The art of storytelling extends beyond the written word, encompassing a myriad of forms. Whether through the illustration of a myth or legend, or the recitation of an epic poem or song, cultures have devised inventive and elaborate methods of recording and depicting their rich histories through the centuries. In this exhibition of artifacts from the permanent collection of the Textile Museum of Canada, textiles perform as instruments of communication, offering narratives that unfold in the making and materiality of each textile.
From a 12th-century tale of a tragic Persian romance painted on cotton and a fable of Jean de La Fontaine printed on a 19th-century French toile de Jouy, to recent stitched drawings from India that transpose traditional symbols to address contemporary local issues, each piece represents a broader archive of collective memories. Telling Stories presents extraordinary materials of everyday lives that reflect the inordinate richness of cultural histories as well as the human impulse to capture real and imagined experiences.