Toronto specializing in contemporary photography

German Textile Factory

German Textile Factory (Textilemaschinedepots, Mönchengladbach, Germany)

Shelagh Keeley’s ‘German Textile Factory’ photographs were originally made for a site-specific wall drawing installation entitled ‘Notes on Obsolescence’, commissioned by and exhibited at The Power Plant, Toronto (2014) and subsequently acquired by and exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery, in the exhibition ‘Persistence’ (2017).

Artist Statement


a layered, woven piece with thread like drawing weaving in and out of the factory photographs.
drawing … a meditation on slowness / obsolescence
the politics of the decline / end of an industry that was there for centuries
gone so quickly … out sourced to china / bangladesh… cheap labour
this dumping ground / depot of all the weaving machinery used over centuries
dumped in the old factory … ghosts of obsolescence
the intense speeding up of time… in our era
note on obsolescence / text by marshall mcluhan 1970
inspired the piece.

the dialogue between drawing and photography on the wall
between historical notions of work and the present
between the analog and the digital
the weave and the scan
traces of the hand … the textile worker and my hand
on the wall

the machine … the intervention of the artist
and the ghosts of the workers
the tragic beauty and politics of it all
honoured and reflected on in my piece.
honour the tradition of weaving … Jacquard weaving
the beginning of the early computer card.
the workers and the factory … the spirit of the place
in the photographs.

that space and time of the dead textile factory

—Shelagh Keeley

Contact the gallery for more information, including current availability and pricing.
Prices start at $8,000.

Request Info


Persistence: , curated by Daina Augaitis, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada, June 24 to October 1, 2017.

Shelagh Keeley: Notes on Obsolescence, curated by Gaëtane Verna, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada, September 20, 2014 – January 4, 2015.