Michael Brennand-Wood Workshop

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Grounds for Expression – Bespoke Surfaces for Textiles


Michael Brennand-Wood Workshop
Monday April 20, 2020 to Friday April 24, 2020
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
440 King Street East, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada

Are you an established or an emerging artist? Do you have interdisciplinary interests? Are you ready to push your creative boundaries? To gain new perspectives? To expand your use of textiles and other materials? If so, please join us in this unique Workshop.

Michael Brennand-Wood is a visual artist, curator, lecturer, and arts consultant with an established, exceptional international reputation. For a number of years Michael has taught at Maiwa School of Textiles in Vancouver, where his courses are enormously popular. More information on Michael’s background and work can be found on his website www.brennand-wood.com.

Description of Workshop

The best description of the Workshop comes from Michael’s own words. He says:

“I have talked a lot over the years about the building of an idea, the strategies we employ to process and visually record the experiences we encounter. What are the genealogical connections between the source materials we collate, the reasons why we associate one idea with another? When we begin a work, choices are made via a selection of threads, fabrics and other media all of which exert influence on the rendition of an idea.


Materials are in effect our building blocks; we might choose a selection of new materials or something reclaimed. Textiles invariably are accompanied with a degree of embedded meaning. An old fabric has aesthetic, formal qualities, a colour, a texture and a surface. It can however also, because of its prior usage, contain substantial references to the person who owned it, their cultural background and any number of visual clues that can enrich the nascent idea currently in development. We might all work from the same plan but the choices we make as to how it’s built define our individuality.


As a rule we build from the ground upwards. A ground may be interpreted in a number of ways, it may be a territory, background, foundation, land surface, battle area, subject, painting surface and of course a fabric base within textiles on which to work. Grounds are essentially areas where something happens.


The purpose of this workshop is to create a single or series of smaller bespoke personal grounds that have, within their construction, qualities that aid and stimulate creativity. If it’s flexible, go flexible. Surfaces imbued with personal meaning that feel part of an idea from the onset, a visual landscape to explore.


Ideally participants will experiment with a number of different approaches both technically and conceptually. Practically the workshop will consider various technical approaches as to how to structure, layer, distort, articulate and shape fabric in a largely non-traditional form. Fabrics and threads will be utilised alongside non-textile media, wood, metal, paint, resins and plastic. Participants will be shown samples and experiment with riveting, moulding, wiring and other methods of construction. Additional context will focus on the use and referencing of grounds within the arts and natural worlds as potential sites for inspiration.”

In terms of how the Workshop will be run, Michael explains:

“… My workshops are an extension of my practice, and as such, individual, that’s what makes them different. Essentially I run ideas based workshops, there’s usually an open-ended theme that participants work to and around. This provides an opportunity for me to discuss not only what they are doing on the workshop but their own personal artistic practice. With a view to strengthening that personal direction, there’s a strong mentoring dimension to my workshops.”

Wondering if the Workshop is right for you?

Michael explains that it is designed for those who have taken a related course or have some existing skills, and for more experienced practitioners who want to expand skills.

“Pretty Deadly” by Michael Brennand-Wood 2011

Registration Requirements

  • The Workshop is open to Spirit of the Hills Members, and to Non-Members.
  • The cost of the Workshop is $600.00. The fee includes materials (except materials that are specific to your project).
  • A maximum of 14 spots are available, which will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis (i.e., the first 14 people to register in accordance with the Registration Requirements). Registration will not be considered complete until full payment is received.
  • If we do not have a sufficient number of participants by February 10, 2020 the Workshop will be cancelled. You will be refunded in full if the Workshop does not take place.
  • If you must withdraw prior to February 10, 2020 you will be refunded your payment, less a $25.00 cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel after that date, you will only be refunded if someone else is able to take your place and you will still be subject to a $25.00 cancellation fee.

If you require information about this Workshop or the registration process, please contact Leslie Macleod at leslie.h.macleod@gmail.com.

Waiting List Form

This workshop is now sold out but you may complete this form to be put on a waiting list should someone cancel. We will contact you should that happen.

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