Caitlin Thompson: Dandy Lines
The Main Gallery: March 5 – April 17, 2021
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 St, Edmonton
Dandy Lines are cosmic country embroideries that references Western fashion through the cyclical, transformative theories of craftwork and animation. The richly ornamented cloaks simultaneously project and imbed images of nature and the unnatural, their void interiors await a body for transformation. The embroidered drawings are my own adaptations of traditional country embroidery designs: flowers and butterflies, plants and animals, symbols and subjects. My nature designs cross-pollinate with each other “unnaturally” (plants-become-people and symbols-become-alive). Each embroidery consists of many frames from an animation, a continuous loop of transforming and giving life. By combining the Romantic era dandy of nature and individualism with the New Romantic notion of the unnatural, I present Western fashion as a mythic space of continual transformation.
Caitlin Thompson grew up in rural east-central Alberta and completed her BFA in Sculpture at Red Deer College and The Alberta College of Art + Design (2007). After working as the Assistant Director of Stride Gallery from 2007-2009, Caitlin moved to Montreal to pursue an MFA in Fibres and Material Practices from Concordia University (2015). She has recently moved back to Alberta to complete the beneficial cycle of journeying and returning. Her studio practice focuses on the relationship between the act of making and the formation of identity, specifically in embroidery and animation. Caitlin currently works as an Educator at Glenbow, utilizing her arts background to lead programs in artifact handling and experiencing art through various sensory activities.
Caitlin has participated in artist residencies at The National Film Board, Est-Nord-Est, Struts Gallery, and the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation. Her work has been exhibited at La Centrale (Montreal), Truck Gallery (Calgary), dc3 Art Projects (Edmonton), and the Museo Textil de Oaxaca (Mexico). She has received grants from the Canada Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Conseil does arts et does letters du Québec. Caitlin has presented her academic paper on the history of country western fashion at the University of Alberta’s Dressing Global Bodies conference in 2016.
Image: Diamondback (installation fragment of Dandy Lines)
Courtesy of the Artist