April 2013 Featured Artist – Pat Loucks

Shelter #3, Torn cloth embroidered and stitched with twigs, found branches woven into existing fence.

Shelter #3, Torn cloth embroidered and stitched with twigs, found branches woven into existing fence.

Pat Loucks

An early interest in sewing, knitting and quilting led me to pursue formal studies in Textiles at NSCAD, where explorations in weaving gave me an understanding of the basic structure of cloth. Intrigued by the idea of cloth as an art form, I began experimenting with printmaking and resist dyeing, adding applique, stitching and embroidery to create more complex imagery.

The historical tradition of textile work done by women has been an important influence in my art process, choices of materials, and techniques. The labour-intensive, repetitive nature of handwork, as well as its physicality, are important features of my work. I regularly use torn cloth and unfinished edges to make the structure of cloth apparent and to demonstrate the properties of cloth – its strength as well as its vulnerability.

Links

I’ve been a member of VANS for over 10 years. I joined in order to be more connected to the broader arts scene in this region. VANS plays an important role in creating links between artists by offering workshops, discussion groups, opportunities to exhibit and market our work. I’ve participated in several VANS programs including the PAINTS program, exhibitions, workshops. I was selected for the VANS Artist-in-Residence program at Captain Wm. Spry Library, and recently showed my work at The Hub. I have exhibited also in the Corridor Gallery.

Patterns in the Landscape

Inspiration for my work usually comes from my observation of seasonal changes in the natural environment or the effects of human intervention in the landscape. More recently I am exploring the similarities between the earth’s landscape and human skin – our personal landscape – reflecting on histories, memories, scars and the passage of time. The marks and patterns on the land and on human skin provide an image bank of resources for my work.

Challenge of Textiles

As a textile artist, the challenge is always getting recognition as a serious artist. Textiles have traditionally been regarded as “craft” rather than “art” and as such relegated to an inferior position. Consequently it can often be frustrating to continue to make the work you love to make. Textile artists have considerably fewer opportunities to exhibit in galleries, commercial or otherwise, and usually need to carefully comb calls to entry for possibilities. I recently had two pieces accepted to the World of Threads Festival, an international juried exhibition of contemporary fibre art. Works were exhibited in several venues in the Toronto area, and included a huge variety of wall-mounted works, indoor and outdoor installations.

Recent Work

I recently had 2 pieces selected for the World of Threads Festival, an international juried exhibition of contemporary fibre art. Works were exhibited in several venues in the Toronto area. Currently my work focusses on creating outdoor site-specific installations, and studio installations. These works often combine re-purposed cloth with natural elements and found objects, as in my 3-part land art work “Shelter”. A new installation work titled “Skin Deep” will be exhibited during July and August in a gallery in Portalegre, Portugal.

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