Journeying Into Form: The Mountain Goat Wool Project featured the work of Kwakwaka’wakw-Haida textile artist Meghann O’Brien in her first solo exhibition, which was displayed at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art this past summer. Mountain goat wool was the original fiber used on the Northwest Coast. It was regarded as a sacred material and used in the weaving of Yeil Koowu (Ravenstail) and Naxxiin (Chilkat) ceremonial garments.
The ancient and original techniques are a form of relating to and learning from the natural world, the spirit of which enters one when working intimately with material and process.
Journeying Into Form documents the transformation of raw, unshorn mountain goat pelts with guard hairs into pure white cloud-like balls of drafted wool, which are then thigh-spun into weft yarn. This was a journey that has transformed Meghann and her work. She discovered the world of the mountain goat and the qualities of the animal and its wool, in her words "the essence of what the robes are made of."