Mary Pal is a fibre artist living and creating at Carriageway Studios in Almonte. Her work defies easy classification, encompassing art quilt, mixed media, sculpting, stitching and painting on richly textured fibre backgrounds.
Her artwork has received numerous awards internationally and is in many private and museum collections. A popular instructor, Mary enjoys sharing her passion for textile art in local and international workshops.
A question I am invariably asked: “Why cheesecloth?” Cheesecloth for me represents the very essence of textiles – the most minimal configuration of warp and weft. I am fascinated by the suppleness of its delicate fibers and the effects of their placement on a contrasting ground. It is a wonderfully versatile medium – easily manipulated, painted, dyed and stitched. Its fluidity permits me to control both opacity – to translate the effect of light – and transparency – by splaying the fibers to convey shadows. I am thus able to sculpt a two-dimensional representation of a subject that nonetheless reflects a unique depth and texture. And further, I am free to explore the connection between process and materials and the way that they relate to my subject matter, in most of my artwork, the texture and vulnerability of the human face.