistance, queer homemaking, joy, nostalgia, and liminal quality of memory.

Coffee at 180 by Betty Wood 2022. Photo: Trina Turl

“My tapestries capture a fleeting feeling and celebrate quiet moments, like standing barefoot in a pool of sunlight and stretching your toes into the warmth. Or the excitement of a new shoot bursting from the soil. I chase these ‘little joys’ in my daily life and savour them whenever they occur.”

Working at unexpected scales with primitive hand tools, Wood wields yarn like it is paint, creating tapestries that appear like dappled paintings at first glance. Only when stepping closer to the ‘canvas’ do they reveal themselves as textiles, their tightly looped surfaces boasting tens of thousands of meticulous stitches created by hand using a hook, punch and tapestry needle.

Wood will be in residence for the duration of the exhibition, during which she will be working on a new tapestry in the gallery’s window.

Summer spent (detail) by Betty Wood, 2021. Photo Trina Turl

About the Artist
Betty Wood (she/her; b. Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK 1986) is a queer, Toronto-based design writer and artist. Wood’s unique ‘slow art’ focuses on the experience of making, using hand tools and traditional craft techniques to make larger-than-life textile scenes that play with ideas of domesticity, scale and the urban landscape.

2104 Dundas St West Toronto ON, Canada M6R 1W9
Instagram @bettytheyarnslayer

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