Four Seasons In A Dry Year
Accordion book in two part handmade paper sleeve; calligraphic design giclée printed on Arches 90 lb. hot pressed paper; tipped in handmade paper collages; design, calligraphy, digital manipulation, papermaking, printing, and assembly by the artist.
12.75 x 12.75 x .75 cm (closed), opens to 76.5 cm
Artist's Statement:The foundation of Four Seasons In A Dry Year is language. The calligraphic landscapes include 10 First Nations and 60 immigrant languages for seasons (part of living in the northern hemisphere at this latitude) using the prairie landscape as a visual framework.
If one lives outside a city, as most people used to (and many still do), the weather and the seasons are a way of measuring time. I hoped to reflect in this work both the multicultural aspect of Canada as a country and the importance of the natural world: length of day, amount of rain, when the bugs come, when the harvest is ready. It also refers to the threat of climate change. Weather patterns are not what they once were: storms are more violent, droughts more severe, and last for more years than Environment Canada (or anyone else) can correctly predict. The book was created after Saskatchewan had suffered a prolonged period of drought. In some areas it was drier than during the "Great Depression" of the 1930s. And this year, of course, we have suffered from torrential downpours and flooding.
Language is the way people define their universe: it was raining so hard that...; it was so cold that... And where I live in the central part of the country, weather (and the seasons) are extreme.
Cathryn was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1950, and grew up in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Calgary. She studied Fine Art at the University of Toronto, Commercial Art in Ottawa, and Honours English at Carleton University. She then spent several years as a costume seamstress, cutter, and designer for Neptune Theatre and the C.B.C. in Halifax, for Globe Theatre in Regina, and for Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon.
Self-taught as a weaver, she established her studio in Grasswood, Saskatchewan in 1974, and for the next two decades produced functional, decorative, and architectural weaving, tapestries and other fibre work. She has exhibited her work in one-person and group shows throughout Saskatchewan and across Canada. Her weaving is included in provincial and national collections and in the permanent collection of the Hokkaido Textile Association in Japan. Cathryn's fibre work was included in the Saskatchewan Handcraft Festival Juried Exhibition (now Dimensions) eleven times. The Premier’s Prize (1983) was among her six awards at the festival.
Cathryn turned full-time to papermaking in 1996, after rheumatoid arthritis made it impossible to continue hand-weaving. Self-taught in this medium as well, she has produced handmade papers from a variety of natural fibres spanning the range from peacock feathers to horse manure.
Increasing stocks of paper and a life-long obsession with books led naturally to the design and production of hand-bound notebooks, journals, portfolios, and limited edition fine art and artist's books issued by the Lilliputian publishing house Byopia Press, which Cathryn operates in partnership with her husband David.
Cathryn's papermaking and bookbinding have been included in more than a dozen exhibitions. She has twice won the Clara Baldwin Award for Best Functional and/or Production work at the Saskatchewan Craft Council's Dimensions exhibition. Cathryn's paper and book works are held in private collections in Canada, Great Britain, Japan, and the United States, and in the Artexte Collection in Montreal. She currently has two pieces in the Mobilivre 2005 tour.
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