About Catriona Pollard – Sculptural Fibre Artist

It takes a talented artist to see the true beauty in inanimate objects and visualise how she would use these in a creative form. Her work binds immense femininity, sensitivity and strength. With every piece there is a story to be told. Catriona depicts friends, family and places. What really amazes me is her great sensitivity with the use of materials and the effortless combination of them. Producing often tightness in contrast with fluid form. Jason Woodland, Fanuli

Through my sculptures, I use nature as a way to connect with people that goes beyond physical beauty, but touches them in a personal and profound way. Transforming discarded organic material into sculptures forces people to view the natural world around them in a different way.

It adds a layer of wonder and contemplative engagement, and can also lead to a reflection on our inner landscape and the question of what would happen if we saw aspects of our lives in different ways.

The forms I weave tell stories relating to friends, family and experiences. They are about truly seeing the extraordinary in everyday moments. For me, it’s about being still, and letting the beauty surface.

Growing up in the country, with summers at the beach and every other school holidays camping and walking through National Parks has resulted in a deep connection with the natural world around me.

As I walk through the bush tracks inspiration presents itself. I see a fallen tree with the roots exposed and an idea for a sculpture is illuminated. Or as I wade through the rock pools, the shape of the water against the rocks becomes an idea for a story to be told through sculptural form.

“Weaving using organic material is about listening to what it wants to be. I may have an idea about what I’m going to create. And then I’ll pick up the material and start the sculpture and the material decides what it wants to become.”

I predominately use only foraged or discarded organic material to weave and construct beautiful sculptural baskets and forms. Most of my work contains nothing but the organic fibre – no glue or synthetic dyes, and most don’t even use anything to bind it together, such as thread or wire.

My work adds a contemporary layer to the ancient art form of weaving, which is often dismissed as functional craft. My work gives the viewer the opportunity review their assumptions about craft and its potential in art. When they see my work, it forces them to see beyond their concept of basketry.

In addition to my sculptural work, I also spend time creating ephemeral pieces as I have an interest in the concept of impermanence within nature and the juxtaposition of society’s current disconnection with it. I use ephemeral artworks to explore these concepts. The process of spending a day (or an hour) in nature creating art that is simply left there to disintegrate is an integral aspect of this exploration.

I am predominately self-taught. I have done weaving sessions with Judy Dominic (USA), Mary Hettmansperger (US), Tim Johnson (UK), Robyn Djunginy (NAIDOC National Artist of the Year), Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Mavis Ganambarr, Meri Peach, (the late) Jim Wallis and acclaimed Australian basket artist (the late) Virginia Kaiser.

“Walking down the street with your only view being the phone in your hand, means that you’re missing the moments in time that nature gifts us; a beautiful sunset, the sun through the trees or leaf drifting by in the breeze.”

My first solo exhibition in 2015 was described as emotionally-authentic, uniquely contemporary, raw and visually stunning. I’ve been shortlisted as Emerging Artist of the Year Craft NSW (2014, 2015), finalist North Sydney Art Prize (2013-2015), Warringah Art Prize (2016) and Mosman Art Gallery 2088 (2011-2017).

My work is featured nationally in galleries, high end design spaces and private collections.

Read about my exploration of creativity, nature and the beauty of life on my blog CatrionaPollard.com

CV

Solo Exhibition:

2016

  • Love. Honour. Cherish – Lane Cove Gallery

Two-person Exhibition

2017
  • “Fluidity”, Warringah Creative Space

2012

  • “Common Threads”, Chrissie Cotter Gallery

Selected Exhibitions:

2017
  • Winter, Sturt Contemporary Craft and Design

2016

  • Earth – Four Elements, Warringah
  • Fibre Stories, Basketry NSW
  • Sculptures in the Garden, Mudgee

2015

  • The Gathering, Basketry NSW
  • Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival
  • Mosman 2088

2014

  • From Small Things, Basketry NSW
  • Glenaeon Art Show
  • Women on Boards Art Prize exhibition
  • Mosman 2088

2013

  • Primrose Park Art & Craft Annual exhibition
  • Glenaeon Art Show
  • “What’s a Basket?” exhibition, Basketry NSW
  • In Situ: Mosman Festival of Sculpture & Installation
  • Mosman 2088 exhibition

2012

  • Mosman 2088 exhibition
  • In Situ: Mosman Festival of Sculpture & Installation
  • Breathing Colours art gallery’s Tiered exhibition.

Awards:

2017

  • Finalist, Mosman 2088

2016

  • Finalist, Warringah Art Prize
  • Finalist, Mosman 2088

2015:

  • Finalist, Emerging Artist of the Year 2015, Craft NSW
  • Finalist, North Sydney Art Prize

2014

  • Finalist, Emerging Artist of the Year 2014, Craft NSW

2013

  • Finalist, North Sydney Art Prize

Selected Workshops

  • 2017 – Sturt Winter School – Interwoven creativity – weaving natural forms
  • 2017 – Sculptural Random Weaving – Warringah Creative Space
  • 2016 – Sculptural Random Weaving – Warringah Creative Space
  • 2016 – Random Weave with a Mould – Corporate
  • 2012 – Random Weaving – Chrissie Cotter Gallery

MEDIA COVERAGE

Her artwork attested to the variations and immense possibilities offered from shaping natural objects. The intersection of the ancient craft of weaving and modern imaginative sculpture was enigmatic and highly inventive. Viewing the variety of raw materials superbly fashioned to create poignant artworks instantly conveyed a myriad of images of Catriona Pollard’s patient and persistent quest and journeys that precipitated her practice. Collecting palms, vines, stones, willow and a host of other natural materials, intrinsic to her work. The texture and colour variations are symbolic references to the connection she makes between nature and humanity.Catriona Pollard’s work is was sinuous and imaginative. Rose Niland, NSW Special Features, The Culture Concept Circle

I have been profiled an number of media outlets including:

I am on the committee for the Basketry NSW Inc.

Follow me on Instagram: CatrionaPollard.

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