All membranes are porous

A metaphoric feature of Slofa that has not so far been talked about or noticed or mused over is it's skin-like function in covering sitting surfaces that are maybe not so contiguous or new or pretty. As a furniture cover it designates a sitting surface different from what is under or inside of it. Wearing all of the little stitches and knots and minor mistakes and beautiful creations of Slofemists embroiderers over several years it is not just the thing that is looked at, its skin-like function is now one of its features.

Or at least that is one of the meanings that comes from its inclusion inside of the exhibition, All membranes are porous, which is now presented at Kamloops Art Gallery. This exhibition, curated by Charo Neville, brings together works by six Canadian artists that explore dynamic conditions and phenomena familiar to human embodiment --the experiences of living as a body. In her curatorial exhibition walkabout, which preceded the exhibition opening last week, Neville led the crowd in breathing exercises and proudly described how this exhibition would be her last professional output before her own swollen body would deliver an expected baby. Fittingly, this is a project that demands that the viewer use more than just the eyes. The body is expected to maneuver around precarious foam, ceramic and felt sculptures (Zoe Kreye and Luanne Martineau), sit through psychedelic eye-popping effects (Jeremy Shaw), and experience diverse video installation spaces, where the way one's body is positioned or held, is part of the video's effect (Jeremy Shaw, Pascal Grandmaison, Sarah Anne Johnson, and Margaret Dragu). The work of the Slofemists forms surfaces for that kind of altered or enhanced viewing in Margaret Dragu's The Library Project. 

Here are some photos of how Slofemists participants Rebecca Pasch and Lois Klassen experienced the exhibition and opening events. Excerpts of the exhibition notes that describe the Slofemists work is here - Download KamloopsArtGallery_Dragu001.

Congratulations to artists, Margaret Dragu, Pascal Granmaison, Sarah Anne Johnson, Zoe Kreye, Luanne Martineau, Jeremy Shaw, and curator, Charo Neville, and everyone at Kamloops Art Gallery!



The Slofemists' Intensive


Embroidery by Karin Millson

Since the fall of 2013, the Slofemists project and its many participants have slowly worked away at embroidery, feminism, self care, group care, and local ecologies --all with deliberate slackness. Not so much sluggishness as a rebellion against speed, the Slofemists project has been a methodology of feminist survival, an excuse to gather and exchange life skills and stories and to produce a pretty singular pile of embroidered creations.

Organizers, Lori Weidenhammer and Lois Klassen, are excited to announce that later in 2016, the work of the Slofemists will appear inside an installation by Margaret Dragu at the Kamloops Art Gallery (September 24 - December 31). In this exhibition the Slofa patchwork, on which so many hands have worked, is expected to designate a place for gallery visitors to view a very special collection of Margaret Dragu’s video archive. Her work called “The Library Project / Commodification of Touch” offers a profound view of people in the act of personal knowledge exchange.

You are invited to join the Slofemists in the final (intensive) production of the Slofa patchwork and other peices for this exhibition project.

The Slofemists' Intensive will take place at the Moberly Arts & Culture, 7646 Prince Albert Street, Vancouver, Canada.

June 23: 9 am to 2:30 pm
June 24: 9 am to 5 pm
June 25: 9 am to 3:30 pm

Everyone is welcome. No textile proficiency is required. This site will become an open textile studio during those times, so feel free to bring your own projects (or mending, etc.), to come and go, or just to enjoy the vibe. As usual, Weidenhammer and Klassen aim to mingle the collective handwork of the workshops with fun and empowerment: topical discussions, collective food, garden time and self-care.

IMPORTANT - Please confirm the times that you plan to come to ease in planning, especially food and supplies - [email protected]




Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 8.52.27 PM

Lisa Anne Auerbach - Video

In this video Lisa Anne Auerbach explains how her art works in the 2014 Whitney Biennial are meant to be examples of alternative publishing. By this, I think she means that her knitted items can carry around and display a legible narrative, by way of text and symbol. Using a knitting machine, she makes garments that record her chants & rants ("keep abortion legal"), her past times (food and drink are represented with readable symbols), her collections (an archive of psychics' predictions makes up a large banner). Also, to make the publishing theme unavoidable, she has included in the show a "megazine" -- an oversize publication that documents her research into psychics at work.

In the video she comments on her self-sufficiency in the works' production. Really, it is her use of studio-sized industrial machines that makes her self sufficient. The oversize colour printer is pictured, and the knitting machine cannot be too far away. I find this intriguing: her work refers to DIY culture (yarn bombing and 'zine culture), but through the works' materials and processes, she has forced this aesthetic through industrial processing. Is she claiming a creative territory in the rapidly expanding world of rapid prototyping? What does the "maker" culture think of her work? What is retained from the DIY in her large-scale, quick-copy publishing?

Her work is well placed in this iteration of the Whitney Biennial since so much of the selected work concerns the "complex relationships between linguistic and visual forms," in the words of her curator, Stuart Comer. I thought the exhibition in its enormity displayed the complex relationships between visual forms and just about everything else. Much of the work situated art practices in other worlds, and situated other worlds (publishing, archiving, narrative film...) inside the world of art.

Degree Exhibition

The end of 2 years of studies at Emily Carr University.


In the exhibition of the Master of Applied Art students in the University's Charles H. Scott Gallery, I am exhibiting a new video work called Word Finding.

