Arts·COVID Residencies

When you can't fire, weave! In isolation, Kendra Yee turns from ceramics to making tapestries

At home with her family in Toronto's west end, Yee has had to reconcile with lots of cancellations — but also enjoy the lack of deadlines.

'It's been really beautiful to appreciate and enjoy that slowness'

When you can't fire, weave! In isolation, Kendra Yee turns from ceramics to making tapestries

3 years ago
Duration 3:29
At home with her family in Toronto's west end, Kendra Yee has had to reconcile to lots of cancellations — and enjoy the lack of deadlines

In our self-shot video series COVID Residencies, we're checking out how artists are adapting their practices in isolation, whether it's diving into different processes or getting lost in their sketchbooks.

Kendra Yee's usual practice is multi-faceted, often made from ceramics or painting. Now, in isolation for over a month at her family home in the west end of Toronto, she's had to reconcile with a bunch of cancellations and postponements, as well as being laid off from her part-time job — but in so doing, she's found joy in trying out new techniques without the pressure of deadlines.

(Kendra Yee)

Without access to a kiln, Yee has turned to textiles as her main mode of production. Using a loom and needle, she's been creating tapestries. And in this video, you'll get to see as she tries out some of the new methods she's learned.

She'll also tell you that having extra time on her hands has not been all bad — that in the absence of exhibitions and commissions, there's peace to be found in the lack of pressure (not that she's not eager to get back into full art life).

Follow Kendra Yee here and keep a lookout for the stories we're bringing you from other artists in isolation as part of COVID Residencies. Stay safe, friends!

(Kendra Yee)

CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there's something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at See more of our COVID-related coverage here.


Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.

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