Dorothy Caldwell: In Good Repair

Date: Jul 16, 2003 - Jan 11, 2004
Artist: Dorothy Caldwell
Curated by: Sarah Quinton

Dorothy Caldwell: In Good Repair is based on the artist's experience at the Textile Museum of Canada where she studied artifacts from the Museum's historic collection. Caldwell's textiles draw their vocabulary from domestic cloth, such as samplers and quilts, as well as from the history of household practices such as darning, mending and sewing.

Selected by the artist, and installed throughout the exhibition, are several fragile and mended textiles from the archives of the Textile Museum of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Peterborough Centennial Museum and from the artist's own collection. These old and carefully repaired pieces of cloth harmonize with Caldwell's language of mark-making. She works in deference to domestically prescribed utilitarian skills, yet she pulls them away from their private arena and symbolically places them into the exterior world of the land. 



In Good Repair extends Caldwell's characteristic rural landscape imagery of the last 10 years into a study of representation and abstractions. She ruminates on natural phenomena such as prehistoric rock formations, ancient shorelines and preserved flora, or the middle-distant view of the immediate lake and hillsides in the vicinity of eastern Ontario's Kawartha Lakes region.

Some of the preparatory work for this exhibition was done in Newfoundland. The earthbound-everyday are embedded in her art, but the centre of Caldwell's studio practice is poetic invention: she draws out innate qualities from her subject matter and her materials. Rather than depicting or fixing an image, Caldwell creates a new space of contemplation.