This gallery-based piece is a reflection on a community-based video project that I am currently completing with participants of the Elder Financial Abuse Dialogue project in North Vancouver, and students from the Film and Video program at Emily Carr University.

It looks something like this:


I am very grateful to Bette, Iara, Glenys, and Claire for being so willing to get involved in a community video project. The entire project will be screened on June 15, 2011 - World Elder Abuse Awareness Day at the John Braithwaite Community Centre in North Vancouver.

These are some of the words that the participants have found to address the issue of elder financial abuse:

financial abuse

seldom stops by itself

you need to take some action

much to my disbelieving ears

I heard my own voice

saying I do believe

you are trying to scam me

I am a feminist & social worker

who has worked in the field

of family violence for 25 years . . . .


FANCY DANCING is hosting some weekend closing events. Everyone is invited:

Saturday (Nov 13), 1-4pm - Comforter Art-Action Sewing Circle

- Make a patchwork blanket from recycled fabric. Bring scissors. Everything else is provided or learned on the spot. Finished blankets are distributed to NGOs or shelters.

Saturday (Nov 13), 7pm - VHS Movie Night with Sara French

- bring your pillow or folk festival lawn chair. Sara will bring a selection of VHS tapes from the ECU library. Popcorn provided. Bring drinks.

Sunday (Nov 14), 3pm - FANCY DANCING with pow wow dancer and ECU student, Adrienne Greyeyes! This performance will close the exhibition, so don't miss it!

And, on the same theme -

Thursday (Nov 18), 3:50pm (ECU, 301B) - Lois Klassen will discuss Fancy Dancing as well as the use of memorabilia and memory of events in the panel "Staging interations, obsessive copying and restless adaptations in emergent practices: Josh Hite, Lois Klassen, Holly Schmidt and Erdam Tasdelen" as part of AHIS333 Interdisciplinary Forum.

Hope you can join us! Spread the word.

Michelle Sound Perich & Lois Klassen

FANCY DANCING is open every day until Sunday, Nov 14  from 1-4pm.


Here is a mid-term exhibition that I am installing with fellow MAA Grad Student, Michelle Sound Perich.




A collaborative installations in which tradition, image, and material offer the promise of an event.

Michelle Sound Perich

Lois Klassen

With curatorial asistance by Frederick Cummings

"History is the subject of a structure whose site is not homogenous..." Walater Benjamin

November 5-14 2010

Opening event - November 5, 7-10pm

1612 Gallery

Emily Carr Univeristy of Art + Design

Faculty of graduate studies gallery

1612 West 3rd Avenue

Vancouver, BC CANADA

Offit Offsite - 1 & 2

I knew we were off to a good start, when Simon Piasecki, the new head of performance at University of Salford said "oh good, you are taking us on a Dérive." With that a small group of artists, performers and educators headed off to a five star hotel (named for an artist of the people) to be part of a performance: conversation in public. Mary Oliver & I commissioned three emerging performance artists to get us started. Rachael Nutter of Littleborough had us deconstruct a yarn from the repertoire of her previous knitting actions; Rowan Oliver-Weaver of Ripponden read stories of the hotel's namesake, LS Lowry, from the picture book The Lowry Lexicon, written by her grandmother and Lowry biographer Shelley Rohde; and Darren White of Chester transmitted the day's news stories by way of can and string. Later the group sat around and worked at figuring out some of the complexities of producing art in Salford, past and present - and how to ensure that the community remains vibrant, affordable and inspiring.




We will be having one more public conversation - Offit Offsite 2, on Thursday evening at 7 pm. Join us for a walk --Dérive-- to another one of Salford's great conversation spots... drinks on us! Meet at Hub M3 .

Offit Offsite asks: what happens when an art centre opens up in a regenerating neighbourhood?

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far, especially Rachael, Rowan and Darren.

Offit opening

has been launched.

Tomorrow (July 25, 2pm) is Offit Offsite, a conversation event featuring three emerging performance artists, in conversation with visitors of The Lowry Hotel: Rachael Nutter, Rowan Oliver-Weaver and Darren White. Everyone welcome, meet at the Hub M3, Riverside Complex in Salford, Greater Manchester.


Offit not on it


During their six-week collaborative residency at Hub M3, Lois Klassen and Mary Oliver have been exploring the locale specific to the gallery, just on the border of Salford and Manchester. As travelers and explorers the artists are considering the imbalance caused by the presence of cultural production in urban spaces.

‘Offit’ - Salford vernacular for ‘not on it’, out of sorts, or not quite right, is an installation in which the visitor finds themselves confronted with things that are ‘Offit - not on it’. This exhibition asks: does art produce a condition of offit? and is this a useful condition from which to view the process of urban regeneration?


Lois Klassen & Mary Oliver

Art Exhibition and Events
July 23 - 30 2010
Hub M3
Unit 3 Riverside
Salford M3 5FS

Offit Opening reception - July 22 6.00pm

Offit Offsite Conversations
Sunday, July 25 2.00pm
Thursday, July 29 7.00pm
The artists invite the public out to two of Salford’s best places to talk. Meet at Hub M3. Spaces for the Offit Offsite Conversations are limited - please reserve (up to one day in advance) through email [email protected] or phone 07793 018209.

Offit exhibition hours -
July 23 - 30, 12.00 – 6.00pm (closed Monday)

Lois Klassen is a Vancouver Canada based artist, community worker, writer and educator.
Mary Oliver works as a performance and media artist, educator and researcher in Salford.