Goodbye to ArtClothText

After almost a year of duplicate posting on ArtClothText and my studio blog, I have decided to say goodbye to ArtClothText. Other than the occasional exhibition announcement I haven’t really been posting to this site as often as I once did. For now ArtClothText will act as an archive of my studio blogging from 2007 to 2015.


From today all exhibition announcements, work in progress and other studio activities can be found on my studio blog. You can also find images of current work in progress on instagram.

Thank you to everyone who has visited and contributed this site over the past eight years. The community of artists and makers I have found through ArtClothText means a lot to me and is one I hope to maintain. Please keep in touch and email me anytime you have something to share.

Mackenzie Kelly-Frère

17. December 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Interlacing Conversations at ICCA

This Sunday, August 30 Interlacing Conversations opens at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts in Nova Scotia. I am thrilled to be a part of this exhibition curated by Elizabeth Whalley featuring the work of, Joanna Close, Barb Hunt, Robyn Love and others. The opening reception is from 6 pm until 9 pm at ICCA. Everyone is welcome!

image credit: Robyn Love

Cast-offs | image credit: Robyn Love

Interlacing Conversations has given me the opportunity to create Cast-offs with knitters in two provinces, and to share video and textile objects from Air over land, a project I started in 2011. In 2014 I exhibited the pieces on their own, but for this exhibition I wanted to try stitching them carefully to cotton forms for hanging.


It was an arduous task stitching each fragment of linen and wool to the cloth support. At the same time it was satisfying to handle each square inch of the textiles and marvel at how they were transformed by wind and weather.


Once finished I documented the pieces in my friend Barbara Sutherland‘s studio before shipping them to Inverness. More images of the pieces are available on my website.


Completed timelapse documentation of Air over land will be shown during Interlacing Conversations. If like me you are unable to attend the exhibition I have uploaded the complete video here.

Air over land 51.511, -112.4079 from Mackenzie Kelly-Frere on Vimeo.

28. August 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Cast-offs |knitting progress…


This week I’ve been collecting finished pieces from knitters in Calgary for Cast-offs. These will soon be sent to the Inverness County Centre for the Arts to be installed on the grounds outside the museum. The piece will be part of the exhibition Interlacing Conversations opening August 30, 2015. So far we have twenty-five pieces with more on their way! I am very grateful for all the knitters who have contributed to this project. Anyone interested in participating  (I will be accepting knit pieces until the last week of August) may contact me directly ([email protected]) or contact the folks at ICCA. Yarn and patterns are provided.


Thank you Callie Beller, Rui Gao, Julia Krueger, Christina Pickles, Brier Reid, Megan Slater and Janice Taylor for the creativity, enthusiasm and plain old hard work that you have contributed to this project.

30. July 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Cast-offs at ICCA

I am excited to share a new project that has been in the works for a few months now. Cast-offs is a site-specific installation of hand knitting that I have conceived for the grounds of the Inverness County Centre for the Arts (ICCA) in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia for the exhibition Interlacing Conversations August 30 to September 20, 2015.

Interlacing Conversations: Traditional and Contemporary Fibre Arts explores intersections of traditional and experimental fibre arts. The exhibition celebrates projects made possible through collaboration and exchange across geographical and cultural distances.


This project will be composed of more than fifty hand-knit, flat wool ”drawings” of hats, socks, long underwear and mittens. These will then be flown from poles set into the landscape surrounding the Inverness County Centre for the Arts. Knitters in Cape Breton and Alberta will lend their hands and ingenuity to the creation of individual pieces that will contribute to a riot of colour on the wind.


One of the most challenging aspects of the project – apart from its scale – is coming up with legible patterns for my team of knitters. I have knit for years but will admit the task seemed rather daunting at first. After reminding myself that the pieces do not actually have to fit anyone (They are all one and a half to two times adult scale.) the process became a little easier. Add to this a quickly approaching exhibition deadline – yes we are opening at the end of August?! – and things snapped into focus pretty quickly.


At once humorous and poetic (were these blown from the laundry line or off someone’s back?) this work strives to evoke a sense of whimsy and fragility against the backdrop of a dramatic and ever-changing landscape. These works will fray, fade and even tear away from their moorings providing a material metaphor for perseverance and ultimately our own mortality in a landscape much older than ourselves. Cast-offs is a companion piece to Air over land which will also be exhibited for Interlacing Conversations.

Knitting in earnest begins this weekend as I share the knitting patterns with knitters in both provinces. (Thanks for your patience everyone!) Anyone who may be interested in contributing email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you more information.


I will post more about the Interlacing Conversations at the Inverness County Centre for the arts soon but for now I have knitting patterns to proof read!

30. June 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Here and There at the Alberta Craft Council


Knit object 140716 and Codex 4 will be shown in Here and There, a group exhibition in the Alberta Craft Council Feature Gallery in Edmonton from July 11 to October 18, 2015. The opening reception is July 18.

Exhibiting artists include: Dawn Detarando (Red Deer), Evelyn Grant (Vancouver), Scott Hardy (Longview), Mackenzie Kelly-Frere (Calgary), Rachelle LeBlanc (St Albert), Charles Lewton-Brain (Calgary), Brenda Malkinson (Edmonton), Sara Norquay (Edmonton), Julia Reimer (Black Diamond), Shirley Rimer (Red Deer), Tyler Rock (Black Diamond), Carol & Richard Selfridge (Edmonton), Jenna Stanton (Medicine Hat), Barb Tipton (Calgary), Sam Uhlick (Ardrossan), Dirk Van Wyk (Calgary) and Kari Woo (Canmore)


The exhibition features artists and makers “who have significant international aspects to their careers are participating in Here and There. The exhibition consists of work produced abroad or influenced by their international experiences.”

