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Diva’s Niche

Rebecca Fisher

I was encouraged from an early age to freely express my creativity. My grandfather would spend hours with me painting, with tempera paints mixed in old mason jars, on an easel built for me by my father . When I was nine my maternal great grandmother, a seamstress from England, taught me how to smock. This was a very serious endeavour for her and she watched me closely as I worked. She made me swear on The Bible that I would never teach anyone else how to do it as one day I would make my living this way. When the baby's dress, I was working on, was completely constructed, my great grandmother went over it in agonizing detail. When she had finally finished scrutinizing every stitch, she folded it in her lap and said simply, "It's saleable." That was the hardest jury I have ever been accepted by! Many hours of my preschool life were spent in my grandparents' antique store, rummaging through old textiles and revelling in the textures of the sumptuous silks and velvets. Many of my memories of images, from that time, often find their way into my current works. My mother's writings and jingles and contest entering were a constant influence throughout my childhood, with her ever-present voice in the background asking, "What word rhymes with sea or cow or........". Growing up in the handcraft era of the 70’s I was lucky enough to have a myriad of artistic options in high school and, even as early as that time, I was focusing on the textile arts, taking spinning, weaving, and felting which still today are very much a part of who I am. Throughout my life I have been many things - daughter, wife, mother, llama farmer, business owner, teacher and now student. And now, as a recent breast cancer survivor, I find the experience of mastectomy, chemo and radiation to be a catalyst to many life changes. Now I am enjoying, with renewed excitement and appreciation, the preciousness of life. Divorced and with a decidedly different external landscape, I find myself drawing on my creative side with much more intensity, truly believing in the power of healing through art. I am recent graduate Capilano University Textile Arts Program where I spent two blissful intense years honing the skills I have garnered over a lifetime.

I am currently the Artist In Residence for the City of Pitt Meadows where along with spear heading the Community Yurt Project I am working to expand and continually redefine my work as an elemental artist.

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