B e v e r l e y   R e i d






 curriculum vitae

 complete Matzhuhn essay

Excerpts from curatorial essays in exhibition catalogues

Catalogue: Heart of Stone ~ Heart of Garden
Grand Forks Art Gallery September 20 to October 22, 2005
Niederlausitzer Heidemuseum, Spremberg, Germany, April 2 to April 30, 2006
Art Gallery of the South Okanagan, Penticton, September 8 to October 29, 2006

   Excerpts from the essay by Roger Boulet, 17 August, 2005

"Rocks have [....] figured largely in many of her recent works where she has come to some kind of hybrid medium where collage is the approach, and the media encompass forms cut out of fabrics, enhanced by sewn stitches, and drawn elements. These extraordinary pieces are essentially abstract and seem to suggest meditations on rocks that express the natural forces that created them. [….] Curiously, these works are uncomfortable within the borders of frames, challenging the very convention of the picture within which they were conceived - cloth paintings where the 'painted' elements are the result of various processes of bleaching and altering the colours of purchased fabrics. […. ] Beyond the staggering amount of detail that is suggested or represented, there lies the rock and the record of the forces and processes that created it.

[ … ] There are no more barriers between craft and art. These are rendered meaningless by the essential organization of mind over material, over matter, which is characteristic of the human species. It is the capacity to aspire to an altered state based on the contemplation of living things that grow, that decay and, in a spring that always returns, are reborn in a never-ending cycle. We are a small and insignificant part in that cycle. At least, we have the capacity to contemplate this ever-unfolding mystery, an ultimate design that we are yet unable to fully fathom."

Paul Crawford, Director/Curator, Art Gallery of the South Okanagan (now Penticton Art Gallery)

[ … ] a selection of her fabric and mixed media works. All the hangings are hand appliquéd and hand quilted with a small amount of machine piecing. Painting with commercial dyes, chlorine and paint she manipulates the material to acquire the desired effect. This combined with the creative use of stitching, needlework and printed textiles all work to create something that goes way beyond what is normally considered quilting and elevating to a whole other level. In her most recent work she collages fabric in combination with drawing to create these microscopic portraits of the inner structure of rocks. […It is ] my sincere hope that this exhibit will change your perception and notion of what has been traditionally labelled as quilts and elevate them from the realm of craft to the position of fine art.

Catalogue:  Soft Rocks
Kootenay Gallery, 2007
Langham Cultural Centre, 2007
Summerland Art Gallery, 2008
Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, 2008
     Excerpts from the essay by
Sandra Flood, 2007

" Beverley considers herself a late starter, and a closet artist to boot. I would say that every aspect of her training, professional experience, her years as a curator, her exposure to many kinds of creative arts, and the slow accumulation of expertise gained in making gardens and quilts, comes together in the richness and confidence of these works.

[ ..... ] These are sophisticated, accomplished works both aesthetically and technically, from the conception of a visually interesting image, through the selection and manipulation of fabrics, to the meticulous, slow, meditative stitching to piece together the fabrics, and the final quilting and stitchery embellishment."

Catalogue:   Hanging by a Thread
Gallery 2, 2013

Excerpts from the essay by Bettina Matzkuhn, 2013

"Beverley Reid's language of process, comes from her meticulous observation of her surroundings. Professors often ask students to do a "close reading" of a text, to pay attention to language, syntax, context and progression. Reid's works are close readings of the environment outside her door: certain orchids won't grow anymore because the summers have become too hot; a creek that once dried up in summer, now runs all year; rain, when it arrives, has become more insistent. Informed by the process of gardening, she brings her sharp eyes, willingness to experiment and sheer work ethic to her art work. Reid focuses on her textile images in the winter when the garden is dormant, but itches to get outdoors when the ground warms up. Her stash of fabrics is neatly piled in shelves, the layers and folds form a backdrop to her studio the way the terraced layers of her garden form a backdrop to her life.

In the title piece, Hanging by a Thread, Reid evokes fragility through colour, line and concept. A large, pale, diagonal tree trunk leans across a thin white fabric covered with a delicate print pattern one might see on a crazed ceramic surface. A group of ghostly flowers hang before it by white threads, the loops and straggly ends at the rod that suspending them are echoed by the fibrous roots below. The white speaks of winter, of mourning. Hand stitching can be repetitive and predictable, or, in Reid's hands, a true form of mark-making. The area around the tree is covered with a shorthand of faded stitches varying in length, colour and density. They describe a jittery, nervous tension, some foreign writing whose meaning we can only guess at. On the back of the piece, small dusty green plants have stems and no flowers: all is not well.

[ .... ] It is important to see and to contemplate the continuous inquiry Reid has made, to be engaged by her visual language and to follow her paths and predicaments -in the garden or on cloth. The breadth and eloquence of Reid's exhibition is a force of nature: unpredictable, persistent and possessed of a generous power."

     Excerpts from catalogue foreword by Ted Fogg, Director/Curator

"Beverley Reid has been making artwork for more than five decades. Following her graduation from the University of Manitoba School of Art in 1956, she worked in Vancouver and England as a display designer for many retailers and television. Subsequent to her return to Canada, she began making traditional quilts in the mid-70s. Over the past 43 years Reid has refined a distinct relationship with fabric, revealing an intimate appreciation for its qualities. Although mainly known for her fabric assemblages, Reid's work on paper - her drawings, monoprints and watercolours - stand on their own as wonderfully composed works, as well as becoming stepping stones into experimentation and expansion for her fabric practice.

[ ....] Some of her more recent works take on the nature of interior landscapes, or what Malcolm Andrews refers to as 'inscapes'…. "what emerges when 'landscape' is penetrated, intellectually and emotionally…", and she reveals a more intimate and private relationship between her inner and outer worlds.

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