Rag Bale I, II, lll (2020) by Nadine FlagelCraft Council of British Columbia

Snagged

An exhibition by Nadine Flagel, a self-taught textile and fibre artist, exploring the implications of fast fashion by restaging and reusing post-consumer textiles. The vibrant hooked rugs in Snagged make visible, problematize, and celebrate clothing at the edge of use.

The exhibit brings awareness to how consumer culture imperatives tell us to throw away textiles, and North Americans do: about 65 lbs. per person, per year. You cannot easily measure or mitigate the overwhelming environmental and social impacts of textile production and waste. Nadine, however, showcases the alternative perspective that snagged or spoiled clothing can enter the creative realm of possibility instead of the landfill.

Harris Tweed Jacket (Brown) (2019) by Nadine FlagelCraft Council of British Columbia

You cannot easily measure or mitigate the overwhelming environmental and social impacts of textile production and waste. Nadine, however, showcases the alternative perspective that snagged or spoiled clothing can enter the creative realm of possibility instead of the landfill. 

Video: nadine flagel: SNAGGED - Harris tweed jackets | Check out more Artist Talks by clicking HERE 

What's a Snag? 
A snag is the emergence of the unexpected: the jolting sensation when a boat hull grazes a submerged log, or when your sweater catches on a rusty nail. The snag is the obstacle that captures attention. The techniques of rug hooking, specifically, can be read as the purposeful snagging of fabric that has on a smaller scale already been snagged. Whereas others might see snags as imperfections, we can see moments that require presence and the rug hooker’s celebration of discarded, damaged fabric and fibres.

Rag Yard (Buried Treasure) (2020) by Nadine FlagelCraft Council of British Columbia

Nadine’s work may be seen in the context of the slow clothes movement, which holds that we should engage with fashion that took time to make, that evidences the handmade and prioritises sustainability."                                       - Barbara Feller  

Video:  nadine flagel: SNAGGED - rag yard | Check out more Artist Talks by clicking HERE

Nadine questions how we reach beyond our small, personal efforts to have an impact on colossal waste?

Nadine states that we need to reduce, reuse, & recycle, but we also need to tackle an entire system that favours the new & pristine. We need an esthetics and philosophy that value imperfection, damage. What if the inherent snags of rug hooking could help to adjust our thinking?

Unmade to Measure (2021) by Nadine FlagelCraft Council of British Columbia

"Unmade to Measure, a mixed media piece modeled after a bar graph. Here, the artist invites the viewer to interact with the work. Using chalk and a series of “yardsticks” covered with differing numbers of hooked squares, we are to write down statements of our choosing and place the yardsticks based on the significance of each phrase. Early on in the exhibition cycle two young women spent time doing just that to express “the privileged descent back to “Normal Life” in the era of Black Lives Matter.” From “George Floyd Murder Video Surfaces” on the left to “Biden Inauguration” and “Back to Brunch” on the right, the two visitors show in graph form how the initial rage relating to the death of George Floyd, among many others, has died down for many (white) folk following the democratic victory in the United States. Like Nadine’s art, this is an appeal that we not go back to life as usual but rather change our habits: our habits in regards to racial insensitivity and our buying habits as well."
  - Barbara Feller

Where All the Ladders Start, Nadine Flagel, 2020, From the collection of: Craft Council of British Columbia
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In Where All the Ladders Start, inspired by a poem by William Butler Yeats (for the artist’s own eloquent words click here). Nadine questions whether creativity can arise only from detritus as Yeats suggests.             - Barbara Feller

Gallery Exhibition (2021) by Nadine FlagelCraft Council of British Columbia

Nadine Flagel's mission is making art out of “making do.”

Nadine Flagel (Vancouver, BC) is a self-taught textile and fibre artist whose mission is making art out of “making do.” She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Dalhousie University and has taught literature and composition at university. She is interested in the repurposing of both texts and textiles. Both practices rely on cutting up existing text(ile)s, on aesthetic and sensual appeal, on thrift, and on putting old things into new combinations, thereby intensifying and multiplying meanings. Recently she was able to explore these connections in a residency at Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts in St Andrews, NB. Flagel has also taught at Maiwa School of Textiles, written about textile art, received grants to make art with youth, and collaborated with Deirdre Pinnock to create a public art commission in Richmond, BC. She is a member of the Vancouver Guild of Fibre Artists, CARFAC, and the Craft Council of British Columbia. As a settler, Nadine lives and works on unceded land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples.

Craft Council of British Columbia is a charitable arts service organization which supports all stages of artistic practice in the craft sector; creates opportunities for artists to exhibit, sell and produce art; provides a voice for artists and craft organizations and aids in the development of active communities around craft.

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