Threads of Home: Transformations in Ukrainian Domesticity
On view February 7–May 18, 2024
For immigrants, the experience of emigration is both an unravelling and a re-threading of personal and collective narratives. Since Ukrainians first arrived in Canada in 1896, they have travelled diverse and often challenging paths to stitch the fabric of a new home using threads of hope, resilience, and memory.
This exhibition invites visitors to explore the intricate beauty of Ukrainian embroidered pillows crafted in Canada, which became enormously popular in the 1950s and ‘60s. Called podushky, these cushions are emblematic of the ideals of Ukrainian-Canadian middle-class domesticity, as Ukrainian identity flourishes on the sofas of many Ukrainian homes in the suburban diaspora.
Accompanying the podushky, museum staff have curated a selection of documents and artifacts from the permanent collection and archives which loosely narrate the evolving struggles and meanings of “home” for Ukrainian Canadians over the past 120 years. These include land title registrations, paintings, photographs, poetry and more.
Threads of Home is a celebration of the artistry of adaptation, honouring the enduring spirit of Ukrainian Canadians, who remain forever bound to their ancestral homeland.
Opening Reception: Friday, February 16, 2024, 7 PM
Online Lecture: Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn / Stitched Narratives (On Ukrainian Embroidered Pillows) — Tuesday, March 12, 7 PM via Zoom