Resident Artist: March 10 – April 22, 2023
Ale Monreal is a multi-disciplinary artist and film school dropout of Colombian and Chilean descent. Her body of work consists of several mediums ranging from films, paintings, and textile/needleworks to analog and digital photography. Drawing on inspiration from her childhood summers spent in Colombia at her grandmother’s, she merges traditional textile work, painting and analog photography with contemporary media. As a first-generation Canadian, she tries to capture the loss of wanting to be in two places at once and the roaming nature of belonging neither here nor there.
Entre Lineas is a transdisciplinary project that uses traditional rigid heddle loom weaving, stop motion animation and digital editing techniques to create an experimental video. The fibres used to create the woven structure are digitally manipulated and replaced with old analog footage along with newly captured footage. In replacing the fibres with other footage, a new living, moving fibre is created that only exists in digital space. Layering multiple realities, past and present, onto a once analog loom structure creates the foundation for the idea that memory is just fragments of moments woven together in our minds. These fragments, when looking back, are not clear or defined pictures but composites of what we can recall. In the end, the video is a visual representation of those, at times, abstract compositions we form when trying to bring back memories to the surface of the present time.
As a first-generation Canadian, who spent their early years in South America, I spent a lot of time contemplating my identity and belonging. Inspiration for the project was born out of the desire to capture the loss of wanting to be in two places at once and the roaming nature of belonging neither here nor there. Learning traditional art and craft from my grandmother when I was very young gave me a direct line of connection to places and people I had for moments called home. After moving back to Canada as a child, in a time when technology was not what it is today, I tried to keep those connections vivid by keeping up with those crafts. As much as I tried to fill that distance with yarns and paint, I always felt two steps behind, like I couldn’t quite keep up.
That frustration of longing to time travel and being in two different places at once stirred a lifelong philosophical debate about memory inside my mind. During the last few years, while learning to weave, the idea of memory flooded back into my mind while working on an animation project and asking myself if I could merge weaving in a digital context and if it were even possible to digitally key out individual strands of yarn. From there, I began experimenting with building up fibres and then digitally manipulating them, and Entre Lineas was born.