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The Fabric of Nelson
PUBLISHED BY REDFERN HOUSE PUBLISHING, NELSON BC, 2013
BOOK & COVER DESIGN by KATE BRIDGER
I moved to Nelson, with my family, in 1994. We came from a small pulp and paper community in northern Ontario where the winters were long and profoundly cold and the summers were short and mosquito-infested. Nelson, BC, felt—both literally and figuratively—like a breath of fresh air. Furthermore, it was a breath of culturally inspired fresh air where the stupendous scenery and rich history fuel the work of resident artists, writers and filmmakers.
The picturesque town of Nelson rests on the shores of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. A community of attractive Victorian homes mixed in with newer construction, intriguing back alleys, a well preserved downtown, beautiful parks and a delightful mix of people, cultures and interests.
Nelson is one of the places other people come to for their holidays. I, along with 10,000 +/- others, am blessed to be able to call this home.
As an artist newly released from the bush, I was enthralled and excited about the work I was going to produce here. I wasted no time threading up my machine and have since stitched the mountains in their many moods, downtown streets and parked cars, soccer fields, historic homes, backyards, front yards, snowdrifts, spring flowers and, of course, the infamous ‘BOB’ (Big Orange Bridge) … There are over 100 stitched Nelson images in my portfolio.
This book brings together almost twenty years of my work in the Kootenays. The discerning eye may notice minor variations in the quality and consistency of the reproduction of some of the work. This is not because my craft has altered, but because the technology used to photograph and memorialize it most certainly has! This project began long before the digital age and, of course, most of the originals are no longer in my possession. So, even if some of the pictures look a little less sharp than others, I believe it is an excellent reminder to all of us about just how far we have come in such a short time. What has not changed during these past decades, however, is my passion for the work and continued appreciation for this magnificent place I live in.
As a Fabric Artist, I work with minute pieces of fabric (my palette) each carefully selected for their colour and texture. Many, many hours of cutting take place before a single stitch is sewn. Stitching provides the finer finishing details that add dimension and make my images credible.
This is my Nelson as seen through the eye of my needle.
Click this image (right) to access Kate's complete Gallery of Fabric Art ...