Kathleen Rumney

Kathleen Rumney
OCAD University (Toronto, ON)

Topography of the Present is in a collection of Fabric Landscapes that are sustainable abstract “paintings” created from recycled/found fabrics collected around Toronto. Sustainability within my art practice has always been an important part of my growth as an artist. The planet we live in provides us with so much beauty and, as an artist, I feel the need to acknowledge how we can impact the conversation of our changing world through the way art is created.

Climate crisis is a serious problem. We are continually building and adding to the mountain of garbage based on our consumer world. I feel compelled to challenge my process of creating without adding to the waste. With recycling fabrics into paintings, the art gives a new life to someone’s old garbage. The inspiration of each piece comes from the organic movement and the art that nature has offered us and grows around us. My work was created with multiple textile layers and repetitive shapes in different sizes in order create an organic abstraction. Complementary earth tones are used to create the warm and calming elements the earth presents. Both opaque and transparent fabrics are layered to create multiple tones. The space between each piece of fabric is strategic.The repetitive sketching with machine sewing are presented as a modern use of line drawing and painting without the actual use of these traditional mediums. Rough and raw cuts of fabric create an organic abstraction, literally paintings that are made with fabric and thread.

Kathleen Rumney is a Toronto based mixed media artist whose practice focuses on found and recycled fabrics, and explores abstraction within the format of traditional painting. Kathleen has just completed her BFA at OCAD University, Toronto, majoring in painting and drawing, with minors in printmaking, and fabrications. Combining these art practices in her studio practice has created a style of sustainable work that focuses on both the importance of how we treat our world through community outreach, and the climate crisis of our contemporary world.

This creative journey has given Kathleen the passion and opportunity to work as the art director for rEcess, a program for children with physical disabilities, exploring art as a therapeutic form of treatment and expression. She has recently been chosen to be a finalist in BMO’s 1st Artist award, a national juried exhibition of the top graduating fine art students from each of the prominent art and design universities and programs across Canada.