Heather Goodchild's Waterways
'Waterways' is part of a group of collages that Heather made into banners, which were installed at Fort York, Toronto in Spring 2015. When I saw them, strung from trees and across a bridge, their graphic patterns and festive colours struck me. They evoked Heather’s sensibilities (I was reminded of her quilts, textile techniques, and tapestry installations) but they had a sense of celebration that I hadn’t noticed before in her work. I immediately knew I’d like to feature one as a print for Sagan Editions. I chose 'Waterways' because of the way she has experimented with paper, and how it takes on qualities of fabric with its pattern play.
- Sagan MacIsaac
SM: A lot of your work, like your hand-hooked rugs or installations, is known to be very labour intensive, time consuming and tedious. Did your process change when you were making collages? Was a sense of immediacy present?
HG: Yes, the process was more like the planning phase for a rug or quilt. It was a new experience for me to send off scans of the collages to be digitally printed into large banners rather than spending hours silkscreening on my floor. I enjoyed seeing the texture of the paper printed large scale onto the fabric.
SM: What was some of the inspiration behind Waterways?
HG: The whole installation was meant to have a medieval fair meets depression era jazz club feeling. This particular collage was also inspired by a pattern on a Liberty of London scarf from the 70's.
SM: Have you been using paper more frequently in your practice? Is this something we’ll see more of?
HG: Yes, I've been taking a break from textiles and have been really into drawing and painting - ostensibly to improve my skills in making the textile pieces but it will be hard to go back to the slow process of rug hooking after the more immediate outcomes of paper.
SM: Is there a piece of art in your home that you couldn’t live without?
HG: I'm particularly fond of a painting I found in Germany from 1918 of a mountain scene. It's very bleak with telegraph poles but features a path that curves behind a hill. You can kind of get lost following the path around the corner. Sometimes I like to think that the artist was returning home from the war.