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Kathleen Morris

Kathleen Morris

Cherry Laurel, 2019

Hemp and linen yarns; cherry laurel leaves tabby and leno weaves
26" x 77”. 2019.

Photo: Katya Koroscil

Kathleen Morris

Wild Iris 3, 2023

Hemp, linen, and paper yarns; iris leaves hand-manipulated weaves
27” x 60”

Kathleen Morris

Miscanthus, 2019

Hemp and linen yarns; miscanthus plumes tabby and leno weaves
23" x 70”

Kathleen Morris

Imbibe Like Roots: Iris, 2022

Hemp, linen, and paper yarns; iris leaves hand-manipulated weaves
31” x 60”

Kathleen Morris

Miscanthus 2 (miscanthus sintenthis), 2020

Miscanthus leaves, hemp, linen yarn + miscanthus leaves tabby and leno weave
22” x 72”

Photos: Katya Koroscil


Kathleen Morris, a Canadian textile artist, meticulously weaves intricate narratives that resonate with the essence of her journeys through both her neighbourhood and further afield. Her works serve as evocative chronicles, capturing the essence of her walks by meticulously incorporating preserved flowers, leaves, grasses, and seed heads. These organic elements, bearing the marks of their lifecycle processes and seasonal transformations, become integral components of her textile artwork, embodying the passage of time and the rhythms of nature itself. With each thread and strand, Morris embarks on a dual exploration—literal and metaphorical—of her profound connection to the "more than human world" and her intricate reciprocity with the living landscape.


In the natural world, the distinctiveness and one-of-a-kind attributes of each component are consistently emphasized—each tree is adorned with leaves that display a dynamic and interconnected responsiveness to the shifts of time and surroundings. This concept is so staggering that it often goes unnoticed, overlooked in a simplistic assurance that nature's marvels will persist even if we overlook her astonishing capacity for diversity. Morris responds to this phenomenon by lovingly weaving in leaves, fronds, blossoms, or branches, paying direct homage to their botanical origins. Other works adopt an interpretive approach, transmuting the intricate ‘dance’ of natural phenomena into the language of thread and texture.


Morris' artistic odyssey is infused with a profound reverence for ecological considerations and concerns, insights from phenomenology, and in her words, “a healthy dose of magical thinking.” In her creative realm, the human body emerges as a pivotal vessel for experiencing the world, intricately interwoven with a myriad of species and organisms. This interconnectedness isn't a transcendence of human identity; rather, it forms the very foundation, revealing the timeless dialogue between humanity and the natural world in all its diversity.


As Morris herself articulates, "In the realm of magical thinking, I envision the pyramid-shaped Anthropocene being toppled—its predecessors ousted, its legacy purged." In this imagined reality, humans relinquish their lofty positions, morphing into humble yet vital links within an infinite chain. With an aura of reverence and a spark of curiosity, they approach the surrounding life forms, acknowledging their kinship. Morris' textile masterpieces become tangible artefacts of this visionary kinship, serving as tangible symbols that mark a restored and collective affiliation to the living earth.


Kathleen Morris is a Canadian maker, researcher, and educator. She holds a Bachelor of Design from OCAD University, and a Master's degree from the University of Toronto, with a research concentration in craft pedagogy and practice in a 21st century context. Her Master’s thesis, Emerging Views on Making: Fibre Graduates Reflect on Their Practice, was awarded the 2014 Arts Researchers and Teachers Society (ARTS) Graduate Research Award. She has investigated emerging discourses for craft in her writing and conference presentations, including the Textiles Society of America (2012), Studio magazine (2013), and the Journal for Modern Craft (2016), as well as other articles for Handwoven, Weavers, Ontario Craft, Craft News, and the Surfacing Journal.


From 2005-2022, Morris was a faculty member in the Textiles Studio at OCAD U, serving as a Faculty Association director, Grievance Chair, faculty senator, coordinator of AODA e-learning in Inclusive Teaching, and co-chair of the Gender Review/Pay Equity Committee. Morris is currently on the Board, Executive, and Advocacy Chair of the Canadian Craft Federation, and a member of Visual Arts Alliance, a consortium of arts service organizations designed to advocate for visual arts in Canada.


Kathleen Morris' textile work has been exhibited at Design TO, Prime Gallery, the Craft Ontario Gallery, David Kaye Gallery, the Guild Shop, and Craftworks. Her public commissions include projects for Toronto's Metro Hall and Ontario's Expo pavilion, and her private commissions include innumerable film and theatrical assignments.

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