There is a story to every place and every place can tell many stories. Places are imbued with meaning, be it through personal memories, defining events, or the landscape itself. For this exhibition three artists explore their connections to three provinces they have in common: Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Each artist considers the fundamental meaning of “place” and expresses her unique vision of that place at a particular moment in time — one that is deeply personal and reflects her understanding of that location. These textile works represent how a sense of place is impacted by personal histories and personal ways of seeing. Viewers are invited to examine their own sense of place and perhaps look with renewed understanding at places held dear.
Hélène Blanchet Artist Statement
My work represents the idea of a place. The landscapes I do are real and are my response to how I feel when I am there. Colour permeates everything I do. I work intuitively, drawing from what feels right at the time. I live in a big dramatic landscape in Cape Breton. It is a very moody place changing by the hour. For this project, I have studied these moods and have created a series of colourful interpretations of the same image reflecting these various moods. I am moved by the wildness of a place, its big organic way of being. I am also moved by the history, human and ecological, of a place. This informs how I read a landscape. What has happened here? What impact have people, animals and time had on the original landscape? The stories that belong here deepen my understanding and my connection to the place. I have roamed the landscape of Southern Saskatchewan in search of understanding what this land is. I create simple abstracted compositions that hint at a deeper story, one that I do not understand. I have pushed my boundaries artistically and personally in Alberta. I continue to do this by pushing my use of colour in fresh new ways. Then I explore my relationship with Alberta in a series of small abstracts described in haikus.
Alison Dean Cowitz Artist Statement
I am fascinated by textures, be they man-made or organic. I imprint hard textures onto soft fabrics using a variety of techniques and colour to capture these surfaces in situ. When not on location, I imagine the textures and colours of a place while dyeing fabrics, and further explore my connection to these places through journals, sketches, and collages of photographs of my surface-dyed fabrics. I tell my story through colours, marks, moods and, in this way, capture the essence of a place. For this exhibit, the places I explore are personal, and sources of artistic growth and discovery. Alberta is where I was born – it is my home. Saskatchewan is where I find inspiration, growth, self-healing and spirituality. Nova Scotia is the land of my family roots – my heritage.
Kristi Farrier Project Statement
This body of work explores my intuitive responses to the energy of places to which I am inextricably connected: Alberta - my place of birth and coming of age; Cape Breton - the place I now call home; and Saskatchewan - a place of inspiration and spirit I’ve come to know later in life. Through spontaneous line and colour, I express these fluid and fluctuating connections. My bond to place may be shaped by memory or present circumstance. Sometimes it’s about the people. Other times it’s a small or single detail, like the colour of a blueberry or the scent of the air. In turn, it could be the full and visceral response to an expansive landscape or monumental experience. Or perhaps, simply the indivisible spirit of a place that I can’t ignore.