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Letter from the Editors

This year, so much of our work at Yiara has involved adapting and mending our usual practices to continue our project of making feminist art history accessible. Yiara has always been interested in weaving together obscured narratives and providing space for thought, growth, and beauty. We doubled down on these themes during the pandemic, but these strange circumstances also asked for more than revelation — they asked for connection. We made a conscious effort to reach out to the community we are infinitely grateful to have. We collaborated with fellow artists, friends, and creators, and felt that we were part of a mutual network of support, trust, and of course, creativity.

As we prepared volume 09, we grappled with the labour of artmaking in difficult times. Acts of creation are ultimately acts of meaning-making, and to make something is to make sense of it — to transform the nebulous and uncertain into something recognizable and firm. In the last year, surely all of us have enacted this routine of care and creation, and have engaged in our own quietly transformative acts from within isolated, solitary spaces.

Many of the works featured in this issue reflect this new relationship to artmaking. These works wield a dual focus: inwards, towards the self, but also outwards, in search of connection with the other. In Cathartic Thread, 1000amour uses her own body as a canvas, transforming it into a site of personal renewal. Claire Sigal explores a similar balance between construction and violence in Mending Memories, which examines the process of sewing as intricately connected to Frida Kahlo’s life as a woman and artist. And in Walking Costume, Kathryn McTaggart uses a soft-sculpture garment to build a parallel between sewing and the “daily walks” that have become a central part of our lives during the pandemic.

Yiara is the product of so many people’s labour and love — it belongs to each member of our editorial team, to our contributors, and to our readers. As you read over this issue, we invite you to consider your place within this collective fabric that we are creating together, and to weave your own thread through it.

Thank you for reading,

Sara Hashemi & Amelle Margaron
Editors-in-Chief | Vol. 09