December 23, 2011

Women of Fibre, at the Whyte - part 3

These are the pieces I have in the gallery:

16" x 24"
Cotton - silk screening, discharge dying, hand embroidery, free machine embroidery.

Artist Statement: The charred remains of pine trees that are visible throughout the Rocky Mountains are signs of man's attempt to control the spread of the destruction caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle. Cross-sections of the growth rings of these burnt remains echo the shapes of the original scribbling of maps that the early explorers used to navigate the Rockies. With no roads, natives travelled along animal trails, and when the white man arrived, their native guides jotted jagged lines onto paper to direct them.

Description of archives: Early map drawn by natives to guide Mary Schaffer to Morraine Lake.

[The four other pieces in this series can be found in the gallery shop.]

11" x 9" x 2"
Mixed animal hides, paper, waxed linen - bookbinding, hand painted papers.

Artist statement: As a response piece to a photo of Mary Schaffer, my eye was drawn to the lettering in the top right corner of the tent. Writing on the tent leads me to writing of a diary, and further research showed that Mary kept diligent accounts of her days on the trail. As a calligrapher and book artist, I am always drawn to the written word and an obvious extension of this was to recreate Mary's diary - with weathered and worn pages, marked with coffee stains and leaf impressions. Bound in a leather cover (echoing her well-worn buckskin jacket) and contained in a leather moccasin (the shoe being one of society's constraints that she was glad to throw off), this package portrays an upper-class Philadelphian grand dame in the Canadian wilds at the turn of the 19th century.

Description of archives: Mary Schaffer's buckskin jacket.
[located on the floor, under the table]

16" x 20"
Cotton - rust dyeing and silk screening.

Artist statement: The fossils contained in the Burgess Shale, which show the incredible array of life in the early Cambrian period, have amazed the world with their detail and diversity since their discovery in 1909. Concealed in compacted mud, muscles, gills and other soft body parts are revealed along with bones, teeth and shell, exposing the mysteries of the beginning of the Cambrian era. This piece attempts to convey the richness of the layers of live found there.

Description of archives: CD Walcott diaries and field notebook (1909 - 1923)

[The three other pieces in this series can be found in the gallery shop.]

Actual fossils from the Burgess Shale site upon Mount Stephen above Field, BC.

This exhibition is up until January 29, 2012. I encourage you to get to the mountains and take in some art!

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