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Althea White

I graduated from the Elizabeth Gaskell College, Manchester and taught art, design and textiles at various levels before leaving for Canada in 1982. The family lived in N.W. Ontario before moving to B.C. In 1988. After careers in community development (economic, social, cultural) and the justice system, a business in designing adaptable clothing, I am now pursuing developing my own art. We moved to the Comox Valley in 1991.

Recently I have taken up water colour painting and finding that it both challenges and compliments the fabric art work. Australia has been very instrumental in giving me new ideas to develop by taking workshops in botanical painting and which to my surprise, I really enjoyed the detail aspect of the subjects. I look forward to continuing this style of water colour painting, and trying different techniques. My first public show in September, 2010 (Themes and Dreams) at the Pearl Ellis Gallery is the accumulation of these new ideas and techniques.

I have shown at the Pearl Ellis Gallery, Art Expo Qualicum, Comox Airport,Ginger Nine Gallery and Campbell River. I am looking to extend to other communities and facilities in the future. My studio will be open for the Central Island Artisans Tour in November. Work can be seen on Facebook: althea.white

Artist Statement
The sewing techniques have varied from traditional methods such as trap-unto, quilting, cut work, shadow work, pattern drafting, draping and modelling fabric. My passion has always been colour and textures. I love exploring fabrics that can be interpreted into realistic topics such as landscapes, trees, flowers or water. The fabric pictures are approached in a similar manner as a painting; that is after the design phase, a structure is made onto which the picture can be built whether it be a branch system or a sky. Often it is one fabric that becomes the key to the whole picture. In the final stages, I always look for a fabric that has that magic quality, a sheen, sparkle or weave that brings the picture to life. It is a more time consuming than painting, though both have their challenges. At the moment I am developing pictures that have an added dimension by making them 3D. Although most of the work originates from a series of photographs that I have taken to get the realism and accuracy, most subjects gain a new perspective through artistic creativity.

I created a commission piece through the Community Justice Centre in 2008, where a large wall-hanging was designed for restorative justice, as a training tool and story telling. Most of my pictures have another story behind the one that is visible; the story โ€œsellsโ€ the picture. Workshops are available upon request.


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