this town is small presents Relational Geographies, a collection of new handwoven works by PEI textile artist Rilla Marshall, at Receiver Coffee on Victoria Row in Charlottetown from November 23 to January 7.
Marshall’s handwoven textile art charts the changes of PEI’s vulnerable coastal landscapes. Maps, graphs and topography are translated through warp and weft. These works examine the ways land and ocean shape each other and the liminal space that exists because of this dynamic relationship. Using mapping techniques, satellite images, hand painted warp, and pattern weft, the weavings highlight areas of coastal transition and the transformative nature of the continuous transactions between land and sea.
The exhibition is made up of “micro series;” each exploring the formal and metaphorical aspects of various categories of PEI’s coastal features. These coastal features include categories such as sand spits, coves and intertidal zones.
The process of hand-weaving allows Marshall to investigate the formal elements of negative space, overlap, autonomy, accumulation, pattern and echos of movement. The interpretation of coastal geographies through the woven grid is an exploration of relationships and space, the influence of the sea upon the land, and the influence of one entity upon another.
Since graduating from NSCAD University in 2004, Marshall’s textile art has been exhibited in group and solo shows in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Alberta. She has received numerous grants for the creation and exhibition of her work, and has operated a successful production weaving business. In 2012, she was the recipient of the W.B. Bruce European Fine Art Travel Scholarship and traveled to Sweden to research hand-weaving traditions. She works in her home studio in a century-old school house in Belfast, PEI.