Zia Foley: Stitching into Reverie

Zia Foley, Pool Party (detail), mixed media on canvas, 2022

An exhibition of play in story, ink, collage and thread

June 1 – 30, 2023
Opening Celebration: Thursday June 1, from 6-8 pm. Artist will be present.
At Origin Coffee, Toronto

At Origin Coffee is pleased to present Stitching into Reverie, Zia Foley’s first solo exhibition.

In her own words, Foley states “In this overworked culture, we all need things that help us to slow down, to play and to daydream. For me, artwork has always been one of those things.”

With Stitching into Reverie, Foley presents a series of mixed media artworks that encourage and enable the act of play. With many of the artworks, little poems will be presented. At the show, viewers will be encouraged to come up with their own poems, and stick them to the wall next to the artwork they relate to.

Zia Foley, Compromise, Mixed Media on Canvas, 20×16, 2023

Various media have been used to construct the artworks including ink, collage, watercolour and acrylic paint. But what unifies them all together is the use of embroidery. Foley states that “While working on these pieces I began to wonder about the history of embroidery. Through my research I have learned that it has been used by predominantly female craftspeople of numerous cultures for thousands of years to tell the stories of their families, their lives, their struggles and their passions. As I continued to make these pieces I felt connected to these women through the process of stitching.

My hope is that by filling this cafe with my artwork, I will get my you – my audience to slow down for a while, get lost in the reverie that the artwork inspires, and reflect on your own connection to this age-old media.”

About the artist

From an early age, Zia Foley (b. 1984) has been fascinated by patterns. She was raised on art, by a family of artists and travellers. Her father was a sculptor and a collector of traditional art, textiles and handcrafts. While other children played in more traditional ways, Zia spent her days perusing her father’s many art books. She spent hours studying the photographs in these books – something in their simple repetitive patterns always intrigued her.

As a child, she started sketching and doodling, taking inspiration from those books and found herself obsessed with drawing these patterns and creating her own. In her young adult life, for work and study she moved abroad and travelled through Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the patterns she encountered through photography and sketching. All the while, she continued to draw and paint her own patterns as a way of processing the rich artistic traditions that surrounded her.

In 2018, Zia decided to move back to Canada and study art full-time at Centennial College. While studying in the Fine Arts Studio program she participated in a number of community art projects such as Winter Stations 2020. She was also awarded as the Winner of the Drawing Category for CICan’s Student Art Contest, and with a Dean’s Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Since graduation, she has participated in a number professional exhibitions and initiatives including the Storyvoice website with Centennial College, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, the Honest Shop at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, and group exhibitions at Propeller Art Gallery, and Gerrard Art Space. Stitching into Reverie is Zia Foley’s first solo exhibition.

Artist Website

About At Origin

At Origin Coffee is a specialty coffee company providing single origin, unblended coffee beans. The term “Specialty Coffee” was first used in 1974 by Erna Knutsen to describe beans of the best flavor which are produced in special microclimates. Furthermore, coffee bean should have scores of 80 points or above on a 100 point scale according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) to be “specialty”. The unique flavors and tastes are a result of the special characteristics and composition of the soils in which they are produced.

As a matter of fact the definition is not limited / or related only with coffee bean, basic fundamental behind this definition implies that specialty coffee beans would always be well prepared, freshly roasted, and properly brewed.

Our goal is to drink, to serve and to supply the best coffee as described above.

At Origin Coffee
687 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON | View Map
Facebook @atoriginto
Instagram @atoriginto
At Origin Coffee is partially accessible.

Stitching into Reverie gratefully acknowledges support from the Ontario Arts Council.