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Gwen Penner


Fibre Arts

My love of fibre art began during a course in weaving that Wilfred Laurier University offered in the 1970’s. From there I studied weaving and textile design at University of Helsinki, Finland and Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. I then completed a Masters in Fine Art in Austria with a focus in surface design using textiles as the medium.

Colour has always been the most important element in my fiber work. Seeing the rows of colour build and interact as I weave or stitch is a constant inspiration. Fibre colours interact differently than pigment, and each fibre content; wool, silk, linen, cotton, etc., has a unique way of reflecting colour. I am constantly adapting and mixing colours of yarn to get the values and tones that I am searching for. This is what inspires me to stay at the loom.

The current series of woven pieces are an exploration of colour and graphic in a small space. The graphic elements are simple geometric shapes that reinforce the grid of the woven textile. Even in this limited area the patterns and colour combinations are endless and as one piece is progressing, the next is forming in my mind’s eye.

My art work at this time is not about making a statement. There is so much strife in the world that I find I want to create simple, calm and harmonious art that can hopefully bring a pleasing visual experience to the viewer. —Gwen Penner

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