Emily Chudnovsky, detail of the felting process for "Unwoven Strands A Visual Study of Microfibers," 2023. Cropped. Image courtesy of the artist.


Join artist Emily Chudnovsky and researchers from the U of T Trash Team for the opening reception of Unwoven Strands: A Visual Study of Microfibers, a night of conversation exploring sources of plastic pollution and the intersections of art and science.

Emily Chudnovsky’s newest series of artworks, Felt One, Felt Two, and Felt Three were made using sheep’s wool, invasive grapevines, and microfibers. Microfibers are tiny strands of microplastic (plastic litter < 5mm in size) that often end up in waterways through the routine washing and drying of clothes. The microfibers used for these pieces are from discarded textiles and carpeting.

Microfibers are everywhere, and we continue to see an increase in the use of plastic-based materials by the fashion industry. Chudnovsky’s felt collage pieces combine natural but invasive fibers from grapevines with plastic fibers. These Felt works draw a connection between invasive species and plastic pollution - a synthetic invasive 'species' in our environment. The Felt Pieces also explore some of the possibilities that the small but pervasive material might hold. 

The concept for this work stems from the research conducted by Hayley McIlwraith, Jack Lin, Dr. Sam Athey, and Dr. Lisa Erdle, working with Professors Miriam Diamond and Chelsea Rochman. This work culminated as a pollution prevention project of The University of Toronto Trash Team (in collaboration with The Rochman Lab and Georgian Bay Forever) called Divert and Capture: Microfiber Project, led by Dr. Erdle. Erdle’s research shows that if every household in Toronto had a washing machine filter installed, we could collectively divert up to 166 trillion microfibers from wastewater per year. 

For more information on the University of Toronto Trash Team’s Pollution Prevention Projects, including microfibers, visit uofttrashteam.ca/microfibers.



U of T Trash Team

Supported by

Ontario Arts Council

Event Metadata

Event Ended

  • Date: Fri, Mar 8, 2024
  • Time & Duration: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (EST) (2h)
  • Cost:
    • All


  • Venue:
    Hart House
    7 Hart House Cir,
    Toronto, ON M5S 3H3
    View Map
  • Room: Donald Burwash Dining Room (2005)
  • Event Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

What's On

  1. Jun 15  – Jul 12
  2. Jun 15  – Jun 30
  3. Jun 15 – Jul 27
  4. Jun 17 – Jul 22
  5. Jun 18 – Jul 27
  6. Jun 19 – Jul 27
  7. Jun 19 – Aug 7
  8. Wed, Jun 19