Sophia Borowska is an artist and weaver based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal.
Informed by the rich material culture of cities, Sophia Borowska’s work plays with tactility to humanize the built environment. Combining textile processes with construction materials like concrete, steel, and wood, she creates site-responsive installations.
Columns, cracks, pipes, and stains are highlighted as tangible marks of how a space functions, and of events that happened there. Architectural records and treatises often inform how Borowska works with a specific site, but equally important are its material qualities and how her body relates to the space.
Using textiles to communicate with architecture is a feminist stance to Borowska. Despite their common status as applied arts, textiles and architecture have quite different and specifically gendered associations. Questioning such socially constructed oppositions, she hybridizes hard and soft, monumental and intimate, rational and messy, or grandiose and abject. By inhabiting these middle-grounds, her work critiques the macho intellectualism that the field of architecture is prone to, and celebrates the invisible labour and embodied knowledge of craftspeople who have come before her.
Sophia Borowska's installation-based work explores the intersection between textiles, the body, and the built environment. Her research delves into process and place, responding to specific sites through haptic and obsessive textile practices.
Beginning her textile studies at the Capilano University Textile Arts Program, Borowska went on to complete her BFA in Fibres and Material Practices at Concordia University in 2016. Her final year thesis project on digital weaving resulted in a book and website entitled Data Excess (www.data-excess.com). This research into digital culture led her to join the board of administrators at Ada X, a feminist artist-run centre supporting new media arts, in 2019.
Borowska has exhibited across Canada, mostly presenting at artist-run centres and DIY, site-specific events. Some spaces that have particularly informed her career include articule and La Centrale in Montréal, Gallery Jones in Vancouver, and Centre Matéria in Québec. Her latest solo exhibition, Megastrukturer, was presented at Pakhus Gallery in Denmark in the spring of 2020. She has participated in residencies at Kunstkollektivet 8B and La Maison des métiers d’art de Québec. Borowska’s sculptural approach to weaving and textiles has earned her grants and awards from institutions including the Handweavers’ Guild of America, Canada Council, CALQ, and SODEC.
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