Sculptural Fibre Artist: CATRIONA POLLARD
It takes an 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
I have established a reputation as a distinctive fibre artist who uses traditional basketry techniques to transform foraged plant fibres into organic sculptural works.
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 and investigate our personal connection to the natural world.
With a intuitive minimal aesthetic, my abstract sculptures use foraged and discarded plant material with traditional basketry and assemblage techniques.
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 the viewer to observe the natural world and explore the concept of controlling it or being in harmony with it.
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.
Through this reinterpretation of nature, my work offers up the concept that we should actively see nature as part of us rather than simply an object that has no meaning or spirit. This investigation also leads to a reflection on our inner landscape and questioning control versus harmony within our lives.
The forms I weave tell stories relating to emotions, concepts, energy 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.
“Trusting my intuition, weaving using organic material is about listening to the material. I may have an idea about what I’m going to create and then I allow the material to inform me. I recognise that I am the conduit for what the material 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.
Predominately self-taught, I have been honoured to learn and do weaving sessions with Jillian Culey (Aus), 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 solo exhibitions are described as emotionally-authentic, uniquely contemporary Australian, raw and visually stunning.
I was awarded the 2021 Northern Beaches Artist in Residence, and have been shortlisted as finalist International Fibre Art Biennale (2023), National Capital Art Prize (2022) Environmental Art & Design Award (2021, Highly Commended 2022), Australian Fibre Arts Award (2021), Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize (2017, 2018), Northern Beaches Art Prize (2017-2018), North Sydney Art Prize (2013-2015, 2022), Warringah Art Prize (2016), Emerging Artist of the Year Craft NSW (2014, 2015) and Mosman Art Gallery 2088 (2011-2021), Little Things Art Prize (2019).
I enjoy teaching creativity and weaving, and run sold-out workshops in Australia and internationally. Click here for more details.
My work is featured nationally in galleries, high end design spaces and private collections. You can view my work privately by contacting me or there are collections at Fanuli Furniture and Art Gallery on Palm Beach, Broken Hill Regional Gallery and other exhibitions listed.
Read about my exploration of creativity, nature and the beauty of life on my blog CatrionaPollard.com
See my art portfolio for for residential and commercial spaces.
Please go to my art website TheArtofWeaving.com.au for the complete portfolio of my work available for sale.
Your workshop was the best I have ever attended or likely to. It was so complete with our written work, discussions, meditations, ephemeral art, as well as all the great techniques and the total class commitment and enthusiasm – Rachel
I had a wonderful day creating, learning new skills, using natural elements and sitting chatting with like-minded women. What a gift to be able to take time out with Catriona guiding us enthusiastically and nurturing our new skills and self-belief. Thanks heaps Catriona – Robin
Thoroughly enjoyed the random weave workshop. It was lovely to spend time creating a sculpture from nature, in the company of like-minded people. – Anita
Every month – dates and bookings on TheArtofWeaving.com.au
Cost: $195 inc GST and material
Learn the random weave basketry technique using the wonderful Bangalow Palm inflorescence. The workshop is all about exploration and play – not perfection. Experience and explore sculptural basketry techniques and learn how to create something from found organic material just using your hands and imagination.
It’s a small class so you get hands-on tuition from an expert. Materials included, but if you have access to Bangalow Palm inflorescence then bring it along. Once booked, I’ll give you preparation notes.
Suitable for beginners, or intermediate weavers. (If you’ve never done weaving before – perfect! You’ll love it and leave with finished baskets).
You will be learning and exploring my favourite basketry techniques with materials you can easily access after the class so you can keep on weaving:
- random weaving with cane + inclusions
- random weaving with long leafy plants
- twining with jute with a pattern
- looping with paper string
- Bonus: cordage/string demonstration
By the end of this course you will be confident in multiple basketry techniques.
CLICK for more information and to BOOK NOW
July 2023 – Sculptural basketry in the Pyrénées landscape
Join me at the stunning in the French Pyrénées at the beautiful Clos Mirabel estate in Jurançon, Pau, SW France for this all-inclusive art retreat. Clos Mirabel is a beautiful fifteen-acre estate between coast and mountains. Its 18th Century Manor House is set in private parkland amidst the gentle hills of Jurançon with magnificent uninterrupted views out over vineyards to the entire chain of the Pyrénées Atlantiques.
Dates: 1-8 July 2023
Language: English. Full Board Accommodation: From 1295€ to 2495€ p/p per week, based on room choice and single or shared occupancy. See which room you want here and Book here or contact directly here.
Tutor’s Fee: 450€ to be paid directly to the tutor + 35€ materials fee. Some material will be included. Pay by contacting me after you’ve booked your accommodation. Maximum 12 participants and includes group and individual tuition both in the studio and ‘plein air’, excursions and meals. Non-workshop guests are welcome.
About this course: Through the lens of nature, explore beyond what you imagine a basket to be. Taping into your creativity, we will be exploring traditional basketry with a sculptural perspective. During this week long basketry exploration at Clos Mirabel in Jurançon, Pau, S W France you will learn much more than just basketry techniques, it’s an opportunity to connect with nature, your stories and tap into powerful creativity that is ready to surface. You’ll be extending yourself beyond what you imagine a basket to be by using a variety of foraged and natural fibres. You will receive personalised tutoring to develop practical skills in my favourite basketry techniques including random weaving, twining, and looping and will weave vessels and sculptural forms. More information click here.
ONLINE SCHOOOL OF BASKETRY ART
In these video based courses you can learn at your own pace, stop and start as many times as you want! As well as begin the course whenever you want. You have lifetime access.
They are super practical and suitable for beginners and intermediate weavers or anyone who simply wants to explore their creativity. As a student you also have access to the School of Basketry Art Facebook Group which is full of wonderfully support people. I just know you will end up with gorgeous finished sculptural baskets and the confidence to do more!
CREATIVITY WORKSHOPS FOR ORGANISATIONS
So often innovation and creativity is linked to technology and developing the latest digital application. What if your innovative and creativity process used ancient techniques that not only engage with logic and problem solving, but also taps into the creative and imaginative side of the brain.
Nature-based artist and entrepreneur, Catriona Pollard, develops tailored workshops in nature-based experiences including basketry and ephemeral art that can be about play and story telling, tapping into creativity using this ancient art form, problem solving, digital detox, or simply a fun hands on learning experience.
Learn more here, or get in touch if you would like to tailor a workshop with your work/friends/community/art group etc. Go to Contact us to chat about it.
EXHIBITIONS and CV
See full up to date CV here.
Must say that I personally find Catriona’s work both ethereal and eternal, as she explores her own connection with the natural world, releasing her emotions to craft and weave so effectively her ‘simple moments in time’. Carolyn McDowall
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. 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.
Catriona brings a fresh approach to an ancient technique. Thanks to a growing appreciation for all things niche, this artist’s organic creations are a must-have for those who appreciate design with a lot of heart. Annabelle Cloros
The Beauty of Ordinary Objects
- Textile Fibre Forum Magazine
- Home Design Magazine
- Home Ideas
- The Culture Concept Circle
- Australia Arts Review
- Daily Telegraph
- The Art and the Curious
- Art People
- Lip Magazine
- North Shore Times
- Village Observer
- View Magazine
- Complete Home
- Women’s Agenda
- Sydney Morning Herald
- Prevention Magazine
- Country Home Ideas
- Southern Highland News
More information go to my art website: www.Theartofweaving.com.au