“Fashionality” is a newly coined term that refers to the visual culture and semiotics of dress and adornment. Combining the words “fashion,” “personality,” and “nationality,” it suggests the interplay between clothing, identity and culture. Reflecting wide geographic and cultural diversity, this exhibition focuses upon the ways in which the concerns, identities and aesthetics of those living in Canada are expressed, deconstructed and reconfigured through the idiom of dress.

This blog records exhibition-related information, as well as work and events related to artists appearing in the show.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Three artists speak about their work.

Check out this video of three artists speaking about their work in Fashionality: Farheen HaQ, Barb Hunt and Barbara Pratt. Beautiful!


Farheen HaQ.  Stills from Endless Tether. 3-channel video installation, 7 min 17 sec loop, 2005.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Blue Duets Blog Review

Nice, thoughtful review of the show in this Blue Duets blog:


Artists Michèle Karch-Ackerman and Barbara Pratt standing in front of Karch-Ackerman's The Lost Boys, May 13, 2012.  Photograph by Janine Frenken.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Tandem Magazine

Nice article on the show in Tandem online magazine:


Tandem features this piece by Jana Sterbak: Distraction (detail), organza,
tweed, human hair, wood, glass, text, photographs, 1992.
Collection Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal.

Miss Canadiana Wants YOU

To come to her tea party this Sunday. 

Who needs Uncle Sam when you can have tea with Miss C?

Don't miss the Opening Celebration this Mother's Day for Fashionality: Dress and Identity in Contemporary Canadian Art.

Tours, meet-and-greet with several of the artists, roses, speeches, fantastic artwork, and a tea party with performance artist Camille Turner. 

Check out the events here: 

Hope to see you there!  (And so does Miss Canadiana.)

Above is Camille Turner, Miss Canadiana: The Homecoming Tour (detail), mixed media installation from the Red, White and Beautiful Tour, 2002 - present.  Collection of the artist.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Barb Hunt's "Steel Dresses" at De Luca Gallery

Don't miss Barb Hunt's upcoming show, Steel Dresses, at De Luca Art Gallery, May 12th to June 16th.

It's at 217 Avenue Road, Toronto


The opening reception is on Saturday, May 12 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm, and YOU are invited.

This is Barb Hunt's famous Root Dress, on display in Fashionality,
but all the works from her Steel Dresses series are equally as beautiful.

Plasma-arc cut steel, 1994. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; acquired with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Acquisition Assistance Program/Oeuvre
achetée avec l’aide du programme d’aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du
Canada and with funds from The Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation Inc.

York Region Arts Council Tour with Marilyn Brooks

Looks like the York Region Arts Council has teamed up with iconic Canadian fashion designer Marilyn Brooks for a tour on June 9th. Sounds like a great way to spend the afternoon.  Here's the info:


Marilyn Brooks

Fashionality E-Flyer: Please pass it on!

The link below is for our beautiful Fashionality E-Flyer.  Please send it everyone you know, and everyone you don't know. You wouldn't want them to miss the show, would you?


Beyond Buckskin

Beyond Bucksin is a blog by Turtle Mountain Chippewa scholar, Jessica R. Metcalfe. In it she looks at the creation and signification of Native American fashion. See her feature on Fashionality, and check out the rest of this inspiring blog here:


This work by Kent Monkman, entitled High-heeled Moccasins. Machine loomed beads on vinyl shoes, 2007. Collection of the artist. One of several accessories worn by the artist's alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, for various performances.

Jane Eccles "Memory Dress" Commissions

Jane Eccles, whose "The Dress Project" is featured in Fashionality, is now taking commissions for paintings of what she calls "Memory Dresses." If you are interested in one of these beautiful works, please read the following:
The exhibition "Overlap" at the Station Gallery in Whitby in 2011 opened up my work to a
wide audience. Since the close of the show I have been accepting commissions to paint memory dress paintings. Others who have stored garments and would like to realise these dresses in paintings can contact my studio for a commissioned dress painting. Large works are 36" x 48" and small works are 24" x 36" painted in acrylic on canvas. I will also record the story behind the dress and also accept an image of the original owner for future reference. Cost upon request.

You can contact Jane Eccles at 905-623-9458 or eccles@sympatico.ca

This is a work similar to those in Fashionality
by Jane Eccles, called Carolyn's Dress. Acrylic on canvas.

Sovereign Acts

The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto is currently showing a small but superb show called Sovereign Acts. Curated by Wanda Nanibush, it features work by several First Nations artists, including Lori Blondeau, who created the equally small but superb COSMOSQUAW piece on display in Fashionality. The show is highly recommended.



This is a work in Fashionality by Lori Blondeau, entitled COSMOSQUAW.
Duratrans backlit photograph, 1996.
John Cook collection.

Weedrobes Video

In case you can't make it to the show soon enough to see this, here's a small-screen sneak preview of Nicole Dextras' gorgeous Weedrobes video. It plays continuously in Gallery 12 next to three of Dextras' photographs. 


Nicole Dextras, Mobile Garden Dress. Detail of performance/installation, 2011.

Canadian Monument #2

Great short video documenting the installation of Janet Morton's Canadian Monument #2.  48 seconds of the biggest shirt you will ever see:


And here it is, after the installation, with one of the McMichael's lovely guards. 
And yes, the label does say Xtra Large.

Janet Morton, Canadian Monument #2. Hand screened red flannel
 and mixed media 1994. Courtesy of Paul Petro Contemporary Art. 

McMichael on Facebook

Don't forget to "like" the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on Facebook!  And when you do, check out the Fashionality posts, as well as the video of Canadian artist extraordinaire Charles Pachter talking to McMichael trustee Diane Wilson about the show and the upcoming fundraiser, "Fashion as Art -- Exposed!"


A certain someone who likes the show.

Fashionality in Arabella Magazine

Check out the beautifully illustrated article in the just-out summer edition of the lush Canadian arts magazine Arabella. This isn't the full article, but still worth a peek:


Among others, the article features the image above, which is one of five frames from Dana Claxton's Onto the Redroad. Lightjet C-print, 2007. Collection of John Cook.