Heaven and Earth

This body of work includes large quilts and mixed-media works originating from drawings by young children. It is about the balance and contrast between light and heavy, between the material and the ephemeral, and between earth and sky. It seems to me that this work is also about one’s place: in the family, in the world, in the universe.. more

For years I made covers that offered both physical and metaphorical protection. They provided a barrier between a vulnerable corporeal body and the world. But while I was working with these themes, my purpose gradually changed. At a certain point I no longer felt the appropriateness of the barrier. Rather than thinking about the works as offering protection, I found that my subject became ephemerality and liminality. I became more interested in dissolving boundaries than in maintaining them.

The following passage comes from a young child’s idea of heaven. It accompanied the work “Heart” in the exhibition Heaven and Earth:

I think heaven is a place inside our heart and when you die of course, you still have part of you that is living but the part of you that can walk around and talk to other people is gone. You‘re still part way alive but you’d be having a rather boring life with lying there inside a coffin with everybody thinking you don’t exist, so, this place inside your heart opens up and instead of it being a heart to pump your blood around, (because you don’t need your heart any more when you’re dead), it turns into heaven, which is a place where you just live the life you would want to live. You live in your heart.

From CBC Tapestry — Producer, Mary O'Connell - interviews with grade 3&4 students at Hillcrest Public School, Toronto.

The shape of the work “Heart” equivocates between the heart as icon and the heart as organ.