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

My unique sculptural work offers glimpses of shapeshifting natural forms, from unnoticed branches, leaves and seedpods into evocative works that celebrate the abundance of nature.

I use foraged and discarded plant material with traditional basketry and assemblage techniques to reimagine nature. My work is emotionally authentic, uniquely contemporary, and organically textural.

My work highlights the link between raw foraged organic materials, like vines and seed pods, with earthy materials like base metals including copper, and natural elements like charcoal, clay and ash. Most contains nothing but the organic material – no glue or synthetic dyes, and most don’t even use anything to bind it together, such as thread or wire.

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.

Inspiration
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.”

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.

Accolades
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.

My first solo exhibition in 2015 “Love Honour Cherish” 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 Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize (2017, 2018), Northern Beaches Art Prize (2017), North Sydney Art Prize (2013-2015), Warringah Art Prize (2016), and Mosman Art Gallery 2088 (2011-2018).

I enjoy teaching creativity and weaving, and run sold-out workshops at Sturt Craft Design Centre, North Sydney Centre, Creative Space and Sydney Craft Week.

My work is featured nationally in galleries, high end design spaces and private collections including Sydney Road Gallery, Australian Design Centre, Sturt Craft and Design Centre, and Fanuli Furniture.

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

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS:

Surfacing
27 September – 21 October 2018
Sydney Road Gallery

Catriona Pollard solo exhibition ‘Surfacing’ offers stunning works of sculptural basketry and assemblage works that explore the concept of layers of self and oneness by applying material and techniques to different surfaces. Catriona uses natural surroundings to inspire her and find that through the observation and interaction with nature she has developed works that allow colour, texture and organic form to surface.

Exhalation of the Trees 
22 September – 2 December 2018
Mosman Gallery – InProfile Solo

As trees exhale, we inhale. The unseen air moves around surfaces. In between cracks. Ducks and dives. Over, under. Through the ethereal beauty and harmonised rawness of ‘Exhalation of the Trees’ I am asking the viewer to see; to notice. Transforming found organic material into sculptures creates moments for people to view the natural world around them in a different way.

Artisans In The Gardens 
12 – 21 October 2018
Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney

 

ARTIST CV

Solo Exhibitions

2018 – I am of You – Sturt Craft and Design Centre – 15 April- 3 June 2018

2017 – 11:11 – The Synchronicity of Now  26 October – 12 November 2017  Sydney Road Gallery

2015 – Love. Honour. Cherish – Lane Cove Gallery

Duo Exhibitions:

2017 – “Fluidity”, Warringah Creative Space

2012 – “Common Threads”, Chrissie Cotter Gallery

Selected Exhibitions:

2018

  • Fire, Four Elements, Creative Space
  • We Are One, Sydney Road Gallery
  • Studio Stories, Sydney Road Gallery
  • Love Is, Sydney Road Gallery
  • Opening, Art Gallery On Ocean

2017

  • Winter, Sturt Contemporary Craft and Design
  • Wish List, Sydney Road Gallery
  • Evolve, Sydney Road Gallery
  • Distill, Sydney Road Galley
  • Home, Sydney Road Gallery
  • Air, Creative Space
  • Intersection, Basketry NSW

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:

2018

  • Finalist, Mosman 2088
  • Finalist, Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize

2017

  • Finalist, Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize
  • Finalist, Northern Beaches Art Prize
  • 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
  • Finalist, Mosman 2088

2014

  • Finalist, Emerging Artist of the Year 2014, Craft NSW
  • Finalist, Mosman 2088

2013

  • Finalist, North Sydney Art Prize
  • Finalist, Mosman 2088

Selected Workshops 

  • 2018 – Sturt Gallery, The Table, The School, North Sydney Community Centre, WildFest.
  • 2017 – Sturt Winter School – Interwoven creativity – weaving natural forms
  • – Sculptural Random Weaving – Warringah Creative Space
  • – Sculptural Random Weaving – Craft Week Sydney/Mosman Festival
  • 2016 – Random Weave with a Mould – Corporate
  • 2012 – Random Weaving – Chrissie Cotter Gallery
  • (All workshops listed here)

 

Follow me on Instagram: CatrionaPollard.

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