• Sail


Bettina Matzkuhn

January 19 to April 17, 2013

“I am interested in textile as a language of visual narrative. Textiles have a long history of inscribing social and personal stories. My work is a part of this continuum. My practice focuses on embroidery, fabric collage and surface design. Since 2004, I have explored ideas around marine navigation and fictional maps that play with personal and social geographies. At a 2008 residency at the Banff Centre I concentrated on the narrative possibilities of cartographic symbols. Making sails is an extension of my interest in environmental issues, symbolic systems and storytelling.”
Bettina Matzkuhn

Vancouver artist Bettina Matzkuhn has over 30 years experience working with embroidery and fabric collage as a language of visual narrative. “Sail raises ideas of environmental crisis, communal and individual knowledge, and the aesthetic of repair.” says Matzkuhn, “Metaphorically, the intricate embroidery and carefully repaired canvas, the layering of maps and navigational symbols contrived to provide guidance; the sails which are actual means of propulsion; and the multifarious implications of our need for oil transport allows us to consider the complexity of human achievement.” This series of small, densely embroidered wind diagrams and a small fleet of sails also reflect her direct knowledge of sailing during her youth on the West Coast and nautical chart reading learned from her father.

Matzkuhn holds a BFA in Visual Arts and a MA in Liberal studies form Simon Fraser University. In the 1980’s she animated and directed three award sinning films using textiles for the National Film Board of Canada and an interest in narrative continues to inform her work. She exhibits her work in Canada and internationally, writes professionally on the arts, and is a session instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.