Recently I interviewed sculptor Catriona Pollard for The Circle, and as a follow up was delighted to view her dynamic first solo exhibition.
Love Honour Cherish, a collection of beautiful woven pieces, honoured and worshiped the earth beneath our feet and the new growth that can emerge from it.
Gallery Lane Cove was the scene for this visually striking and surprisingly contemporary exhibition 7 – 19 October, 2015 that was reverential and uplifting.
The Gallery located in Lane Cove a leafy suburb nestled on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, was where Catriona Pollard wove her magic using the threads of nature in innovative exciting and diverse sculptural forms.
Her artwork attested to the variations and immense possibilities offered from shaping natural objects.
The intersection of the ancient craft of weaving and modern imaginative sculpture was enigmatic and highly inventive.
Viewing the variety of raw materials superbly fashioned to create poignant artworks instantly conveyed a myriad of images of Catriona Pollard’s patient and persistent quest and journeys that precipitated her practice. Collecting palms, vines, stones, willow and a host of other natural materials, intrinsic to her work.
The wonders of nature were sensitively observed and this fascination with nature resonated in her artworks.
This collection process inspired and informed the direction of her artistic practice.
Then she passionately and methodically used her hands and beautiful sculptural objects emerged.
In the artwork Cherish coiled skeins of Watsonia and Sari Fabric clung to each other to form an ingeniously curved wall sculpture.
They were bubbles of life swallowing air then exploding with voices that rejoiced.
The forms were like a choir of open mouths singing in unison about the marvels and miracles of nature.
The curve of the form gestured a sweeping motion and echoed the movement of breath and the excitement of communication.
The texture and colour variations were symbolic references to the connection she makes between nature and humanity.
In the three works Intersection, Flow and Strands of Self Catriona Pollard used Bangalow Palm inflorescence to weave wall hanging conical receptacles.
The branches were inverted, shaped and woven to expose the branches at the pinnacle of the three artworks, where they embraced and intertwined releasing lyrical lines to the structured forms.
The weaving in Intersection was tighter and more uniform and then was freer in Flow.
Finally a more random weave technique was adopted in Strands of Self.
A cocooned nest spiralled out of a thickly twisted framework in Manipura.
The cyclic nature of the circular twirled form infused the sculpture with a fluidity that was calming and nurturing. The rhythm of life pulsated through the spherical motion of its configuration.
This entwined formation fashioned an image of the eye of the world that played with light casting shadows and zooming in on the beauty of nature.
Optimism oozed from this sculpture and love was evocative in the strands of Hardenbergia, Willow and Vine that fused so expressively.
Three sculpturally formed whimsical basket like structures shaped the artwork Gathering. They were meshed with a tenderness and softness that was captivating.
The fibres of Muehlenbeckia and their arrangement in the weave settled stillness on the viewer.
The criss-cross shadows cast their matted webs and forged a bond with light.
The intricacies and patterning produced by the skilfull interlacing of the wisps of dark vine appeared effortless.
However this belied the patience and dexterity required to weave such endearing structures.
Looking into the hollows of the constructions beckoned the viewer and roused the power of possibilities.
Kindling was metaphorically a necklace beautifully strung on two waxed linen threads and designed to wrap around mother earth.
The Eucalyptus twigs were laced in a semi-circular pattern that ended with thicker stronger twigs giving balance to the wall sculpture. The few scattered gum nuts and Eucalyptus dried leaves added complexity to the structure.
The symmetry of the shape, harmony of the lines and earthiness of the branches made a very powerful statement about natural beauty construed with a modern perception.
The sacred spirituality of trees reverberated in the eloquent Totems for the Trees.
Each of the Totems was woven at the base, one with a single band of weaving and another with two bands of weaving.
On the third Totem variegated interlacing materials rattan, dodder and dragon fruit leaves were wrought.
The willow branches stood tall and proud.
Their natural variations formed lines of lilting beauty some tilted and turned upwards majestic in intention.
Nine various small white paper woven pieces floated across the white plinth where their delicate shadows lingered in You Me and the Sea.
The graceful movement of sea creatures and their homes encased in shell like structures was inventive and playful.
Curved tendrils danced and crept, spinning and whirling a fantasy and crooning a lullaby.
Catriona Pollard’s exhibition was sinuous and imaginative.
Her sculptures breathed love, exhibited honour and cherished “the earth beneath our feet”.
Rose Niland, NSW Special Features, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015