IN FOCUS

 
Avery Ascher - Fabric Artist
Mike Grandmaison, November 04, 2010 at 6:33 AM

Avery Ascher

 

   

I met Avery in the early 80's in Edmonton where we both worked in forestry. As fate would have it, we both moved to Winnipeg in the mid 80's where I worked in the same office as her husband Paul. In the mid 1990s, Paul and Avery moved to their lakeside home on Clearwater Lake, a most beautiful setting and one which I have had the pleasure of visiting and working around on numerous
occasions. Avery was also very helpful in setting out a direction for this Blog - what an awful name by the way. That's why I call this "In Focus"!

 

I am proud to present a small portfolio of four art works by Avery.

 

Circadian Rhythm – 51”W x 24”H

Hand-stitched fabric pieces on sheer fabric background

 

‘Circadian’ refers to the daily 24-hour cycle.  This piece moves the cooler colours associated with evening/night into the warmer tones of day.  Like the yin-yang, each side carries within it some tones of the other.  The flow, worked depth and sheen of the various fabrics collectively compose the overall rhythm and movement.  (Because the background fabric is so sheer, the deep peach-red wall against which this piece hangs shows through.)

 

 

Fall Friday Haiku – 26”W x 35”H

Mixed media – original haiku on paper, fabric, dogwood branch, hand-beaded spider web

 

Heavy dews and morning mists at summer’s end often reveal that which had been there all along but our eyes had missed – as expressed in the haiku:

 

morning sun through fog

discloses spiders’ labours

that were not hidden

 

 

Aero-Dynamic – 40”W x 44”H

Hand-stitched fabric with rattail cording and beads, hung from natural driftwood

 

In late June the lake darner dragonflies return to Clearwater Lake, staying with us through early September.  Their choreography – ranging from energetic to leisurely, but always purposeful – inspired this piece.  The coloured sheer fabric panels separated by black cording are meant to invoke appearance and transparency of a stained-glass window.

 

 

Saskatchewan – 30”W x 23”H

Hand-stitched fabric incorporating quilting, appliqué and other techniques

 

I love the easily lilting topography of central Saskatchewan, how the visual textures shift and dissolve into new perspectives and depths as you travel through and across.  The immensity of thunderheads backdropped against a cobalt-slate sky, piling above the stilled, expectant landscape, is a defining and indelible prairie image.

 

Avery Ascher - BIO

 

Clearwater Lake, set among the mature boreal forest north of The Pas, Manitoba, is one of the most profoundly inspiring interactive canvases any artist could wish for.  I am privileged to live within this multi-dimensional, ever-changing canvas, which offers endless raw material for both concepts and materials.  My artworks typically incorporate fabrics, natural papers, organic materials such as twigs, driftwood and other natural found objects, human artefacts, and purchased objects.

 

I am a latecomer to creating visual art in my life:  it is an outgrowth of poetry, which I have written for some time.  With a long-time interest in anthropology and archaeology, as well as a passion for the natural environment, my art and written works often explore how people relate to their environment and humanity’s collective impact on the natural world.  These explorations often take the form of a blend of visual art and poetry.

 

At the heart of all artistic and inventive expression is the need and necessity to question, to probe, to challenge one’s own comfort and that of society at large. This can be as simple as experimenting with new media or as multi-layered as deliberately pressing art into the service of social change.  Artists – meaning all those who create and are driven to express, regardless of media – are never satisfied with the status quo.