Wool - the fine soft curly or wavy hair forming the coat of a sheep, goat, or similar animal, often shorn and prepared for use in making cloth or yarn - has long been a staple in Canada, where its warmth and endurance has often comforted Canadians through well-below-freezing winters. As a textile lover, I adore wool for its texture and subtle complexity, but I never imagined it could be so deftly embodied as Fibreartistry, in the creations by Manitoba-based artist Helga Schulte-Schroeer.
Using the ancient tradition of felting with wool and fibres from sheep and goats, Schulte-Schroeer embraces this material in a whole new way, creating a warm contemporary application which invites a closer look.
Especially compelling are Schulte-Schroeer’s wall art, where she applies wool to create pieces that flow like watercolour paintings.
Each piece is as powerful as it is understated, engaging our imagination.
Sliding by Night, 18x24" framed, by Helga Schulte-Schroeer.
The images Schulte-Schroeer teases from the wool, suggest a wonder that is timeless and enchanting.
Black Dance, 22x28", by Helga Schulte-Schroeer.
Some pieces are haunting.
The Organic Dynamics series appear as if snapshots from below a microscope. They consistently transports me to the moment of life's beginning.
Organic Dynamics II, 24x30", by Helga Schulte-Schroeer.
Other pieces resonate to me in tangible ways: I can almost hear the pitter patter of the Silver Rain (below).
Silver Rain, 24x40", by Helga Schulte-Schroeer.
Can’t keep your hands off? Schulte-Schroeer also makes lovely pillows and blankets that share design elements with her exquisite wall art.
I call it "art you can snuggle with", keeping you warm in a traditional but no less lovely way.
Photo courtesy of Shauna Townley Photography.
I'm captivated by Helga Schulte-Schroeer's work, and the ethereal beauty of her ingenious, uncanny craft.
Explore more of her work at Fibreartistry, where the complete gallery of her evocative work is available.
All photos courtesy of Fibreartistry and Shauna Townley Photography.
Researched and Written by Emily E.A. Stringer, Undergraduate of Sociology, and Geography: Environment & Sustainability, at the University of British Columbia.