Members’ Gallery

Hanging by a Golden Thread

Jill Letten (AiR)

January 5 – February 16, 2024
Opening Reception: Friday, January 12, 7–10 PM

Image Credit: Jill Letten, ‘Hanging by a Golden Thread’, 2023, Acrylic on textile, Courtesy of the artist.

Hanging by a Golden Thread

Hanging by a Golden Thread is an experimentation of textiles utilizing recycled materials and clothing, repurposing them into tangled yet intentional tapestries that explore the interconnections of the textile waste industry, overconsumption, and capitalism. The synthetic material composing much of the fabric used has been assembled using slow fashion techniques such as hand stitching and weaving.

Inspired by mid-century advertisements and fashion archives, the works serve as a conversation between figures and backgrounds. The artworks represent the visuals of textile waste, with textures and shapes distorting depth and space, consuming the painted figures. The chaotic patterns of the quilted and woven fabric are made to emulate the layering of fabric in how it appears in landfills, slumping together in massive heaps. The garments worn by the figures have become absorbed into the tapestry becoming insignificant to the whole of the work, leaving the figure and the collaged surface at the forefront to be confronted.

The mid-twentieth century was an era marked by economic growth and idealized perfectionism through aesthetics and mass consumerist culture. This series sparked interest in the reflections that come from situating figures from distant eras as portals to past times, as mirrors to the modern. 


Jill Letten is an artist from Hamilton, Ontario, accredited with a BFA from McMaster University’s Studio Arts program. She is a contemporary realist painter creating acrylic paintings that visualize realistic, and sometimes surrealistic, environments. The word ‘anemoia’ has become a term of interest, defined as “a nostalgic sense of longing for a past you yourself have never lived.” Pulling from mid-century aesthetics and imagery for visual inspiration, Jill is interested in examining the visuals of social euphoria and rose-tinted idealism. The process of layering visuals that call on the past to be viewed in a modern context is something that she is creatively intrigued by. Inviting viewers to examine beneath the fragments of what is visible to connect and relate to past lives through a relatable or critical lens.

Jill’s work has been shown at galleries such as the Hamilton Artist Inc., Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Paul Elia Gallery, You Me Gallery, Blue Crow Gallery, Cedar Ridge Gallery, Art Gallery of Peterborough and The Art Gallery of Hamilton. She recently completed an Artist Residency with the Art of Creation, a partnership between the Art Gallery of Hamilton and McMaster University, and is a 2023 Emerging Artist in Residence at Centre[3].