Pam Carnochan

Marni Martin

October 18-November 15
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 18, 1pm-5pm

Using colour and texture, Marni Martin and Pam Carnochan work to inspire a deep, emotional response, and bring to light, the fibres that binds us to the earth.

Dyeing the Landscape is an exhibition that gives Marni and Pam an opportunity to explore the relationship between the concepts they reflect upon, and the process and materials they use. For both of these fibre artists, the fibres and the process they employ are central to the creation of each piece.

Marni is intrigued by the fact that regional characteristics can be tasted in food grown in specific regions. The term for this is terroir. “Can this notion of the land imparting certain characteristics apply to humans living within a distinct region?” questions Marni. “Can the landscape shape us? And what about our future, as creative connected people, as we make dramatic changes upon the earth?” These are the questions that Marni contemplated as she began to conceive and weave the works that will be shown at the Chapel Gallery. Through her weaving, Marni seeks to understand the connection, both physical and spiritual, to the environment in which we live and the notion that as we change the landscape in which we live, we change ourselves.

Weaving was not Marni’s first choice for a career in the arts. It was while she was studying at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design that a drawing instructor noticed that she was using sandpaper to draw upon with pastels. “I did this as the tooth of the sand paper held the colour and gave the drawing the depth I was seeking,” Marni recalls. Her instructor suggested a visit to the textile studios and once Marni saw the weaving, dye and print studios, she was hooked. 

Each tapestry is inspired by light as it dances through a forest, reflects off water or as Marni plays with the yarn she hand dyes at her Huntsville home studio. Once the design is completed, Marni threads the loom and begins the long process of tapestry weaving. As she works, Marni is only able to glimpse small sections of the image. “When the completed tapestry comes off the loom and I’m able to see it in its entirety for the first time, I have a feeling of wonder,” exclaims Marni whose woven scarves were chosen to be the Official Spousal Gifts for the wives of the leaders attending the G8 in Muskoka.

Inspiration for Pam’s work is found by living close to the earth and her method of expression reflects this. Wool for Pam’s art is sheered from the sheep she raises on her Huntsville farm and hand-dyed in her barn to create a palette of colours to felt into landscapes of the world around her. The process is organic in nature, letting each piece of wool help shape the evolution of the work. Pam’s felted works are a journey into expression and surrender to the beauty that surrounds her.

“My work represents my love of the land and my connection to it visually,” says Pam who shares with Marni a deep appreciation for the play of light through the leaves of trees or as it dances on water. “I love the shapes and forms found in nature, especially in the trees,” remarks Pam who created a birch tree sculpture for the exhibition. “This sculpture is my central piece and stretched my abilities in felting and form.”

For Pam, one of the most challenging aspects of creating a body of work was time. “There is never enough of it. Living close to the land presents gifts as well as work,” states Pam. “Living on a farm, there are always chores to be done and seasons for everything and timing is a very important component. As a result, the work that the land and animals generates always takes precedent over art.”

Pam has always loved to paint and has had a fascination with wool. Felting was the ideal medium to express her attraction. “My art is simply the language of my heart,” reveals Pam who adds that it has been a long journey to bridge the two mediums.

About their exhibition, Marni says, “I hope that the ideas that are woven, dyed or felted into each piece resonate with people and that they leave thinking of their relationship with this area. Are they shaped by our Muskoka landscape, and if so, how? Most importantly, we want people to leave inspired to create, shape or change in a positive light.”

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please send an e-mail with your request including your full name and e-mail address.

Located at 15 King Street in Bracebridge, the gallery is open year-round, Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. It is closed during the last week of September and the second week of October as well as between Christmas and New Year’s Days. Please check the Calendar of Events for the actual dates. For a map, please follow this link.

Exhibitions are booked one year in advance.  To learn how to apply for a show, please follow this link: Exhibition Application.

The Chapel Gallery was opened in September, 1989. Housed in a reconstruction of the first Presbyterian Church in Bracebridge, the Chapel Gallery hosts exhibitions of art and craft by our members and other local and provincial artists. Exhibitions are selected by the Gallery Committee and change every three to four weeks.

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Muskoka Arts & Crafts Inc. is located in the District Municipality of  Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.