I remember admiring the vibrant colours of the bolts of silk fabric at Designer Fabrics on Queen Street West, Toronto. I was spellbound by the variety of beads at Coppenhagen Kraklen in Amsterdam. The aisles of the Lapjesmarkt (fabric market), Westerstraat, Amsterdam revealed many surprises. Rummaging through stacks of fabric at the bazaars organized by the Textile Museum of Canada always revealed a hidden treasure. The beauty of a stone, the colour of rust or the texture of bark inevitably meant bending down to retrieve them. Tracking down enticing material for collage is fundamental in my art practice. What is most exciting and challenging about mixed media collage is the integration of disparate shapes, textures, patterns, different media and colours to form a cohesive whole.
My working methods involve gathering various materials together, juxtaposing them and moving them quickly and intuitively around on the support. Once the composition is established, I machine stitch the different elements together. Anything I sew may be built up in layers or cut away to reveal the underlying layer. My palette is often determined by the colour of the fabric, other materials at hand, the underlying support or a particular theme. The final phase is the arrangement of objects to accentuate the texture and colour. From a distance, the finished piece seems to have a flat surface. Upon closer examination, the raised relief appears, filled with intricate detail.