2014 Awardee-Christine Thomson
In Memoria: Pripyat (Detail), 2013
14 in x 18 in (framed). Photo: Elisa Sereno-Janz
My schooling here has been rigorous and intense and has informed my practice. I view my immediate surroundings and the larger global picture through the eyes of the medium; how one could interpret and comment on the state of food production, a pattern in nature, or a remnant of war: all abstractions or stark narratives to be employed and interpreted.
In my art practice, I explore and embed social meaning, investigating topics of social and political interest through the medium of tapestry. It is my intent to illustrate a discourse on current and historical social conditions and realize the relationship between a vision, a haptic process, and an expression of empathy. My tapestry series, entitled “In Memoria,” embodies imagery of detritus that remains after traumatic events. The shoe is a symbol of the individual who wore it, and is a human referent to anthropogenic acts; a consequence of religious bombings, genocide, or nuclear catastrophes.
The “MRI:BSE:vCJD” tapestry triptych was inspired by the mad cow crisis (or bovine spongiform encephalopathy), which destroyed the herds and livelihoods of many ranchers and the health of consumers internationally. The three tapestries are a combination of images: the MRI from an unhealthy brain scan, the image of the burning carcasses which was a tragic sight for many in the agrarian community, and the strange beauty of a dysfunctional PET scan from the variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.
MRI: BSE:vCJD (Detail), 2013
Photo: Elisa Sereno-Janz
Christine Thomson is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) in Calgary, Alberta. Christine came to the ACAD after a twenty-five-year career in costume design for theatre and film. Having worked with textiles and their three-dimensional form in a design context, she wanted to further explore the medium of fiber within a conceptual and artistic framework.