Joanna Rogers
Textile Artist

Artist Statement

I have always enjoyed finding an oddness in things and strive to give visual voice to the incongruities I encounter, or imagine, as I go about my daily life.

I work with textiles, found objects and photographs and am drawn to traditional surface design techniques such as hand dying, shibori, and hand weaving. The haptic nature of fibre is very important to me because it creates an immediate connection between me, the maker, and each piece as it is constructed. I enjoy working slowly, savouring the feel of the material. The found objects I use have been discarded, either by nature or by people. This detritus becomes precious and significant when presented as a collection. I am interested in the history of amassing, categorizing and displaying collections and what these objects tell us about the collector and the era in which they lived.

Experimentation is a key element in all my work. I love the thrill of working with, and exploring, the unknown. I play with concepts of time and the pieces I create can resemble recently unearthed artifacts from a possible future or artifacts from an alternate past. I also enjoy including stories in my work thus embracing an age-old textile tradition. These stories are often hidden and told in code. Sometimes the code is real and these stories can be read. Sometimes the code is imaginary and the message is lost. I am fascinated by non-verbal forms of communication, which have fallen out of use, like morse code, and how they paved the way for the communication technologies of today.

I am grateful to have lived on Pender Island, part of the traditional lands of the Tsawout First Nation, since 1999 and continue to be inspired by the natural beauty surrounding me. My current practice is driven primarily by my response to the continuing destruction of the natural environment and the effect this degradation has on native species of flora and fauna. I have seen the results of this firsthand during my time on Pender Island. I have watched the grouse and quail disappear, the brown newts, southern resident orcas and sea stars dwindle alarmingly in number, the patches of broom, gorse, periwinkle and St. John’s wort swallow more and more delicate native plants.

The pieces I create are multifaceted and each contains several ideas, related and disparate, which have been worked together to form a cohesive entity. My ideas stem from an examination of contemporary issues drawing on my past academic studies in Anthropology and Textile Art History. I conduct a lot of research into related topics to flesh out my ideas. I love discovering interesting tidbits of information that can literally completely change someone’s world view.


Joanna Rogers. Artist Talk for the Craft Council of BC. February 2023

Joanna Rogers. Preview of Artist Talk at SJIMA. September 2023.

Archipelago Artist Talks. Morning Session. SJIMA. Joanna Rogers' talk starts at 26.57 and ends at 44.55