I would describe my artwork as contemporary mixed media grounded in fibre. I enjoy working with different types of textile and natural material and have been working in various mediums since I was a teenager. When doing my Fine Arts degree, I focused on two-dimensional work, such as illustration and painting. I have been working with fibre since 2016, and I began this current body of work in 2018.
I always had a lot of kinetic energy, and played a lot of sports growing up. That physical expression is vital to me; it makes me feel complete. I think creating art allows me to channel that physical expression in a different way. That’s why I like to work with tactile mediums and mixed media in order to produce something that is tangible in the 3D environment.
In 2015, my mother sent me a box of linens from my great-grandmother’s house. There were a lot of beautiful embroidered runners and wall hangings that she had made. That is how I became interested in learning embroidery, and started exploring textile artwork. I began with materials I had on hand, putting various elements together through trial and error, eventually incorporating foraged natural materials with my embroidery work.
I am originally from the West Coast, where the seasons blend together more than they do in the North. Before moving to Yellowknife in 2013, I had never lived anywhere with such distinct seasons. I still find it extremely fascinating to see how the landscape looks in the summer versus the winter, how drastically if shifts throughout the year. I also noticed that the seasons affected my mood and I wanted to tie those two elements together in my work. Part of my exploration is connecting the way I feel as the seasons change to how the landscape evolves, finding a common tactile representation of that connection.
I start my creative process while out in nature. I observe the land throughout the year, collecting branches, lichens, and other natural elements found along the way. In order to create the total body of work that I envision, I need to be planning ahead. I have to time the foraging process to align with what I want to produce and what emotions I want to emanate. I have to gather and dry the materials, and see what I have left to work with once all the foraged items have dried. I cannot rush this process and it has taught me some valuable lessons in patience.
There’s a lived experience associated with what I create. There’s a process to it, and the process makes the artwork unique. Eventually, I would like to offer a physical environment for people to be with an entire body of work representing all seasons. If people can be with my artwork, I would hope that it would evoke some connection with the land and their own emotions, specific to year-round natural cycles.