carrying water
carrying water

bettina matzkuhn

on view in gallery: may 25 - july 20, 2023

artist talk: 6:00p, may 25

ccbc shop & gallery

Anyone who has stayed at a cabin without running water, who has to trek to a creek or lake with a gerrycan, knows how heavy water is to carry. One is much more careful when it needs fetching and schlepping. Water is not simply a “nice to have”.

Recently, I made large, interactive works that have outdoorsy, synthetic exteriors that open to embroidered landscapes. The vistas, while aesthetic, all contain symptoms of climate change. With these smaller versions I have considered the water cycle: from airborne water, to snow, and downhill to the sea. They are based on real places I have visited, all subject to seasonal, but also environmental changes. I use synthetic fabrics, which do not biodegrade, but which humans use for comfort and practicality in the backcountry. The interiors are hand embroidered with assorted threads on linen, evoking place and surfaces. The exterior might be seen to protect the interior or trap it.

Water, in a geopolitical frame, is a most precious resource. Many predict it will become a major source of conflict. With fluctuating weather patterns, the BC coast has experienced a shortage of water resulting in fires and droughts, and an excess leading to floods. I celebrate the water cycle and consider ways to protect it.

early melt - opened

about bettina

Bettina Matzkuhn explores themes of ecology, weather, and geography in her fibre work. Emphasizing hand embroidery, she values the versatile language of textiles. Matzkuhn holds a BFA and an MA from Simon Fraser University, and is the recipient of Canada Council and British Columbia Arts Council Grants. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, as well as internationally. Her work is found in national public collections such as the Surrey Art Gallery, Cambridge Art Galleries and the Weldon Map Library at Western University. She lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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