handwoven fibers, wool, cotton, and acrylic on canvas
274.0 x 731.5 Size (cm)
107.9 x 288.0 Size (in)Brent Wadden began his artistic training as a painter, and he continues, very intentionally, to describe his weavings as paintings. Through their repeated geometric shapes and symmetry, Wadden’s paintings reference modernist abstraction, while challenging the conventions of weaving. His process is exploratory, laborious, and purposefully naïve. Working almost entirely with pre-used fibers found on Ebay, Craigslist, and in thrift shops, the artist is often short of the amount he needs, but with his attitude of ‘make do and mend’ he operates within the folk traditions of his native Nova Scotia. Score 1 (Salt Spring) is the largest work Wadden has created to date and its scale is determined by the amount of yarn he obtained in a single purchase from a Salt Spring Island weaver. Viewed from a distance, the work appears almost digital. As the viewer approaches, formality breaks down into an exploration of texture. This work in particular presents themes and tensions central to Wadden’s practice, simultaneously drawing from and antagonizing the highly gendered histories of painting and textiles, fine art and craft.