material considerations – it isn’t what it is

material considerations – it isn’t what it is

material considerations - it isn't what it is

diana sanderson & melanie thompson

may 2 - jun14, 2022

“We are intrigued by the transformation of materials-what they are, what processes can be applied to them, and what they can become. Our work is material driven, that is first we have the materials, then we have the ideas, and the outcome is formed by these characteristics. 

The collaborative process appeals, it gives us a directed purpose and allows us to find common ground. The materials we used-wire, reed, gut, coir, sea grass, burlap, paper grocery bags and natural dyes will form a cohesive exhibit.” – Diana & Melanie

The work  sits on the floor and hangs in the window and from the ceiling. The window piece is an arresting work by Diana of knitted steel and silk wire hung from a curly willow branch and embedded with dyed gut orbs. Floor pieces comprise 3 separate works by both artists-baskets, and containers holding dyed gut orbs, hanging work will be dyed cheese cloth spheres and willow and bark works. 

Diana Sanderson
Diana has spent the last 40 years indulging her fascination with the inherent qualities of silk by dyeing and weaving it to create distinctive garments and accessories. The Silk Weaving Studio on Granville Island, Vancouver has been the centre of her exploration, providing a space that inspires her and creates an environment for exploration of the natural characteristics of the fibre for her fellow weavers and public alike.


Salt Spring Island is now Diana’s home and it is here that she has continued her exploration of natural materials but now branching out into naturally dyed three dimensional work, still using silk but adding gut, wire and other structural materials like branches, twigs and vines. These new materials and forms are offering her endless fascination and challenges as she endeavours to combine them in ways that highlight their inherent characteristics.


She is delighted to be showing her work with Melanie Thompson who has been a source of inspiration and support for developing this new area of artistic expression.

Melanie Thompson
Melanie is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work is material-driven and that is what inspires her making. Her approach is experimental and she pushes the material to see what it is capable of. Melanie works with natural and found materials. Everything is grist for the mill. She often obtains materials without having a clue what to do with them; the process of working with the material in an exploratory way informs her decisions of what to make, what techniques to use, what form they will take. Materials also direct the concept behind the work which leads to large installations and collaborations with other artists.

×