HOT TALKS: Leanne Prain
October 23, 2014
Sewing Our Stories: Stitch Narratives
Inspired by a series of epiphanies that she had while researching multiple books on textiles, author Leanne Prain will take you through a personal journey of how multiple conversations with textile artists resulted in her obsession with linking the stuff we make to the act of storytelling. Amid the weft and weave of textiles, she has found societal commentary, personal confessions, humor, fictional dalliances, the secret lives of oppressed people, and simple snapshots of individual experiences. She believes that weaving a tale or dropping a thread can take on new meaning when we start to see textiles beyond the narrow scope of functional objects but instead, as an important part of the human experience.
From her research into the many motivations of those who participate in the yarn bombing movement, to a candid interview with a man who learned how to embroider while incarcerated, to a woman who stitches recollections of eHarmony dates on hankies; Leanne will share how she thinks that textiles can serve to tell us about ourselves and the lives of those around us. Talk followed by Q&A.
Leanne Prain is a Vancouver-based writer, maker, and graphic designer. She is the author of three books: Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles (October 2014); Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery; and Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti (co-authored with Mandy Moore), all published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
In 2005, Leanne co-founded a stitch and bitch called Knitting and Beer in order to expand her knitting skills at a pub. While that has group disbanded, she continues to be amazed at what can be created with two needles and a bit of yarn. In 2006, she was introduced to knit graffiti (aka Yarn Bombing) via the Internet, which resulted in a downright obsession with the political and cultural aspects of modern textiles. Once the keeper of the infamous knit graffiti blog yarnbombing.com, she now lives online at leanneprain.com.