Congratulations to our Cluster Student Grant Winners!

The Textiles and Materiality Cluster at Milieux announces the winners of its eleventh round of student research grants. The Cluster awarded Individual Research Grants to: Amélie Bélanger (MFA Fibres and Material Practices), Patricia Enns (MA Design), Shaya Ishaq (BFA Fibres & Material Practices), and Leah Watts (BFA Fibres & Material Practices).

Amélie Bélanger received an Individual Research Grant for her project, Towards a more sensible materialism, which is rooted in the following questions: How can a practice rooted in materiality be adapted to the present ecological crisis by not contributing to the generation of waste and without falling into desperation and cynicism ? And how can we foster an attitude of respect, comprehension, and restriction towards the materials we generate to create an artwork? To address these questions, Bélanger proposes to re-actualize and engage with craft-based practices that require patience, involvement, and time. In so doing, she aims to develop a materialism rooted in sustainability with hope for a less-damaging practice.

Patricia Enns received an Individual Research Grant for Pulpy Circuits, a project combining her thesis research into paper-making/mapping with her new knowledge of soft circuits. Enns’s project considers how alternative forms of mapping of a neighborhood can be done in an interactive way using soft circuits in combination with handmade paper that incorporates material debris from the area. Pulpy Circuits touches on the accessibility of soft circuits, how soft circuits can be used to share stories and understandings, and the material chemistry of what happens when circuitry is incorporated into something inherently very temporal (paper).

Shaya Ishaq received an Individual Research Grant for Weaving Woes: A Material Study of Grief, which builds on her current research into the interconnectedness of grief and temporality by way of weaving. Although grief is a personal and subjective experience, there are elements of this non-linear rite of passage that are shared. For this project, Ishaq is also working to explore the new sculptural dimensions of weaving in real life as well as in the digital realm. Moreover, Ishaq will explore the expansiveness of grief and time through photo documentation and digital rendering.

Leah Watts received an Individual Research Grant for Fringe Work (Queering the East Cree Dictionary). The project stems from Watts’ ongoing use of the website,, which is an online Cree dictionary featuring translations in English and French. Cree’s grammatical gender is not gendered in the way that French is. Rather, the language is divided on the basis of animacy or inanimacy, with animate things being viewed as imbued with a sort of life-force or presence, regardless if they are living in the sense that word is generally understood. Watts’s project will focus on finding and collecting words within the dictionary which hint at a potential queerness, bringing attention to words that evoke fringe, two-spirit experiences.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

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