About the Artist
Kaitlin Mason grew up in a small town about an hour from Toronto Ontario. Originally starting her post-secondary career in Interior design, Kaitlin fell in love with a mandatory drawing class and eventually switched to the Fine Arts program. After completing her Fine Arts diploma, Kaitlin transferred to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
After graduating from university, she began to experiment by using coloured pencils on wood panels and has been creating her unique coloured pencil drawings ever since. Kaitlin has been awarded several accolades for her unique drawings and continues to exhibit regularly sending her drawings to new homes worldwide.
In the past few years since beginning her journey using coloured pencils, Kaitlin has been able to create a unique process of layering with coloured pencils which builds the saturation and vibrancy her drawings are known for. By eliminating the ‘graininess’ of the pencil texture, she challenges the preconceived ideas of what coloured pencil drawings often look like. Her drawings become painterly and 3 dimensional, which brings new life to an underrated artistic medium like coloured pencils.
Derived from the ornamentation as well as its “free form” essence as simply a piece of cloth, Kaitlin’s drawings investigate the figure and the vacancy of human presence as a purposely arranged garment. Each drawing plays on the alluring idea of what is seen and what is hidden and focuses on the individual details of each garment.
The garments and fabrics that surround us daily are often still, hanging behind doors or folded in drawers. Drawing these forms captures their unique details that can be displayed, bringing new life to an otherwise mundane item. By questioning how the novelty of delicate garments can change one’s self-esteem, Kaitlin explores the idea of choice, and how it expresses self-admiration, boldness and radiance for an individual’s confidence when choosing a garment.
These trompe-l’oeil fabric drawings are created by using multiple layers of coloured pencil on a wood panel surface. This technique builds up the vibrancy and saturation of the colours and pushes the capabilities of the coloured pencil medium. Leaving the wood exposed adds an element of organic detail that is unique to each piece. Light and shadows play a role in each drawing to create a sense of 3-dimensionality on a 2-dimensional surface, further bringing the garment to life. The small sample of fabric often belongs to something larger, something more, something left unknown; it is a moment captured, never to be ‘that’ again.
How do you interpret ‘Ready to wear’ in your work?
Evacuation routes and preparedness sirens and drills, Fire or Flood Jacket is ready to wear and provides me the opportunity to reflect on notions of home, adaptability, and perceptions of safety. Climate change extremes, longer fire seasons and rising waters are part of my conversation. Through this work I am reaching for security as a state of mind, being resourceful, adaptable and safe in my choices of insecurity. This is preparation and acceptance that goes beyond the disaster kit that may or may not be handy or within reach when danger presents itself.
Housedress explores whom I relate to in my community. Within this piece is my somber acknowledgement of the fact that I relate to and gravitate toward a community that I can never really be a part of. The house structures on Housedress, are similar to shantytowns with shared walls and barely held together roofs. I relate to these structures in part because they exist via a resourcefulness that is not visible in other communities. I feel connected to this community, yet will always be separate. Like the clothing I wear, I am of it, but not truly. Housedress is wearable, part of me for a brief moment. I can be in it and of it and it can provide a temporary sense of shelter and belonging. Within this work is the search for my community and my yearning to belong.
Mattress Poncho is an exaggerated in size and shape hooded poncho sewn using the fabric from discarded street-side, woods-found mattresses. Visible on the piece is the wear-and-tear, various stains and moments of repair. It is quilted, thick, heavy and doublesided. Mattress Poncho becomes a garment, a wearable bed of sorts. The performative aspect of this work, a full series, involves spending time on and at many sites of discarded mattresses found at various locations. Mattress Poncho and mattress/site merge together to some extent via materials, and inserts the body back into these vacant liminal spaces.