Submitted by Anne Jardine

People who know Invermere artist Carol Gordon may have noticed she looks a little different lately. Always colourful and distinctive, Carol’s fashion sense is part of her uniqueness. In the late spring of this year, however, she began to experiment with art wearables with Montreal textile designers.  The images from her paintings are dyed into their clothing and accessory designs: tops, skirts, pants, scarves, masks, tote bags and more. The effect is stunning. She combines these wearables with her characteristic sun hats or berets, her embroidered jackets or woven ponchos and shawls, and she becomes a walking work of art. 

Carol is also having images of her paintings dyed onto household textiles such as tea towels and pillow covers. These items can serve as decorator accents for kitchens and couches, adding a dash of designer flare to the room.  She also has jigsaw puzzles created from her colourful artwork, which can serve to entertain during the cold and dreary winter months and framed when completed to adorn walls.

The process of art has fascinated Carol throughout her whole life, and wearable art and accessories are just part of the process. As a child, Carol loved collecting dress up clothes that would serve as costumes for her and her younger sisters and their friends.  They were especially fun during the summer day camp she created for the younger children, when she dressed them up for plays. Carol also liked to dress her dolls up and cut their hair.  Her favourite doll wore a tam, just like Carol does now. 

Carol remains playful and sensual in her approach to colours, textures, and patterns of clothes: the warm smoothness of velvet, the woolly, nuby comfort of knitted shawls, the array of moods that different colours can suggest, the joy that comes from putting together a beautiful and surprising combination. The process of putting different elements together is really the basis of all fashion. 

“Art emerges from our creative process.  It is not limited to what we put into a frame and hang on the wall. It also includes how we express ourselves in what we wear and how we adorn our home to bring beauty and pleasure into our life,” says Carol.  Her website invites viewers to: “Allow the beauty of art to fill your life.”

Carol’s creative process has evolved and expanded over her seventy-five years and continues today. Her artwork can be viewed and purchased on her website.  In Invermere a selection of her tote bags, pillows, and notecards are available at the Gift Shop at Pynelogs Cultural Centre.  In Kimberley, her creations will be available from November 24 – December 24 at the Christmas Pop-Up Art Gallery located in the “new” Laundromat Art Gallery, which will open in Spring 2022 in Kimberley’s historic Platzl.