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Kathleen Morris

Miscanthus, 2019

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

$1,400 CDN (Please inquire for shipping)

Canadian textile artist Kathleen Morris intricately weaves narratives reflecting her journeys near and far. Her pieces are evocative chronicles, capturing walks through meticulous incorporation of preserved flowers, leaves, grasses, and seed heads. These organic elements, embodying life cycles and seasonal shifts, fuse with her textiles, embodying nature's rhythms. Through each thread, Morris explores her profound link to the "more than human world" and reciprocity with the living landscape.


Miscanthus is a perennial ornamental grass, common to many urban landscapes. In the west end of Toronto where Kathleen Morris lives, miscanthus lines the Humber shore and south end of High Park, its stately plumes towering over the people who pass by. While the grasses are imposing, large swaths of miscanthus are commonly overlooked due to their very ubiquity, a predictable and disregarded feature of an urban landscape.


Miscanthus grass exposes the dubious assertion of “belonging” to an eco-system. Native to Asia, it has long been considered an invasive species, commonly disparaged by naturalists who deem the plant a “problem”. It doesn’t politely co- exist with other species. Rather, it is an alpha grass, insisting on dominance, flourishing within a landscape in which it has long been considered an outlier.


The leaves of the miscanthus grass are embedded as weft material in this textile. Unlike many grasses, they are stiff, durable, and remarkably uniform in size, their sturdiness reflective of their resilience. Encased by leno weave, the leaves become buoyant and float in the work, supported by an airy open-weave structure.

Kathleen Morris is interested in illuminating the living backdrop to our built environment, and contemplating new connections to plant life found there – wanted or otherwise. As she handles and works with the leaves, branches, and fronds of a plant into her textiles, she explores its material properties. This strengthens her physical and intuitive connection to these plants and infuses her process and the work with time, depth, and lived understanding.

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