Phillida Hargreaves lives in Kingston, Ontario, and has been making and selling fibre art for 30 years. She has won a number of awards and accolades such as the Grand Prize at the Grand National Quilt Show in 2010.
She has drawn and painted all her life, but moved to fibre as her medium because of the variety of textures fibre offers. She uses a wide range of fabrics from wool to cotton which she sometimes alters with dye and paint. She includes sheers, and incorporates knitting, crocheting and felting when that fits her vision.
Phillida is largely self taught, but has extended her skills through textile design courses at St Lawrence College. She is also a member of the Kingston Fibre Artists, a group that is interested in experimenting with the medium.
She has had a number of solo shows, including one at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in 2001, and most recently at Studio 22 Open Gallery in Kingston in March 2020.
Her work can be found at her website, www.phillidahargreaves.ca, and on Instagram @phillidahargreaves
Art is the way I keep my balance in a changing world.
Initially, I needed art to create a balance in my own life. I earned my living as a therapist/social worker, a job I loved but which was also emotionally draining. Creating art offered a balance to the sad stories I heard. What I produced were calm empty landscapes which reminded me that there was more to life than the very human struggles I witnessed at work, and that the earth could be a kinder and more beautiful place.
I have now retired, but am still drawn to the natural world, and I am still looking for balance.
For me, balance does not mean stasis. I recognize that in nature, just as in the social environment, things are in a constant state of flux. But I still strive to find a point of equilibrium, even if it is only transitory. The process of creating my art brings me closer to that state.