Roberta CondonPortage, WI
Pine Needle Basketry
“Images through the eye and hand of an artist with a loving relationship with the Wisconsin landscape.”
When I engage in fiber arts I am creating something, but I’m also participating in historic traditions thousands of years old. I’m not only making art for my own and future generations, I am embodying the work of my ancestors.
Folklore is passed mouth to mouth. Folk Art is passed hand to hand. Pine needle and grass coiling into baskets has been in existence since the time of man. My extensive study with the Gullah Geechee in the barrier islands off the Georgia Coast, and study with a master coiler North in the barrier islands of Virginia imbue the work with a deep tradition…Yet the forms move outside tradition to embrace a new definition of basketry and vessels, stretching the traditional forms and materials to embrace contemporary meanings.
Found Items… pieces from the forest and desert floor, and the flowing current and eddies of the rivers influence the work as they have influenced my life…past, present, and future evidenced in all.
Artist Biography, 2016:
I am a mother, dog walker, caretaker, long distance swimmer, and artist with a deep connectedness to nature. I attended art school as a young woman at Rockford College, IL., and attended the engineering college at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Between the ages of 25 and 46, I slowly ceased painting and got caught up in the basic struggles of making a living, falling in and out of love and caring for children. When I hit age 45, I was confronted by the fragility of life in the form of a skirmish with cancer, and the 9/11 tragedy. This glimpse of mortality lead me to a two week conversation between myself and God in the canyons of Nevada. A direct result of this conversation was a return to my art and painting. In 2015 I opened my own gallery and studio in Portage, WI.