In conjunction with her CCBC gallery show, artist Bettina Matzkuhn shares how she uses the natural qualities of thread and fabric to celebrate nature, how she hopes her work is perceived and more.
The exhibition will be on view in our gallery from June 25 – July 20, 2023.
I learned to embroider as a kid and never looked back. I am interested in landscapes and how humans relate to them. The textures and quality of thread and fabric lend themselves to describing nature. I try to find ways to celebrate nature but also to express my worries about loss. The loss is on a grand scale, my work is on a small scale.
“I try to find ways to celebrate nature but also to express my worries about loss.“
One of my early memories is of making up songs. Making things was the norm in my family. In my thirties, I worked on a series of images for which I did a lot of research and thinking. At that point I realized I needed to go to university to learn how to synthesize all that information and focus it into something I send back out. I’m still working on this.
I like to go walking in the backcountry. I photograph and draw. Nature is endlessly interesting and it’s good to learn about large and small aspects of it. I find imagery and metaphoric possibilities there.
I volunteer within the craft community. It’s my tribe.
A lot of people are drawn in by the detail. But I hope my work also speaks from a distance.
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.