Sandra Sawatzky: The Age of Uncertainty

January 17, 2022 - April 9, 2022

Nickle Galleries is pleased to present The Age of Uncertainty, the latest project from Calgary artist Sandra Sawatzky.  One of a quartet of new exhibitions–The Age of Uncertainty is a fitting reminder of the perils of contemporary life.

The Age of Uncertainty inspects the mundane and commonplace, exposing the Trojan horses in our midst.  Using a needle and thread, Sawatzky explores our aspirations as well as their social, political, and environmental consequences.  Drawing inspiration from art, literature, science, and the media, she juxtaposes insightful, sometimes prognostic quotes alongside scenes of optimism and despondency. The Age of Uncertainty is a body of twelve embroidered panels that consider the stories that keep us awake at night.  These include: overpopulation, surveillance, corruption, migration and climate change.

Sawatzky is not the first artist to explore global crises through needle and thread–indeed the 11th century Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.  Her work falls within traditions of monumental pictorial textiles created to demonstrate, commemorate and instruct.  It also falls within evolving traditions of embroidery as subversive and engaging in social critique.  That embroidery–a craft still often considered domestic, feminine, and mindless–is used to skillfully and strategically probe some of the most pressing issues of our time is provocative, witty, and deeply moving.

Sawatzky is a researcher, storyteller, visual artist and embroiderer who explores big ideas with a very small needle and miles of thread.  Her previous project, The Black Gold Tapestry, continues to tour internationally.

 

 

Sandra Sawatzky, Debt, 2021. Photo: John Dean.

Sandra Sawatzky, Nuclear Arms (detail), 2021. Photo: John Dean.

Sandra Sawatzky, Surveillance (detail), 2021. Photo: John Dean.