Meteobotany – Bettina Matzkuhn

Meteobotany pairs drawings of cloud systems with embroidered plant life, in particular, lichens. Iterations go from digital satellite images, to drawing done by hand on a digital surface, then commercially printed onto fabric, and finally embroidered by hand. Matzkuhn explores contrasts of technologies and materials, and points of view. Satellites give a “god’s eye” view, while Matzkuhn has been drawing lichen specimens through a microscope (from the Beaty Biodiversity Museum). The lichens appear to grow between the cloud systems. Through combining macro and micro viewpoints, the artist hopes to convey the sense of the northwest coast as an intricate and intertwined life form—a living, dynamic presence. Lichens represent a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae (and more organisms, as research is finding). By pairing imagery of lichens with grand weather systems, Matzkuhn hopes to show a greater symbiosis.

September 21, 2023 to January 28, 2024

Bettina Matzkuhn explores themes of ecology, weather, and geography in her fibre work. Emphasizing hand embroidery, she values the versatile language of textiles. Matzkuhn holds a BFA and an MA from Simon Fraser University, and is the recipient of Canada Council and British Columbia Arts Council Grants. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, as well as internationally. Her work is found in national public collections such as the Surrey Art Gallery, Cambridge Art Galleries, and the Weldon Map Library at Western University. She lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.