Summer 2012 — handmade felt - wool and silk, 18"x18" in a 24" square frame : $450.00
Years in academia left hundreds of memories of landscapes, habitats, patterns and processes in my head. They escape through my fingers as experiments in "felting the land' - forming impressionist topography, boundaries and even urban surfaces. I control the urge to embellish with beads or enhance the structure with glue or sewing, trusting integrity to the wet felting process. I “paint” each layer separately considering the potential interplay between the wools, silks and organic materials. The use of strong colours, intricate surface detail, silk finishes and incorporation of unusual organic materials, paper and Japanese fibres characterize my work. Many of my subjects are impressions of the landscape around Calgary where i grew up, Zambia and the Caribbean where i worked and southern Ontario where I now live. The land, including the land in urban settings, is like a memory bank of all the past history of human and natural activity – the surface may reflect the current use while the layers underneath hold the memories of past growth and productivity, destruction or decay. These felts with their layers and secret inclusions are meant to acknowledge this history. I particularly favour an aerial perspective for fields and rivers to capture patterns. My work has been shown in juried exhibitions, curated shows and commercial galleries in Toronto. More of my work can be seen at sheilathompson.ca.