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


COMING UP:

LITTLE THINGS ART PRIZE 2019 EXHIBITION

Finalist
28 August – 8 September
Saint Cloche Gallery, Paddington

HOME AFFAIRS

Selected
Home Affairs
25 October – 1 December 2019
Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Manly

6th SOLO

9-23 November 2019
ME Studio, St Leonards

RECENT EXHIBITION:

Falling Into Longing

Fifth solo exhibition ‘Falling Into Longing’ offers stunning works of sculptural basketry and assemblage works that explore the concept of longing and how we move towards our desires and the impact that has on our lives.

When: 20 June to 14 July 2019
Meet The Artist: Saturday 22 June 2019 1 – 4pm
Times: Thursday – Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm and Sunday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Location: Sydney Road Gallery, 563 Sydney Road Seaforth NSW 2092