The Textiles and Materiality Cluster at Milieux announces the winners of its recent round of student research grants. The Cluster awarded an Individual Research Grant to Shelley Ouellet (MFA Fibres and Material Practices) and a Travel Grant to Alessia Signorino (BFA Design and Computation Arts)
Shelley Ouellet received an Individual Research Grant for her ongoing research project, Cold Comfort. For this series, Ouellet intends to produce several sculptural works that take the form of domestic and decorative objects created to critique endless resource extraction and consumption amid the global climate crisis. Leaning into her Albertan roots, these works are intended to operate as sardonic infiltrators for the homes of climate change deniers and were inspired by those who prioritize the oil and gas industry above all else. Through collaging techniques of textile production and embellishment (weaving, sewing, and embroidery), the sculptures are reminiscent of souvenir throw cushions, blankets, and lampshades that traditionally portray majestic landscapes and aspects of regional pride.
Alessia Signorino received a Travel Grant to conduct on-site research for her project, Tactile Landscapes of the Po Valley Industry. The valley was the fulcrum of a textile industry that worked with an extensive range of materials and techniques from the 14th century to the 19th century with subsequent waves of new practices in the 20th century. Signorino will travel to the town of Busto Arsizio, where the Museum of Textiles and Industry of Busto Arsizio is located, the Museo del Tessuto of Prato, Lottozero, a center for textile design based in Prato, the Silk Museum of Como and the Fondazione Antonio Ratti’s Textile Museum. These institutions were chosen due to their intrinsic ties to the industrial heritage of natural, such as fustian and silk, and synthetic fibers. This on-site research will culminate in an intimate, interactive storytelling experience built around the industrial heritage and oral histories of workers from the Po valley in Italy.
Congratulations to both of the winners!