Artist takes 'fresh approach'
Updated: March 04, 2009 11:40 AM
From a distance, it’s easy to mistake Kirsten Chursinoff’s work as a photograph or painting. Her colourful pieces — 45 of which are currently being shown at Place des Arts — pop out from the frames they’re exhibited in.
But on closer inspection, her art reveals a blend of intricate textures: embroidery floss, beads, dyed fabrics and threads woven by hand and machine to create a perfect, quilted landscape of nature.
“I think of it as a traditional technique in a contemporary, fresh approach,” Chursinoff said during a tour last week of Beachcoming & Berry Picking, her largest exhibit to date and her first at the Maillardville facility.
Her unique style has caught the eye of many artists, some of whom were at a lecture Chursinoff gave recently at Place des Arts to discuss her process, which includes fabric collage, free machine and hand embroidery, appliqué, couching and French knots.
Each piece takes, on average, two weeks to complete. “I couldn’t do it for eight hours a day,” she said. “It’s too labour intensive.”
Chursinoff takes her inspiration for an image from a photograph or painting, or sometimes from a picture or drawing she does while out on a walk, she said. Once she sits down to re-create the scene, her mind — and hands — wander and another idea manifests to the finished product. “I get carried away with the romance of the material,” the Capilano College graduate said.
And she’s conscious about the materials she uses, too: Cotton and silk threads, glass and wood beads, recycled quilting fabrics. “Things that are good for the Earth,” she said.
Chursinoff said she was happy to showcase her work in a community space, where spectators can see her art close up.
“We have just heard incredible comments and fascination about her work. It has totally enlivened the space,” said Barbara Duncan, visual arts co-ordinator for Place des Arts.
• Beachcoming & Berry Picking is on show at Place des Arts until March 14. Artists wanting to exhibit their work at the Maillardville facility have until Friday, March 13 to apply. For more information, call 604-664-1636 or visit www.placedesarts.ca.