Jacqueline Calladine creates art for social change
I’m an artist placemaker.
As an artist, I create connections with place through handcrafted objects and art formed through slow design and eco-friendly, ethical practices.
As a placemaker, I create physical, online, ephemeral, and conceptual places where people connect, community grows, and art becomes a catalyst for social change.
My work is firmly rooted in the slow design movement. My studio is chemical and solvent free, and my materials are largely pre-loved, foraged or found. I work in harmony with the seasons - using the energy of the sun in summer, harvesting rainwater for my studio in the winter.
I create intuitively, with layers upon layers of plant dye, mark-making, stitch and cloth or paper. As I add, subtract and conceal, my love of line emerges as stitch or a drawn mark, then hides, perhaps to reappear. I play with the materiality of place, leaving works outside to weather - burying cloth to take on the marks of the earth, placing the land directly on my work.
As I create, maps are revealed. I piece together residual memories to form a personal landscape: a flash of hibiscus pink, the roses in my childhood home, an ellipse of Cerulean blue - the color of the front door of my English home. I’ve been a textile practitioner since I could hold a needle in my hand. I can map my life through the cloth I’ve cut, stitched and manipulated: dresses for my dolls, summer dresses as a teen, Chanel jackets for the office, wedding dress, curtains, toys for my children. These objects are landmarks in my personal narrative; they’re a map not only of my creativity, but also of my life. Now as a professional artist, I still see my making as a form of personal cartography: a way of seeking connection with place - a continual search for my own place in this world - a search for home.
As a recent transplant to the US, the concept of placemaking has become pivotal in my practice as I attempt to connect and make a place for myself in a culture that isn’t my own. I find myself “painting my way home” and creating artwork that draws on my memories of England, yet uses materials local to the Pacific Northwest where I now live. I walk daily, looking for similarities between my geographic home and my birth place. Sometimes this connection is found in the plants that I use as natural dyes or paints, sometimes it’s a sound that sparks a memory, or sometimes a shady path that transports me back to the verdant woods of England. Through my artwork, I invite others to contemplate their own relationship with place, to consider that we all find our “home” on the same planet; we share the same resources and so we are all interconnected. There is a place for us all.