Arts·Video

These tiny woven stamps can make you remember something you had forgotten

See how Elycia SFA weaves memories and nostalgia into her delicate work from start to finish.

See how Elycia SFA weaves memories and nostalgia into her delicate work from start to finish

These tiny woven stamps can make you remember something you had forgotten

1 year ago
4:52
See how Elycia SFA weaves memories and nostalgia into her delicate work from start to finish. (Filmmaker: Michal Heuston. DOP: Brittany Nguyen.) 4:52

A lot of Elycia SFA's work can fit in the palm of your hand — ephemeral objects such as stamps, cootie catchers, and old family photographs recreated with thread. Other pieces, like a cloth "paper airplane," might require two hands. All of these woven objects are created on the textile artist's four harness floor loom, currently stationed in the textile studio at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. 

Much of her work is inspired by objects that evoke nostalgia, that can spark a forgotten memory. "Inherently, in the process of remembering and forgetting and remembering, there's a certain distortion that happens," Elycia explains. "I like how that ties in with recreating the image in the woven cloth, because you're taking the image and recreating it, and it's different and distorted."

Elycia SFA (CBC Arts)
Inherently, in the process of remembering and forgetting and remembering, there's a certain distortion that happens. I like how that ties in with recreating the image in the woven cloth, because you're taking the image and recreating it, and it's different and distorted.- Elycia SFA
Elycia SFA weaving a tiny stamp. (CBC Arts)

When she exhibits her work, strangers often approach Elycia, having seen a fragment of themselves in her art and had their memory jogged. She is honoured when others are moved to share their story for something as simple as a woven family photograph. "It's really interesting how much complete strangers will just open up and share these personal stories with me and say that, 'Oh, this reminds me of this thing.' It's a really nice way of connecting with people."

The stamp that Elycia weaves in this video is part of an ongoing series that began with stamps that were given to her by her grandfather when she was younger. "I wanted to challenge myself to see how tiny I could weave," she says, "So I thought stamps were a good place to start." 

Elycia SFA's woven stamps. (CBC Arts)

Because of COVID-19, Elycia doesn't have any shows coming up, but you can find her work here. You can also keep up with her on Instagram.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A recent graduate from the RTA School of Media, Michal is a filmmaker currently based out of Toronto with a passion for exploring different ways of storytelling. Michal is interested in creating accessible digital content that people can connect to, and promoting inclusivity in their work. On days off, Michal can be found painting or on a hiking trail.

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