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"Outport structures speak to me. I can visualize what they once were, who lived there and what they meant as a family home or a fishing stage. I want to show the beauty of the place but also how it has changed and the disappearing lifestyle." Karen Colbourne Martin
Karen Colbourne Martin's landscapes in textiles are breath taking works painstakingly composed, stitched and finished. Each scene takes several months to complete and usually starts with a search for the right combination of landscape, light and lifestyle. Martin says that she can't work from other people's photographs because she needs that first heartfelt encounter with a community or place. She is often drawn to houses, once homes, in a state of decline. She realistically records quiet streets, calm bays and empty clotheslines. In Martin's careful compositions they retain a worn beauty and cautious dignity. She seeks to document not only the picturesque quality of Newfoundland's rugged landscape but to suggest the hardship fisher folk endured. "I doubt they had much time to notice the beauty around them," Martin observes.
Martin's textile works have been shown widely across Canada and most recently were included in the cultural Olympiad during the 2010 Winter Games. Valued for its sense of place, Martin's textile art has also been exhibited in Korea and Japan.
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Contact: Karen Colbourne Martin
56 Pine Bud Avenue
St. John's, NL A1B 1M9