30. June 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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knit objects


A series of knit objects is now posted on my website. Today’s overcast grey sky was a perfect lightbox for photographing this new work.


Each piece in this series was composed using a simple algorithm. 140805 (above) was knit interleaving two random integer sequences, one for the branching pattern and another for placement of bulges in each branch.


140710 was cast on in 1999, abandoned and then finished last July. It was the first piece in this series and uses perhaps the simplest algorithm – cast on nine stitches and then increased in three places every other row.

21. February 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Miniature Show and Sale | call for submissions


The Alberta College of Art + Design Fibre program is holding its annual Miniature Show and Silent Auction during Fibre Fortnight March 30 to April 10 2015. Funds raised from the silent auction will go towards visiting artists, student initiated projects and a new student bursary in 2015/2016.


My piece Knit object 140718 will be available to bid on along with some amazing artworks by my ACAD colleagues, students, alumni and staff. If you are interested in contributing to this year’s event you will find more information on the Fibre blog. Please consider contributing your work to the exhibition or attending the event and bidding on a piece or two.


The closing reception for Fibre Fortnight is always a fun event. This year we are delighted to host visiting artist Heather Goodchild, who will be speaking about her work the evening of our closing reception April 9th. This event is open to the public and all are welcome. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

Email me with any questions about how you can contribute to this exciting event! (Attention any of my friends who have commented on the interesting little artworks in my collection…this is where I found most of them!)

19. February 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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In the Making at the University of Saskatchewan


In the Making has travelled to Saskatoon where it will open tomorrow, January 30 at the University of Saskatchewan in Gallery 2. Curator Diana Sherlock sent me this image of the installation with Codex 1 and 2 looking good after their journey across the prairie. (Thanks to Ann Thrale for building my work such a nice crate!)

29. January 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Calgary: Outside the Box at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival

Mackenzie Kelly Frere Piece front

Melodie Flook recently sent me these images of my weaving in Calgary: Outside the Box. Katrina Chaytor‘s beautiful ceramics are visible at the bottom right. Textiles by Natalie Gerber and glass by Natali Rodrigues were also featured in this display organized by aftermodern.lab

Mackenzie Kelly Frere Piece Back

Mackenzie Kelly Frere Window Reflection

Thank you Melodie!

27. January 2015 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Souvenir of Japan 2014

I have just finished a souvenir book of our February 2014 trip to Japan. It includes images from my exhibition Frequency at GalleryGallery in Kyoto, Japan as well as some beautiful drawings created by my husband Kristofer Kelly-Frère. I will be creating a catalogue for my exhibition in the next month or so. If you want to see a little more of Frequency (and set-up) have a look!

15. December 2014 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Calgary Outside the Box


I am pleased to be participating in Calgary Outside the Box as part of  Toronto Design Offsite Festival an annual city-wide platform for the exhibition and engagement of independent design in Toronto, showcasing unexpected prototypes, immersive installations, and unique programming, January 19-25, 2015. I will be contributing panels from two bodies of work, Codex and Frequency.


Natali Rodrigues | 2 – 12″ x 6.5″ x 4.5″ cast / carved glass 2005

Calgary Outside the Box features the work Katrina Chaytor, Mackenzie Kelly-FrèreNatalie Gerber and Natalie Rodrigues and has been organized by aftermodern.lab Thanks to Trevor Embury and aftermodern.lab for pulling this all together!

26. November 2014 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Fibre Alumni Exhibition at ACAD


The ACAD Fibre Program is pleased to announce a new pop up gallery. The National Gallery of Contemporary Fibre Art will feature work from students, alumni and even objects from historical textile collections. Please join us on Thursday September 25th at 5pm for a welcome back potluck and reception for our current exhibition of twenty three Fibre Alumni including:

Jolie Bird, Heather Bloxham, Un-Jin Cho, Morgan Free, Suzen Green, Anu Guha-Thakirta, Jasmine Herron, Lindsay Joy, Jane Kidd (honorary), Amanda Kriaski, Julie Morstad, Bill Morton, Andrew Penner, Sheena Perratt, Ester Scott, Angela Silver, Marci Simkulet, Romy Straathof, Shannon Stratton, Candice Tarnowski, Wendy Toogood, Melissa Wong and Stephanie Wong.

This inaugural exhibition showcases a cross section of traditional and experimental fibre techniques dating back to the 1960’s. All pieces are on loan from the private collections of the Fibre Program faculty and will be on display until September 30th.

18. September 2014 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Mounting new work


I am now mounting my knit objects on linen for framing. One down, four to go. More images HERE and HERE


15. August 2014 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Two more knit objects…



18. July 2014 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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Knitting algorithms


It has been some time since I’ve posted any new work to ArtClothText. Now that I am on summer leave from teaching I am catching up on a few ideas that have been bouncing around my studio for awhile. This week I am working on a series of knitted objects based on simple algorithms.


Specific typologies of form are beginning to emerge as I divide, increase or reduce stitches in different ways at measured intervals. In the above work in progress, the number of stitches are halved regularly producing flaps.


Once finished each object is washed, starched and pinned flat.



After the first object was dry I removed it and the felt from the blocking cushion revealing the straight pins poking through.



This circular object was cast on in 1999 but was never finished. Fifteen years later, I find myself casting it off and blocking it for this series.


In this image of the blocking process you can see that the circle is produced by increasing at three points every other row. The hemp thread in this work was wound in a tight ball before being immersed in plant dye.


Here is a shot of the first two objects. Each will be mounted on linen. This project is ongoing. I will post more images as it develops.


16. July 2014 by Mackenzie Kelly-Frère
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