|Trial by Fire|
The highlight of my recent visit to the Toronto area was seeing Needles and Pins at the McMichael Collection. I found it very exciting to view the work of Colleen Heslin, winner of the 15th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition, in this temple of Canadian art, now celebrating its 50th anniversary. I am always thrilled to see work in fibre exhibited in a top-ranking art museum, and intrigued by an artist who explores the boundary between painting and fibre art.
Adjacent to the two galleries filled with Heslin's large-scale works is an exhibition of Canadian painter Jack Bush. It is no coincidence that these two artists were paired, as Heslin has clearly been influenced by the abstract imagery of Bush's colour field painting.
|Well of Exaggeration|
Heslin hand-dyes linen with either fabric dye or ink, achieving a richly-modulated depth of colour. Her cut-out shapes are stitched together and mounted on stretcher bars.
In the words of curator Naomi Potter,
Needles and Pins continues at the McMichael Collection until January 8, 2017.