Since 2011 I work primarily in felt. Wool roving and other fibres can be transformed into images, functional work or sculptures. The material and process allow me to cross boundaries, to use an ancient method for contemporary art making, create two- or three-dimensional work, play with colour and form, make wearable art or conceptual pieces and experiment with surface treatments. After I develop the concept, choose the wool and other materials and tools I place the fibre. This time consuming process is followed by embellishing, wetting, handling, rolling and throwing. Last, there are various ways to finish the work by stretching, shaping, cutting, stitching and assembling. The slow labour of felting allows me to contemplate my intent while enjoying a physical closeness to my material. Skill and experience give some control over the final outcome, but I welcome the surprises that inevitably materialize.
Judith Mueller is a visual artist with a BFA from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She works with sculptural installations, feltmaking and painting. Her work explores the relationship between people and their environment and the definitions and labels created to fit in. Judith uses colour as a form of expression to define the different components that comprise the whole. If we could choose to approach the whole without judgement, we could step into a universe with no point of view and the importance or significance of whether it was green or blue would no longer exist. It is often in our society that these definitions are then misapplied and misidentified as the labels used to make us fit in or to place limitations upon us. If we acknowledged each individual colour and rejoiced in the capacities they represent, we would be in allowance of their uniqueness and their contribution to us. Judith creates a dialogue that allows us to explore and acknowledge where our judgements, points of views and opinions create the reality that we allow to define us. What if there was no defined reality and what if we choose each and everyday the reality that works for us? What would we choose?
I draw my felting inspiration from “systems and structures” I see in play in the world – physical, political, social, and behavioural. In our highly plugged in world, I work with one of the oldest methods of fashioning items – natural fibres, soap, water and physical labour. It gives continuity between past and present that appeals to me and grounds the future. Having studied with several national and international fibre artists, I’m inspired to blend new ideas and technique into forms that may serve to raise questions and ideas in others.