Thomas Roach taught himself to sew at age six because he couldn’t draw. Many years later he is still stitching, dyeing and using cloth as a medium to explore spiritual themes and community stories. Currently he is working primarily with natural fibers and dyes, using simple stitched resists and deconstructed screen-printing techniques. He seeks to evoke the liminal spaces between this world and that of the Divine.
Thomas shares his experience of cloth through teaching, workshops and community art projects. He co-lead a community art project that created 26 indigo-dyed quilts permanently installed in the parish Hall of Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver. On the success of the project, Thomas created a second community project there: Prayers of the Church as part of a residency in 2016. Thomas also designs church vestments and consults with parishes about use of liturgical space. Commissions include Christ Church Cathedral, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Regina and the Church of the Redeemer, Toronto. Thomas holds a diploma in textile arts with distinction from Capilano University, and was featured in the exhibition "Boys with Needles" at the Textile Museum of Canada. Some of Thomas’ recent works using natural dyes, printing and stitching were exhibited from Newfoundland to the Sunshine Coast during the summer of 2015.
Small Works: SDA at 40 2017 (Surface Design Association member exhibition)
(in)finite: spiritual conversations in cloth 2017 (juried)
Full Circle: 10th Anniversary Exhibition 2017 (juried)
Cherry Blossoms: A Textile Translation 2015 (juried)
Edge of the Forest: Surface Design Association Canadian Member Exhibition 2015-2016(juried)
mended: Surface Design Association BC Member Exhibition 2015(juried)
Common Threads Indigo Quilts 2014 (co-coordinator)
Boys with Needles 2002-2003 (curated)
Sacred Spaces: textiles for Spiritual Practice2000 (solo)
Leaves of Green - Sky of Blue: works in Indigo2000 (juried)
Gathering Threads: Contemporary Vancouver Textile Artists1999 (curated)