Sunday, September 26, 2021

boxes three and four : In the Middle of the World

 I am not like you, the old woman said slowly.

I do not tell stories.

I see visions.

I see that life is not a line, but a circle.

To be human is to be circled in the cycles of nature,

rooted in the processes that nurture us in life, 

just as plants breathe in and out their photo synthesis

breathing in and breathing out.

Elizabeth Dodson Gray   from Green Paradise Lost  (1979) 

Installation happens this week.
Four boxes of art, one box of rods arrived at the gallery on Friday, September 24.

I can not find the words to name how I am feeling. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Box Two for In The Middle of the World

I've loved the rock cuts of northern Ontario my whole life.

Now I'm sending textiles that are inspired by them to our exhibition next month.  

Penny Berens from Nova Scotia and I are working with a young freelance curator, Miranda Bouchard.  

Miranda supports us.  
She reminds us to create our true work.  
My work is grounded in phenomenology and the huge inner world. 
For me, phenomenology is the idea that just through living,
just through moving our bodies through time and space,
just through breathing and touching and hearing and tasting and seeing,
we learn.  

Our bodies retain knowledge.
Our bodies never forget. 
Penny and I have been told that we make drawings with stitch, 
but drawing occupies a single plane, 
embroidery also marks the reverse side. 
The rugged beauty of northern Ontario is held in my work.  

The quiet.  The strength.
The birdsongs.  The wind.
The Norah Rosamond Hughes gallery is a large heritage site within the MVTM museum.
The walls are thick, rough and natural.  There will be a lot to experience.    
There will be a lot of movement required.  
Moving releases people from the rational mind, into a creative trance.
A place of insight. 

No matter what comes along, we are always standing in the middle of a sacred space.  

Everything that comes into our circle has come to teach us what we need to know.  

                                                                                                    Pema Chodron

link for artist talk on September 29 is here

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Box One

I live on a sweet island.  

It is quiet here, just birdsong and wind in the trees.

The kinds of moments in nature that happen quickly and then are gone.

We remember them in our bodies.

I watch the lake every day.

The colours of the sky and the water change all the time. 

There are things in nature that we are unconsciously aware of.

The interconnectedness between the land, the air, and humanity is one of these.

I use all the senses in my work.

Smell, sound, touch, taste, sight and also the sixth sense - mystery.

Art is like nature.  It opens the inner world.

My work reflects the quietness of nature.

I work alone for long hours laying in repetitive marks inspired by nature's way.

I make large scale, hand stitched drawings and sculptures based on simple repetition.

I use domestic textiles and natural dye.  

I have been exhibiting my work for 40 years. 

The aesthetics of simplicity, time, labour and repetition ground my work.  

My completed works reflect who I am.  My work is me.

This is why I use dyes from my locale.  

This is why I use family textiles.

This is why I use large space. 

My language is the stitched mark.

I keep paring away anything else.

I've created a body of work using wool blankets, plant dyes, and hand stitch. 

Some pieces were inspired by the monumental rock cuts of Northern Ontario highways. 

I'm packing my work this week.  

The exhibition with Penny Berens at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte Ontario is finally happening.  

I have five boxes of completed work to ship.  

I'll show what is going into Box Two in a couple of days.     

I am so glad to be finally getting this work out.

You must be getting bored with it. 

Friday, August 27, 2021


The similitudes of the past and those of the future,

the glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings,

the certainty of others,

the life, love, sight, hearing of others.

Others will see the islands large and small.

Fifty years hence, others will see them,

A hundred years hence, others will see them.
what is it then between us?

what is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?
I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me

It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,

The dark threw its patches down upon me also,
I laid in my stores in advance,

I considered long and seriously of you before you were born.

We understand then do we not?
Live, old life!

Play the old role!
Receive the summer sky, you water, and faithfully hold it

Till all downcast eyes have time to take it from you.
You have waited, you always wait.

We receive you at last.

We plant you permanently within us.

We fathom you not.  We love you.

These are Walt Whitman's words