Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Portrait Project - Carole Hughes; Heather Gates; Jeannie Brown; Rielle Oswald

These self portraits in Textile are a part of a show currently showing at the Langham Gallery in Kaslo, BC.
'Self Portrait' - Carol Hughes
This is what Carol wrote about her self portrait in textile:
'As you may have already guessed, my favorite color is purple, so I’ve dressed my portrait in a purple top. I love the green contrasting with purple and brought out these colors as the dominate colors.

I love to spend summers in my garden, surrounded by my kitties and flowers of every description. From a young age, I’ve enjoyed searching for old items to display as art in my garden, including an old watering can. In winters, I spend my spare time in my sewing room. I love watercolor quilting pictures, but have never tried to put one together, so I made a watercolor background, and yep, got a couple out of place…. But, it plays on the garden theme with colors I enjoy.

How can anyone live in Kaslo and not love the mountain peaks covered in snow? I grew up in the shadow of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, so mountains have always been my love. Who doesn’t love the pink sky with the sun just going down?

I think this portrait has captured who I am and what I enjoy, putting me permanently into the picture.'
I didn't get the pleasure of meeting with Carol but I feel from her art piece I have learned a bit about her. Don't you feel the same. These self portraits are powerful. 
'Self Portrait' - Heather Gates
Heather wrote this about her textile piece:
'My love for sewing began when I was a little girl making Barbie clothes on an old Singer crank sewing machine.  I don't remember actually playing with the dolls, only creating clothes for them.   

In high school I took every sewing class available to me.  As soon as I saved up enough money I bought myself a sewing machine and a serger.  After graduating from high school I went to the University of Victoria and received my Bachelor of Science in biology, though I never lost my love for sewing.  During university I discovered quilting and developed quite a passion for it.   

After many years of quilting for the fun of it people started commissioning me to make quilts for them.  Then in 2006, with the birth of my daughter, I rediscovered the joy of designing and sewing outfits.  From there my fabric obsession grew into a business consisting of kids' clothes, quilts, postcard quilts, fabric bowls, etc.
I take great joy in creating and sewing fun and unique items.  Much of my inspiration comes from the beautiful fabrics that are available today.'

When I met Heather at the opening of the show she told me that she is used to being on the other side of the camera. Heather talked of being a busy mother and wife so that she found with regards to this self-portrait, she worked best under the pressure of the show deadline. Hidden in the stitching, Heather placed the names of her children and her husband. I loved that.

'Self Portrait' - Jennie Brown 
Jeannie's self-portrait is a silhouette depicted in a cameo. But what is so interesting about this piece is that the face is felted and sculptural. This photo doesn't begin to capture the complexity of the piece. Jeannie used wool, synthetic fabric and felting material in creating her self-portrait. She states she has also done a three dimensional felted portrait of her husband. Wouldn't that be interesting to see.

'Essence' - Rielle Oswald
This three dimensional piece, hung from the ceiling, had quite a presence in the gallery. Not working in three dimension, myself, I found it fascinating. I did not get a chance to talk to Rielle but I found myself wondering how her process developed. The face looked to be molded and painted which I can imagine doing but I would have liked to have found out how she decided where to go from there. Impressive creating.  


Win Dinn, Artist said...

These portraits are such a fascinating glimpse into both the portrait show and lives of the artists...thanks for sharing them, Eileen!

Laura Leeder said...

What a great post Eileen! Thank You for sharing a bit about the creator of each.