Thursday, July 26, 2007

collecting loss: a different kind of clothing exchange

An Invitation to Contribute Living Stories and Clothing of Deceased Loved Ones to
Collecting Loss: Weaving Threads of Memory

Every day people die, leaving marks of memory and body in their clothing and in the hearts and minds of those still living who love them. Clothing captures moments in time, holds nostalgic reminders of smells, sights, sounds, and time shared. Where do we, the living, deposit these memories? What happens to this clothing of the dead and to the stories it holds? Collecting Loss will tell some of these stories.

Collecting Loss creators Esther Kalaba and Karen Haffey are collecting clothing that belonged to people who have died and the stories that this clothing evokes. The clothing and stories will be given new life in a powerful public art memorial.

Everyone who has experienced the death of someone they love is invited to participate in Collecting Loss by contributing a piece of their loved one's clothing and the story it evokes. There are no restrictions; people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds, whose friends or family members have died of accidents, disease, old age and natural causes, are all welcome to share.

Mothers have contributed clothing of children who have met an untimely death, children have contributed their deceased parents' clothing, a hospital's critical care unit is making a contribution to represent all the children they have cared for who have passed away, and widowed spouses are remembering their partners.

Clothing and stories are being accepted from people across Canada andaround the world until July 31, 2007. Information on how toparticipate is available online at

Every story and piece of clothing will be honoured, treated with love and respect, and used in its entirety to create something new. The clothing will be deconstructed and re-created along with other contributions. The stories will be incorporated into a visual and narrative component of the Collecting Loss exhibition. The exhibit will also include a series of photographs of the clothing as it was originally received, before being incorporated into the larger memorial. The complete Collecting Loss memorial will be exhibited in 2008.

Details about Collecting Loss can be found online at For questions or inquiries, the public may email info[AT] or call 416-846-3909 (Karen) or 416-305-6440 (Esther).

Collecting Loss is supported by Canada Council for the Arts.


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