Artistic Statement 


Drawing parallels between the archival potential of textile objects and craft traditions, I explore the schematics of remembrance modulated by habits, traditions and body movements. Through newer technologies, I include sonic elements into my work to reflect back textile labour as deconstructed rhythms of the past. These rhythms influence how the viewer moves in response to the work, stepping back and forth to activate the sonic narration. Underlining the performative aspect of textile craft, my interactive textile installations can be seen as choreographies or living archives.


My source materials are fibrous elements such as linen, cotton, wool and electronic components like conductive silver threads and microcontrollers that I include in weavings and interactive or participative installations. I accentuate the tension between traditional methods and new technologies using different sonic elements that are blurring the lines of time. Over the past few years, weaving and the floor loom have become my main subjects; I consider the body movements created by the weaver as being the transaction from body movement to cloth, from ancient knowledge to contemporary textile structures. Throughout history weaving has been a living archive performed from generation to generation, and the loom is a historiographic object that is maintains the rhythms of traditions and identities. The sonic elements translate parts of the cultural and political heritage of textile history, while the echoes of the loom underline the interlacing capacity of textile traditions not only to create a textile object but also to function as connector between generations and communities. 


Born in Switzerland, Ryth Kesselring moved to Québec during her childhood. After she obtained her Baccalaureate in Fine Arts at Concordia University 2019, she is now a MFA candidate at the same institution with a specialization in fibres and material practices. She was part of studio subTela as research assistant and worked on soft circuits and embroideries for smart textiles. Her research focuses on sound, textiles and the rhythms of craftsmanship as imprints of the textile memories.

She is a recipient of several research grants and awards as the FRQSC scholarship and the Joseph-Armand-Bombardier scholarship. In response to the 2020 pandemic she joined a research team as MITACS intern to evaluate the potential of textile face masks. Kesselring is also active as a studio art teacher in elementary and high schools. Her work has been shown in Canada as well as in Switzerland, Spain, France and Iceland.

Ryth Kesselring

Research Cluster