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Unique textile-based art installations featured in new exhibit by Catherine Miller

February 6, 2013

(Charlottetown, P.E.I.) - The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Charlottetown-based artist, Catherine Miller. Installed in the Entrance Gallery and the five large display cases in the Centre's concourse, Catherine Miller: Changing Environs addresses the artist's interest and research in land use issues on P.E.I. Miller's visual and tactile investigation of this important topic is expressed through the vocabulary of her long-standing textile practices.

The focus of this exhibition is timely. The provincial government's recent Planning for a Sustainable Future publication is intended to assist the Environmental Advisory Council in promoting a dialogue on a new sustainable development strategy for the province-a follow-up effort recommended in the 2009 publication, New Foundations: Report of the Commission on Land and Local Governance.

Miller uses highly-developed textile-working skills to resolve her contemporary approach to sculpture and installation projects that explore the often-conflicting ideas of land use and environmental protection. As an example, Miller's series of five images, Rising Sea Level, PEI, 2010, could be described both as woven, wall hangings and also as paintings that combine white cotton and rusted nails in a series of five rectangular works. The imagery is recognizable as maps of P.E.I. affected to varying degrees by storm surges and rising water levels. The landmasses, formed from nails hand-woven into the white fabric, are coloured by the rusting action of water ‘painted' on the cloth and nails.

In the three-dimensional installation, Foundations, 2011, concrete blocks are stacked and wrapped in various patterned fabrics. Concrete blocks are hardly the customary material of a textile artist; though the colourful fabrics wrapping the blocks are reminiscent of a patchwork quilt. Clearly not intended for a bedroom, this work refers to the variety of land use regulations in a small jurisdiction like P.E.I.

An active member of the Island arts community, Miller states that "Art is the best method to give meaning to the world around us. It is important for me to both communicate ideas and explore social issues through my work."

This exhibition, part of the Gallery's Emerging Artists Series, is curated by Gallery Director, Kevin Rice and presented with the support of the RBC Foundation. Catherine Miller: Changing Environs will be on view until May 26, 2013. The Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Photo Cutline: Catherine Miller, Red Cliffs, PEI, 2011, thread painting on cotton, 83.5 x 112.5cm.