An exhibition that explores textiles and patterns as modes of communicating creation stories i.e., the way we come to be based on our storied histories of movement and discovery. BEYOND THE SOIL is inspired by the modes of meaning embedded in quilting practices of the African diaspora.

BEYOND THE SOIL combines the tactile applications of quilting practices with new media by incorporating digital design, 3D printing and augmented reality. The exhibit features imagined quilt patches from several Afrodiasporic members located in cities across Ontario as well as Chicago, IL. Each participant was asked to sketch or digitally draw their creation story—exploring their lineage and the experiences that have molded them. We are comprised of a compilation of moments that shape us. For Black folks, those moments are a mixed assemblage of movement, adaptation, and shifting soil.

Shifting Soil Workshop

Catch us at the Black/African Feminisms Conference

We’re hosting a Shifting Soil workshop at the OISE Black/African Feminisms Conference

Join us to co-create an artpiece inspired by the work that we have been doing with the Beyond the Soil project. You can find us at the Black/African Feminisms Conference on Saturday, April 20th. Our workshop will be at 10:55 AM.

The Making of Beyond the Soil

Creative Team
BEYOND THE SOIL was curated and designed by Nico Taylor & Queen Kukoyi of Oddside Arts with assistance from Chicago-based community artist Schetauna Powell of Artivism Community Art. The creation of the exhibit also benefited from artistic consulting by Toronto-based artist and designer, Neekta Torabian who advised on the 3D printing on fabric. And a custom display for the 3D-printed prototype quilt patches created by Toronto-based architectural designer and installation artist, Mark Francis.

The quilt patterns

Quilts are a woven source of record keeping passed down through generations. There is a rich history of African diasporic quilting culture, birthing folklore that visualizes the mass displacement of African descendent people due to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. These patterns attempt to communicate how those searching for their freedom navigated the Underground Railroad. Whether these tales are true or not, quilting has long been a way for many African ancestors to gather with community, impart cultural knowledge and pass down visual histories as meaningful fabric stitches.
BEYOND THE SOIL features artistic work from: Amirah Star, Afi Browne, Gerda Creates, Kofi Frempong, Levyi-Alexander J. Love, Mahlikah The Moonrise Poet, Meighan Morson, Myrtle Henry Sodhi, Nandi Taylor, Nay Unapologetic, Nenookaasi, Niya Ahmed Abdullahi, Ohm, O.Shae, Sage, Sarah Waithe, Tracey Prehay and The Wild Woman.
The above artwork is the first iteration of an innovative communal quilting project.


Beyond the Soil was first exhibited at Toronto’s City Hall.

View The Exhibit

The works created from the Shifting Soil workshop will be exhibited at 110 Bond Street (The Innovation Studio) in Toronto, Ontario from February 7-29, 2024.

To get the most out of your viewing experience, download the Artivive App to be able to explore the augmented reality (AR) on each piece.

Supported By:

Special thank you to the following members of Toronto Metropolitan University's Design Fabrication Zone team.