Blanket for Homesickness by Liz Toohey-Wiese
Wool Blanket, Site Specific Performance
This blanket was woven on a 16-harness loom in Halifax, Nova Scotia during the undertaking of my Masters of Fine Arts. The blanket was subsequently taken approximately 5,791 kilometres back to Vancouver, British Columbia to be washed in the Pacific Ocean. The initial washing of a wool blanket is necessary to both rid excess lanolin from the wool yarn, and help hold the composition of the textile by gently felting the woven fibres.
Blanket for Homesickness is the translation of nostalgia for homeland into an object. Through the time taken to weave the piece, excessive travel over a great distance, and a symbolic performance with the object, I am interested in overlap between ceremony and futile gestures. The process of washing the blanket served as an embodiment of my own attempts to soak in the Pacific, and the subsequent struggle with a wet, heavy, and yet extremely delicate object mirrors my own arduous relationship to the homesickness I carry for the west coast of Canada.
Photographs taken by Simone Rochon.