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monoprinted cottonwood leaves, fabric-painted and commercial cotton and silk, floral netting, glass beads, cotton embroidery floss, embossed copper, machine and hand quilting
20”w X 21”h
autumn © 2005

This past summer I took a trip to Saskatchewan (my former home province). Inspiration came from the lonely cottonwood trees scattered throughout the prairies. Their long brittle branches touched my “prairie soul”. Their inherent beauty represented something beyond the leaves and bark. Realizing the cottonwood is a rather maligned tree, having spent much of my youth in Saskatchewan, I was surprised to be affected by this prairie enigma. In early summer they spew their seeds of cotton everywhere and, are not a long lived species.

Their branches easily snap with the howling prairie wind.

This year the view of true Saskatchewan beauty manifested itself to me. These trees represented all the times I had seen them in the past, my prairie past.

I heard the wind chiming through their transitory leaves. I saw the broken limbs, I felt their pain. Here on the coast many people have the wrong view of the prairies. The bugs, wind, cold and snow block their view. I want others to feel the beauty of the prairie – the cottonwood trees, the ripening wheat, the prairie sunsets – the prairie allure. My soul can not shape itself into anything other than that of the prairie girl.

My view of the prairies is with remembering, soulful eyes.

Exhibition List
The Shape of Things to Come (2006), Fibre Arts Network, Vernon Public Art Gallery, Vernon, BC


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© 2012 Donna Bray-Zakreski
updated : October 1st, 2012

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