Textile Museum Profile: Omar Badrin

NOW Digital Residency: Textile Museum of Canada


As part of this month’s Textile Museum of Canada Digital Residency, we’re profiling a number of artists and professionals associated with the museum and wider community. See all of the profiles here.


What’s your connection to the Textile Museum? 

Winner of 2017 Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award.

What do you do in your industry? 

Visual artist. 

In your opinion, how can textiles tell stories? 

I like that textile arts require skills and methods that tend to be handed down in a very personal manner. In my own practice, I use crochet to tell the story of my adoption into a predominantly white culture, of my family traditions and how these have helped me come to an understanding of my own identity and place in that culture.

What’s your favourite place in Toronto to do some creative thinking?

I often walk down Queen West. There’s a lot of visual activity going on. Not having been raised in Toronto, I still find it all interesting.

One of the Textile Museum’s current exhibitions features the works of Itchiku Kubota, whose artistic career focused intensely on the kimono. What do you think we can learn from this kind of creative dedication?

There is no question that Kubota is a master of his craft. His work is exquisite. His Kimonos give a sense of the time he put into his craft to refine his technique. But I love how they also show you what can be done when you explore the boundaries of the craft and experiment with it.

So much of our attention is drawn to the digital and virtual possibilities of art. Can you explain what role textiles play in your day-to-day life?

I’ve always been drawn to hand-crafted objects. You use a different energy when you make something with your hands. I like the tactility. Crochet is also very meditative for me. It’s a form of labour that I enjoy.

Name one artist of any discipline and any era who never ceases to inspire you.

Louise Bourgeois. Every time I see her work I’m in awe. Her practice is so diverse and crosses so many disciplines. I try to model my own practice after hers.


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