Security Blanket: Embroidered Textiles by Jennifer Smith-Windsor


Embroidered Textiles by Jennifer Smith-Windsor

March 9 – April 24, 2021

Reception by Appointment: Sunday, April 18 from 1-5pm – click here to book your appointment.
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen St West, Toronto

As of March 9, we are welcoming visitors to the Craft Ontario Gallery & Shop by appointment. Click here to book your 30-minute appointment to see the SECURITY BLANKET exhibition. Drop-ins are welcome pending availability.

The crisis of the global COVID-19 pandemic has drawn into sharp focus our collective global vulnerability against the threat of an unknown enemy. It has forced us to change our habits, from the way we work, shop, travel exercise, and perhaps most importantly, greet and visit friends and loved ones. It has forced us to ask critical questions such as: What does it mean to be safe and secure? How can we protect ourselves, our families, our friends and strangers? How can we secure our country from incoming, potentially unseen threats?


Coming at a time when we are all searching for comfort and the assurance that we will be safe, the SECURITY BLANKET series seeks to explore the above questions and more. The first object to touch a newborn baby, the blanket offers warmth and reassurance, but the blanket continues to be an object associated with well-being and security long after early childhood. Security is defined as a state of being safe and free from worry, but is there more to its meaning than initially suggested by this dictionary definition? SECURITY BLANKET explores two notions of security. First, the security of the home – represented by antique, handmade domestic textiles such as doilies and lace. And second, the security of the state – represented by eight government-issue military blankets from Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. These repurposed objects constitute a blank canvas onto which another layer of meaning can be added to their already nuanced histories. The intricate patterning created by the use of traditional embroidery stitches integrates these two divergent representations of security on both a physical and conceptual level, producing works of visually interesting contrast that provoke the viewer to consider their own relationship to home, comfort, safety and security. Further exhibition information.


(1) Jennifer Smith-Windsor. ‘Security Blanket – Russia’ (detail), 2018. Vintage military issue blanket, vintage doilies and lace, embroidery floss. 75” x 54-1/2”. Photo by Chris Snow.
(2) Jennifer Smith-Windsor. ‘Security Blanket – Italy’ (detail), 2017. Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 76” x 61”
(3) Jennifer Smith-Windsor. ‘Security Blanket – Australia’ (detail), 2021. Vintage military issue blanket, vintage lace and doilies, embroidery flosses. 82” x 53”

Craft Ontario exhibitions are supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council

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