Dames, Divas & Icons

Dale Roberts Artist Statement

I have been working with fibres since the age of five when my mother taught me to crochet. There was in that moment, when I held the crochet hook and chained my first stitches, that I felt a magic moment

— a glimpse into a world of possibility — a feeling that continues to this day. One of the earliest finished pieces was a pair of slippers that were made to fit the feet of my sister’s doll. Later in years I would join my mother in her crocheting adventures of doilies and tablecloths.

In the course of understanding my path as an artist there are certain themes have been evident and keep recurring as a means to insight in my process of artmaking. Attention to detail, and repetitions in patterning were places of fascination and exploration.

I have come to realize that the grounding for my art evolves from my early life of living on the land and relying on the sea as a way of survival. Also, it meant coming to terms with who I was in an outport community with dreams of life beyond the shoreline and trying to understand my own identity. The reflections of lives lived in these small towns meant I retreated into a world where inner soundings allowed visions of a much more vivid playground.

In the recent series of felted works “Dames, Divas & Icons” I have explored the visual notion of Transformation. In particular a study of males (mainly) who transformed visually into a female persona. In working with needle felted wool I have come to approach the surface much like a painting, blending and layering various wool tones to achieve the feeling tones I imagine of a personality. The works have been created over 12 years. 

Art Openings - Dale Roberts presents: Dames, Divas and Icons