Catriona Pollard is a contemporary artist who uses traditional basketry techniques to transform foraged plant fibres into organic sculptural works. Her unique sculptural work offers glimpses of shapeshifting natural forms, from unnoticed branches, leaves and seedpods into works that investigate human’s personal connection with the natural world.
As a dedicated professional educator, she holds sold out sculptural basketry weaving workshops in Australia and internationally and teaches for design and craft centres. She holds demonstrations for organisations including Museums and gives artist talks at galleries and community groups. She also established the online SchoolofBasketryArt.com with students from around the world.
Engaging audiences to build creative connection with the natural world is a fundamental part of her art practice and her teaching. By transforming organic material into sculptures, she presents an opportunity to be enchanted by the natural world and the stories it shares.
Through her sculptures, she uses nature as a way to connect with people that goes beyond physical beauty, but touches them in a personal and profound way. Ultimately aiming to reignite people’s relationship with nature for the wellbeing of both the human and more than human worlds.
She exhibits extensively in solo exhibitions, selected and group exhibitions. She has been a finalist in many art awards including 2023 International Art Textile Biennale, National Capital Art Prize, Environmental Art & Design Award (Awarded Highly Commended 2022), North Sydney Art Prize, Australian Fibre Arts Award, Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize, Northern Beaches Art Prize Emerging Artist of the Year Craft NSW and Mosman Art Gallery.
Her artwork is profiled across major art and design media and is featured nationally in galleries, high end design spaces and private collections. Watch her talk about her art at ABC TV and Gardening Australia and read in the feature in Good Weekend, SMH/The Age.She is profiled in the Book: Woven Together: Weavers and Their Stories (Gingko Press). See her website for more talks and media.
“Led by the dynamic and richly talented Catriona, we mastered new techniques and learned so much more about the creative process. It is not always that the practitioner can teach, but despite her own high level of skill, Catriona knew that we needed to learn the elements of the craft before letting loose our imaginations. Patiently she demonstrated and repeated (again and again!) until our hesitant fingers danced to newly mastered rhythms. Her rich imagination and her technical skills together with a profound understanding of the inspiration to be found in natural plant materials enabled us to twine our souls into an exhilarating world of creativity.” Sarah
“I had a wonderful time creating, learning new skills, using natural elements, and sitting chatting with like-minded women. What a gift to be able to take time out with Catriona guiding us enthusiastically and nurturing our new skills and self-belief. Thanks heaps Catriona.” Robin
“Thanks so much for an awesome weekend of weaving! It was wonderful to learn a range of weaving styles and enjoy great company.” Jane
“A fantastic workshop.” Jenny
“Thoroughly enjoyed the workshop.It was lovely to spend time creating a sculpture from nature, in the company of like-minded people.Although my basket was a little wonky, I’ve since had another go and have created a random weave that I’m quite proud of.” Anita
“I was lucky enough to attend Catriona’s workshop. It was truly a blessing to have full days of creativity being guided and taught by someone who is so talented and inspiring.I learnt a lot, laughed a lot and it felt so good to be part of such a like-minded and creative group. It was a special experience that I will not forget in a hurry.” Allison
“This workshop boosted my confidence and creativity and taught me practical techniques that I can apply in a myriad of ways. My basketry skills have escalated since doing your workshop! I loved the way you scaffolded each skill we learnt with your teaching style this made the progress smooth and achievable! Thank you also for your encouragement, reassurance and support.” Lea