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
My art offers glimpses of shapeshifting natural forms, from unnoticed branches, leaves and seedpods into shapes that move you; that celebrate the abundance of nature and our place in this universe.
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.
I use foraged and discarded plant material with traditional basketry and assemblage techniques to showcase nature and the beauty it shares with us. 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.
Growing up in country NSW 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 around Sydney Harbour 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 at Balmoral, the shape of the water against the rocks becomes an idea for a sculpture.
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 sculpture, I also spend time creating ephemeral works 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 disintegration of organic material – and spending a day creating art that is simply left to disintegrate is an integral aspect of this exploration.
Predominately self-taught, I have done weaving sessions with 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.
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 (2017-2018), North Sydney Art Prize (2013-2015), Warringah Art Prize (2016), and Mosman Art Gallery 2088 (2011-2018).
My solo exhibitions in 2015, 2016 and 2018 (x2) were highly successful and I enjoy teaching creativity and weaving with sold-out workshops at Sturt Craft and Design Centre, North Sydney Centre, Creative Space and Sydney Craft Week, to name a few.
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, Broken Hill Regional Gallery and Fanuli Furniture.
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
Sun 7 Oct – 10.00am – 4.00pm
Today, we live in a fast-paced world of technology designed to constantly grab our attention that keeps us constantly switched on. Coupled with relentless deadlines and the pressure of modern day living can all lead to mental fatigue, overwhelm, and burnout. Spend a day with celebrated nature-based artist, Catriona Pollard where you will have the opportunity to slow down, quieten your mind and reconnect with your imagination.
In this one-day workshop you will find renewed inspiration through a series of creative exercises and nature-based experiences including ephemeral art. You will learn ancient basketry techniques which have been used since the beginning of humanity. You will have the opportunity to transform ordinary natural found objects into something extraordinary.
13 October 2018, 1-5pm
In this half-day workshop you will learn the ancient basketry technique of Random Weaving which has been used since the beginning of humanity. You will have the opportunity to transform ordinary natural found objects into something extraordinary. Using the natural fibre of Bangalow Palm inflorescence (seedpods) you will weave a sculptural form. By the end of the experience, you will have a sculptural basket and a deeper understanding of the wonderful art of weaving and your own creativity.
Explore your creativity: weaving sculptures
11 November 10 -4pm, North Sydney Community Centre
This 1 day workshop is all about exploration and play – not perfection. Learning traditional basketry techniques you will use organic material such as vines, seed pods and branches to weave sculptural forms. Starting with standing in nature we will explore ephemeral art techniques and you will learn how to connect with nature, your stories and your creativity.
Fibre Arts Festival, Sunshine Coast Hinterland
17, 18, 19 November 2018
Want to have an end of the year creative experience? Join me at the inaugural Fibre Arts Festival at the Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, QLD where you can do a bunch of interesting creative workshops, chill by the pool, do some yoga and hang out with like minded people. Don’t miss out! I’ll be doing twining workshops using hemp and seagrass cord. Book at: www.fibreartsfestival.com.au and look at www.facebook.com/fibreartsfestivalAUS
Spend 5 days with me exploring nature, weaving and creativity at the Sturt Summer School at Mittagong, 3-8 January 2019 . Through the lens of nature, explore traditional basketry with a sculptural perspective. Through a series of creative exercises that will connect you with the natural world, you will uncover the secret life in natural materials. This workshop is all about exploration and play not perfection.
To book: http://www.sturt.nsw.edu.au/education/
Selected Previous Workshops
Sturt Craft and Design Centre, Mittagong – booked out
26-27 May 2018
Sturt Craft and Design Centre, Mittagong
Art in Nature: exploring your creativity – booked out
2-4 April, 2018
Waverley, South Taranaki
Sydney Craft Week/Mosman Festival – booked out
Sun. 15 October 2017, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mosman Village Yoga
Fluidity – booked out
Morning and afternoon Sun. 21 May 2017, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm & 2pm-5pm, Warringah Creative Space 105 Abbott Rd North Curl Curl, NSW
Experience and explore the sculptural basketry technique of random weaving in conjunction with my Fluidity Exhibition
Sturt Winter School – Interwoven creativity- weaving natural forms – booked out
Spend 5 days with me exploring nature, weaving and creativity at the Sturt Winter School at Mittagong, 3-7 July 2017.
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.
UP COMING/CURRENT EXHIBITIONS
27 September – 21 October 2018
Opening “Afternoon With The Artist”: 29 September 10-4
Sydney Road Gallery, Seaforth, Sydney
Catriona Pollard’s 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. More information here.
Artisans In The Gardens
12 – 21 October 2018
Lions Gate Lodge
Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney
A celebration of the natural world, Artisans in the Gardens, now in its 18th year, brings together an extraordinary range of artwork. The exhibition showcases some of Australia’s best established and emerging artists and craftspeople with over 2,000 artworks including sculpture, ceramics, hand blown glass, jewellery, textiles, plus so much more. More information here.
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.
SELECTED PREVIOUS EXHIBITIONS
See full CV here.
I am of You – solo exhibition
‘I am of You’ is a call for us to fall in love again with the world around us and see that we are bound by nature to claim its place in our heart.
15 April- 3 June 2018
Sturt Craft and Design Centre
11:11 – The Sychronicity of Now
Solo exhibition – A sculptural representation of noticing the extraordinary in everyday moments.
26 October – 12 November 2017
Sydney Road Gallery 561 -563 Sydney Rd, Seaforth
Featuring the work of 25 local and visiting artists, FIRE challenges the viewer to reflect on the diversity of symbolic and literal meanings of fire and flames – employing media from video and photography to painting; ceramic to fabric; found objects to exquisitely crafted ‘objects’.
Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize
16-24 June 2018
Opening night: 15 June 2018, 6 pm
Group exhibition exploring the evolution of ideas and concepts as an artist. The processes undergo evolutionary change, often evolving from simple thoughts into paintings and sculptures.
7 September – 27 September 2017
Sydney Road Gallery 561 -563 Sydney Rd, Seaforth
Fluidity is body of work by artists Catriona Pollard and Karen Visser which applies a fluid perspective to nature and explores form and texture in two very different ways: sculpture using foraged natural materials and photography that paints nature with light.
Creative Space 105 Abbott Road, North Curl Curl
18-28 May 2017
Opening Drinks Saturday 20 May 4-6m
Woven in Winter – Sturt Australian Contemporary Craft and Design Centre
11 June – 23 July 2017
Cnr Range Road & Waverley Parade
Mittagong NSW 2575
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
- 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