Friday, December 04, 2009

Tricia Coulson and the Human Journey

Illustration: Tricia Coulson. Artifacts 3.

There is an obvious early historical element to the textile work of Tricia Coulson, though perhaps it would be better to say that her work is pre-historical and taps into some of the most fundamental of the roots of the human species, the early ancestral elements that went to make up who we are today, the core of our being rather than the ephemeral and somehow unreliable coating that the twenty first century at least appears to give us.

Illustration: Tricia Coulson. Artifacts 4.

It is the strands within our human journey that seem to make up such an important part of Coulson's work. Two strands in particular seem to stand out in the pieces shown in this article, that of both visible art and of the written word. It could be said that these two elements are possibly the two strands that have helped us the most in moulding our exceptional ability to be both creative and perhaps more importantly, to understand that creative element inside all of us.

Illustration: Tricia Coulson. Artifacts 1.

Although the written word followed on much later than the medium of art, the early lettering on these art pieces could be said to be representational of the spoken as well as the written word. This would then take the images that Coulson has conjured up, back to the earliest days of human myth and legend, when our culture was young, fluid and full of stories and images of wonder concerning the world we saw and experienced around us.

Illustration: Tricia Coulson. Artifacts 2.

The way Coulson produces her work and judges the compositional components that make up each piece is interesting, as it seems to tie in with the timeless quality of her compositions. She removes herself from the measured timeframe of our everyday life today and creates her own space and rhythm in which to work. This conscious removal from the structure of time and limited space opens up a whole world of possibilities and allows her to experience a genuine contact with the larger world that our ancestors knew, rather than the very narrow one that we inhabit today which is full of the power of the rigid framework of time and space that we have created for ourselves as both a useful guide, but which also serves as a cage with a host of inevitable limitations. By opening up this other world that our early ancestors knew intimately, Coulson shows us what we could and have been, rather than what we are. It gives us hope for change, but it is also tinged with the sadness of what we have inevitably lost, probably forever.

Illustration: Tricia Coulson. Pictograph.

Tricia Coulson is a textile artist with a genuine love of her medium, but also she is that rare artist who is aware of the fluid and timeless quality that can sometimes be achieved within the realms of creativity. She works full time creatively and exhibits her work across the US.

Coulson has a website showing her work and statements about her approach to that work. The website can be found here.

All images are used with the kind permission of the artist.

Reference links:


Blue said...

This is is wonderful. I know you and I differ about what is craft and what is art - I admit I'm elitist - but this for me this work crosses that line. So, even now, I can be shocked into learning and maybe relinquishing predudice. Great post, John. The link will become part of my teaching as is your blog already.

John Hopper said...

Thanks as always for your unfailing suppport of The Textile Blog Barry, even though you may have reservations now and again, which is a good and healthy perspective and keeps me on my toes!

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

I’ve only now discovered your fascinating blog and I’ll be back often to read. It is truly a delight to learn more about a subject one only has peripheral understanding of.
You have a lovely weekend.

Julia Moore said...

Your generous contributions on this blog are so useful. I go here to find the cream of the crop when I am looking for textile inspiration. Thank you so much for your great posts!

John Hopper said...

Thank you both for your generous comments and I hope that you both stay with The Textile Blog as there is so much more to cover.

Pat Kumicich said...

I know Tricia and her work. She is amazing!

arlee said...

My jaw dropped at the wonderful wonderful powerful simplicity of these works--thank you for pointing the way to her---much awesomeness.

John Hopper said...

A great comment thanks very much. There is a long list of textile artists/quilters yet to come. I am sure many of them think that I have forgotten them when I asked them for permission, but it just takes time to produce all the other articles as well as those on textile artists.