The Ice Flows

The ice flows past NL every year.  Without fail it comes and has a direct affect on our place, our people, and our psyche.      

I grew up on Bell Island at the cusp of a transition from the analogue to the digital age.  At that time it was a rare and special thing for me to travel to St. John’s and it was always weather dependant.  Despite this, I rarely felt isolated except in the spring of the year when the ice flows came in.  I spent a lot of my formative years walking the beaches and the edge of those 200 foot high cliffs looking towards town and the only time it seemed unreachable was when the ice was in.  Those pans all jammed in tight, bearing down, to keep us in our place and the Coast Guard ice breakers along with a small contingent of helicopters for emergency pushing on to make sure we were not completely cut off.  I remember times when there was no food in the grocery store or mail delivery. I remember being stuck on the ferry for hours listening to the groan of ice pressing in.

Maybe this is why I was drawn to work with seal skin.  Seals and sealing are intrinsically dependant on the ice flows.  Whenever I handle seal skin I am taken to that place where I am viscerally aware of how the ice flows impact my place… our place.

Who I Am

My body of work in Sealskin and Seal Leather is exploratory. I’m not afraid to use colour, texture, and to pair it with different materials. I’m compelled to be bold and unapologetic in my designs. I see truth in the material. The resiliency, hard work, the beauty produced by harsh conditions. It is successful evolution; it is a smart textile. Anything a synthetic textile would try to emulate, Nature has already perfected in this fibre. The creative potential I see in sealskin is nurtured by my emotional relationship to it. It embodies so much of what the world needs right now. It is local, sustainable, humane, and possesses the most wonderful combination of durability and biodegradability. You can wear it a life time, and it will then return to Mother Earth. I’m inspired to push the limits / boundaries / properties of what the material can do. I’m inspired by the sealers themselves and their strength in the face of adversity.