Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Weaving the Landscape

Textile-based art has been gaining momentum and popularity over the past few years. Knitting, crochet, macrame, weaving -these are all forms of textile art that have seen a recent resurgence. Textile art can be a great activity to learn; it can be low cost, low mess, and has the potential to be quite therapeutic (assuming you don't attempt to tackle a project that is too far beyond your skill level!). It can also be an eco-friendly art form by incorporating natural fibres and re-purposed materials.

One textile artist who has caught our attention over the past year is Allison Pinsent Baker of Shad Bay Weaving. Allison's works will likely surpass any preconceived notions of what weaving looks like. She creates the most stunning woven tapestries that look almost like paintings. Using mixed natural fibres, Allison weaves landscapes with perfectly chosen color palettes. The incorporation of various types of fibres, many of which are hand-dyed and spun by her mother, creates textural variation that really helps the pieces come alive.

Allison Pinsent Baker, Untitled, 17" x 25", Mixed Natural Fibres
Allison's deep connection with the east coast landscape is so apparent in her work. From the carefully chosen colors, to the rugged and rocky seascapes, her works easily illicit sounds, smells, and sights of the Maritimes. She creates pieces that are close and familiar to her heart, like this piece "The Woods" pictured below. As a child, she spent a lot of time outdoors exploring the woods, often with her grandfather in tow.

Allison Pinsent Baker, The Woods, 36" x 39", Mixed Natural Fibres

Allison Pinsent Baker, High Head, December, 19"x35", All Natural Fibres

Allison is currently collecting plastic straws in preparation for an exciting project she'll be initiating very soon. As an artist who utilizes natural materials in her work, Allison is an advocate for taking steps to reduce single-use plastic in our landfill. There are so many environmentally smarter alternatives! We're encouraging any local businesses (and households) hoping to phase out the use of plastic straws to bring your remaining straws to us here at the gallery, where we'll be collecting them on Allison's behalf for use in her upcoming project.

Swing by soon to see Allison's works in-person, and to check out "The Repurposers" show featuring twelve local artists who incorporate natural and/or found objects into their work. You can view the entire show online HERE.