Fiber artist Debbie Packer takes macrame techniques to a higher level with this collection of nature-inspired works. See more of her portfolio by visiting her website.
I experienced quite an uprooted childhood, moving around the world, living in eight countries and attending ten different schools.
As an adult, I appreciate having been exposed to a variety of cultures and historical sites, from Machu Picchu to Ephesus. But as a shy, introverted child it was quite challenging. Not surprisingly, since returning to Canada for university, I have not moved out of Ontario.
I am a wife, mother of three boys, previously a healthcare worker, and a contemplative. After leaving healthcare, I found myself drawn to the intuitive artistic process.
I started with acrylic painting, which I did for several years. My works were exhibited and sold in several juried shows and at Stratford-Art-in-the-Park. Just before the pandemic, I put down the brushes, worked with wet and needle-felting for a while, and then took a creative pause.
In early spring 2022, I noticed some beautiful macrame online and felt inspired to try it. So began my journey into macrame making, with a re-imagined, modern approach.
The process—from sourcing rope, to finding a way to hang the wooden dowels, to learning the knot—moved quickly and smoothly. I felt like I was really in the flow. Receiving an award for one of my pieces within eight months of starting to work with this medium was affirming and quite an honour. Interestingly, that piece was titled Deep Roots.
I have grown to love walking in the woods and conservation areas, drawn in by the trees, wildflowers, butterflies and flickering fireflies. The trees, which were often the focus of my acrylic paintings, have shown up quite unexpectedly, and yet not surprisingly, in my macrame. My unique style had also, unintentionally, carried through.
I have changed, however, from using very vibrant colours in my paintings, to using only neutral tones of the macrame rope. Natural is my preferred choice. I love the tangible component of the macrame rope for creating these texturally-rich semi-abstract treescapes. And by using a two-layered approach, I hope they embody a little sense of the magical and the mystical, too.
Debbie Packer invites you to follow her on Instagram.