On the Couch with Catriona Pollard

Arts Review On the Couch Catriona PollardWho is Catriona Pollard?
Catriona Pollard is a contemporary sculptural basket artist who works with organic materials. Her work explores the connection and relationship we have with our environment and the beauty it shares with us. She is having her first solo basketry exhibition, Love.Honour.Cherish in October.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
I think it’s a waste of energy wishing for something different. It’s important to make the most of every opportunity and seek out learning and growth.

Who inspires you and why?
The late Virginia Kaiser played a significant role in contemporary Australian basketry. Her works are held in many private and public collections including the Australian National Gallery. Her work was very connected to the landscape around her and I have one piece of her work which I treasure.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Oh the world is in such a state isn’t it and at times I’m not sure where we start. My art is a statement about consumerism and disconnection with nature – so I guess I’d love for people to start conscious buying; read the labels, stop buy products with palm oil, etc.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere in Italy. Not only for the rich art history but for the modern culture too – and you can’t forget the food!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I take them on my favourite walking tracks. As I walk through the bush tracks around Sydney Harbour, inspiration presents itself. I see a fallen tree with the roots exposed, and an idea for a sculpture is illuminated. Or as I wade through the rock pools at Balmoral, the shape of the water against the rocks becomes an idea for a sculpture. I’d love for them to see that beauty and also be inspired.

What are you currently reading?  
500 Baskets which has a breathtaking range of techniques, styles, and materials. Every basket highlights the varied and wonderful possibilities and gives me inspiration for my own work.

What are you currently listening to?  
In my day job, I own and run a PR agency, and the office is very much like a zen art gallery; a calm and creative place to be. I have a tabletop water fountain which takes us through the day with the gentle trickle of water over bamboo.

Happiness is?
Nature is my main inspiration as this is where I find beauty, peace and energy. For me, the power of natural beauty energises me; it makes my soul sing.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m actually having my first ever solo basketry exhibition called Love.Honour.Cherish at Gallery Lane Cove. I’m really excited to hear feedback from the wider art community about my basketry and see what I can learn from this experience. Other than that, I’d love to have time to create more artworks, and do some local and international residencies.

Catriona Pollard first picked up vine to weave only a few years ago and her artwork has been described as emotionally authentic, uniquely contemporary, raw and visually stunning. She has been in numerous group exhibitions, shortlisted as Emerging Artist of the Year Craft NSW (2014, 2015), and finalist at North Sydney Art Prize (2013-2015) and Mosman Art Gallery 2088 (2011-2015).

Catriona’s exhibition Love.Honour.Cherish will be on display at Gallery Lane Cove: 7 – 19 October 2015. For more information, visit: www.theartofweaving.com.au for details.

Image: Catriona Pollard