"Working with my hands is bred in the bone. Using textiles in my art making and their tactile qualities has a grounding effect for me. They bring me back to that place of possibility.”
A friend once called me a seeker. She was right. The underpinning for my art practice is a perpetual quest. A quest to bring concept, form, materials, and techniques into alignment. My recent works lean towards irony and humour. They attempt to draw attention in unexpected ways to the humble and simple beauty of ordinary moments. My works explore everyday themes around aging & adapting to rapid change, and the ways in which I imagine my relationship within the natural environment.
I was born on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River and spent my formative years on Vancouver Island. These influences are echoed in my large-scale textile works which are often presented in diptych and triptych forms where dialogues and stories are exchanged.
My designs imply the subject matter instead of stating it directly. I use a deliberate slow approach to making. The layered works are process based and the surfaces are imbued with hand hooking, screen printing, and stitch. Each hand hooked loop is a brush stroke. Each deconstructed screen print takes me into the unknown and every stitch attempts to unify the overall image. Soft sculptures are an exploration of form, colour, materials, and concept.
A key underpinning of my practice embraces the past. Working with textiles connects me to the past in a way that is hard to put into words. It doesn’t constrict or inhibit my work in anyway. What it does is simply acknowledge that I am part of a continuum. I am able to do what I do because of a legacy created by thousands who came before me.
Working with my hands is a fundamental way of being.
Michelle Sirois Silver's recent works explore themes about ordinary life and the ways she imagines herself within the natural environment. Known for her experimentation, she investigates ways to integrate materials and techniques, adding layers to create a framework to support the conceptual narrative of her work. Her art practice encompasses the hand hooked surface, surface design, and sculpture.
Michelle Sirois Silver exhibits in North America. In 2022 her surface design work titled "The Artist Archetype" exhibited at the Living Arts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma and her most recent soft sculpture titled "The Power Within" exhibited at the Il Museo Gallery in Vancouver, Canada. In June 2021 she was invited to exhibit her soft sculpture titled “Ice Islands” at the Biennale Internationale DuLin du Portneuf in Deschambault, Quebec. Her hand hooked work exhibited in the Craft Council of British Columbia’s Provincial Exhibition 2020 “Personal Materials and Geographies”.
Michelle lives and works from her studio in Victoria on Vancouver Island.