It Takes a Flock to Create a Boro Bower

Just as it takes a flock to create a murmuration, it takes a flock to create a “Boro Bower.” It’s a “textile chamber,” a one-of-a-kind project with Espanola Fibre Arts Festival Coordinator and mixed media/textile artist Jody Pilon at the helm.
Proutopia’s theme of Birds of a Feather, was a fit for Jody’s idea to invite stitchers to submit postcard-sized samples of boro or sashiko-style Japanese stitching to embellish the hand-stitched panels of her installation.

“Boroboro” is a Japanese term for something which is tattered or repaired. It is an expression of the idea that there is beauty in imperfection. 

Boro Bower supports and celebrates ‘the slow’. It hearkens back to days when hand stitching was the only option and make-do was part of the every day. Patches were sewn by hand onto well-worn garments and household textiles, to extend the life and limit waste. 

Imagine this chamber as a human-sized textile birdhouse lined with rescued fabrics covered in hand-stitching and festooned with phrases and ideas related to birds. Proutopia’s guests can try their own hands at boro or shashiko to add a piece to the installation.

Jody Pilon at the 2018 Espanola Fibre Arts Festival

The Boro Bower makes its debut at Proutopia on August 31 and September 1. From there, it makes two other scheduled appearances at the Espanola Fibre Arts Festival and in 2020 at the Northern Lights Festival Boreal.  More are in the works.  Perhaps an international tour?  We'll keep you posted.

Tickets to Proutopia are on sale now with links below.


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