Linen is a metaphor for me, an indirect way of going back to my roots and bringing to the present the essence of my past, transplanting it into Canadian soil. My work has evolved over the years and my appreciation for linen has grown stronger.
Through designing the fabric first, I was able to work with a cloth which met my needs. The linen mills in Poland produced a gauzy, open-weave fabric for me, which I have explored and almost exhausted in terms of possible applications. I have challenged it with natural and synthetic dyes, distressed it and applied an assortment of techniques to it.
The greenhouse linen project involved growing flax (linen) seeds on linen fabric. A series of simple garments were created with linen seeds sewn into seams, pockets, darts etc.
An ages-long tradition of linen cultivation was duplicated in an urban setting where, in a formal garden, a flax field grew and flowered. The flax was then harvested and the next primitive step of its production was taken - retting the flax by leaving it in water for several days, drying it and then preparing it for spinning.
In a specially laid-aside grass-covered area of my garden a series of sewn garments were left to bleach in the sun, thus following another ancient linen-preparation tradition.
After moving my studio into a large greenhouse, The Linen Project became an evolving installation. The hanging panels displayed along with costumes and "Table and Bed Linen" became a magical site of mysterious objects, transparent and gossamer hangings with layers of themes and meanings.