Vol.121_Brent Wadden

Brent Wadden
from Vancouver, Canada.
Interviewed by Oh Jiyoung

How would you describe yourself both as an artist and as a person?
Hardworking, self-sufficient, nerdy, shy.

Working across the work of painting and weaving. When did you start making art
and when did you start your weaving practice? Also I am curious about the story how
you started your own work.

I finished art school in 2003 and immediately began my practice. I’ve worked in different
mediums and styles, and was especially focussed on drawing for many years. My work was
always graphic and so I found I could easily move towards weaving. I began making textiles
in 2010 and saw that working to a grid really suited my style. I started small and
experimented with diagonals as a way to deconstruct form. My interest continued to grow,
and soon enough I was collecting looms and materials. My weaving practice really took off
from there.

What processes do you have to go through directly to create fabric pieces?
I start by sorting bins of yarn to see what colours I have and what yarns will work well with
each other. I then make a colored pencil sketch which helps me keep track of the materials
and ideas for each panel. I find great variation through different colours and patterns and I
make drawings that plan the use of materials I collect from different places.
Once the textiles are off the loom, I tie off all of the warp ends and then hand sew the woven
panels to make a single work. The works are stretched with the outer edges concealed by a
walnut wood frame.

What is your longest work?
This year I made my largest ever wall work: Saltspring Score 1 is 24 feet long x 9 feet tall
and made entirely from vintage wool. For the same exhibition I used recycled afghan yarn to
make Score 2, a long floor rug that’s 18 feet long x 10 feet tall.

Have you ever felt that the colors of "threads" on the market is limited for you to
work with your pieces?

I prefer to work with second hand materials but every so often will order new yarns. There is
such a wide variety of colors, textures and sizes on the market that I can sometimes find it
daunting... too many possibilities!

Is there any special reason of not selling your work?
Sometimes if a work didn’t turn out the way I had imagined or if I really like it, I might hang
onto it for a while. Also, if a piece is too different from the rest of the works in the collection I
will keep it until it feels ready for the world.

I know that It's hard to define, but what do you think of art?
I wish that everyone made art and I really wish that art-making as a livelihood the art market
could be more accessible.

What is most important to you now?
My family is very important to me. So is eating healthy / being healthy, staying in touch with
friends, getting dirty in the garden and becoming a more self sufficient human.

What do you feel and experience in the city of you are living?
I love being next to the ocean and having the mountains looming in the distance...yet still
having access to all the things a good city has to offer like good food, record shops,
galleries, music, creative people etc. It’s also nice to not live too far away from my studio so I
can cycle or walk to work.

What do you usually do during your free time?
I don’t think there is such a thing as free time! But I do try and take a few big trips a year. If I
get to travel for an exhibition, I make sure to have a few days before and after the opening to
explore the city. Last year I went to Seoul for an exhibition at PKM Gallery and after that, my
family and I went to Kyoto, Japan for a week. We’ve wanted to visit there for a long time! The
exhibition and the travels were so great.

What is your plan for this year? (any plans for visiting Korea for an exhibition?)
I have an exhibition this coming fall in London at PACE Gallery and hope to visit Morocco.

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