Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Monday, May 26, 2014


A few years ago now I did this book project based on Timothy Findlay's book "Stones".
It was for a book show at the Ferry Building Gallery in West Vancouver.
I used a number of material and techniques and included embellishments like amber, pearls and turquoise.
The lace was burnt and rusted. The cloth was dyed in a variety of natural dyes including copper patination, turmeric, plain tree leaves and berries.
Front Cover Stones Book Project Patricia Chauncey 2003

Stones Book Project Patricia Chauncey 2003. Inside cover made with natural dyeing and patination. Flamed lace and semi precious stones.

Other side.

Going through old projects has made me realize some techniques need to be revisited.

I think this work was made about 2003. I was assisted by Charles Wilson.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Words I Didn't Want To Hear.

Today. I had my appointment with my oncologist. I knew it would be difficult but just not sure how difficult.
I had been asked to do an appointment earlier than normal. Not good. I was in the hospital two or so weeks ago with oxygen intake and heart problems. They took x-rays and did a scan. Lots of blood work and sent me home with the understanding I would take it easy.

That and results of a few biopsies and MRI. I am sicker. It appears the cancer has now spread to the thoracic region of my spine and has possibly hit the bottom of my skull. It is causing facial numbness and lots of shoulder and chest pain. The drugs I am on only partly explain my exhaustion.

I was handed a pamphlet. "Advanced Treatment Planning".  Haven't read it.

For the first time it was suggested to me that I might be doing the denial thing. I don't think so. This is not that hard to understand and as a "friend" yelled at me two weeks ago when I asked for support, "We are all fucking dying". Too true.

All I have is this life. It isn't much but it is all there is. I am not a person of faith. My accomplishments will be forgotten shortly. The me of me. All dust or smoke. And there is no stamped end date or death would have come in 2009.

 This disease will be a thing of the past soon and I have done my best to live as long as possible to see in new treatments. They are now offering me a choice of adjuvents and the possibility of chemo for the rest of my life.

Today coming back to Sweethaven is extra special. There were three deer near the gate standing in a row like sentry. The ducks came running to greet. They did the wing flapping and the tail wagging thing.  A lovely sunset happened. How welcome back is that?

Home For Rest

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Keeping Track

I have recently learned it is so important to keep documentation of my work.
It is also important to keep track of  display techniques. Two reasons that I can think of.
Physical theft and the theft of ideas.

I take huge pride in how my work is displayed. The display enters into the narrative. It frames my story.
It delineates the pieces from one another but leads to the whole.

Documentation is also important for portfolios and for legacy.

Two things have happened lately that make me very glad I have done this in a clear enough way to be helpful in a legal way and in terms of cataloguing. I came upon a show where the "artist" had lifted not only some of my imagery but took liberties with two of the titles from pieces of my work, the name of a show I had done previously and at least two of my display ideas. One a very unusual two sided glass shadow frame my Father-In-Law invented (I have the drawings)  and back lit large shadow boxes laid on their backs. She threw in a wasp's nest or two for good measure. Wasps nests, wasp paper, hives and  wasp imagery show up in every single show I do.

The artist had visited my gallery a couple of years before and had explained that I had articulated perfectly what she had been trying to say and had asked to photocopy my artist's statement. I said no. She stood and copied the whole thing by hand. And blithely signed my guest book telling me how much she admired my work. There is a photograph of her with the work much to my lawyers delight. Ironically her work was done to talk about a lawsuit she had won. My legal friend loves that too.

Film Maker Ivan Hughs, Me and Curator for the Into the Woods Show in Squamish Art Gallery
I had at first thought that the said artist was simply a neophyte twat who was just trying to get into any show she could. Her work is poorly thought out and executed and the show was not ju
ried. Upon further explanation by an artist friend the said twat turns out to be a professional art educator who should have known better.

I am not sure what I will do with this. Not sure it is worth my energy at this point in my life. She is such a manipulative person that she has seriously pissed off more than me. And she is now being watched by other more respected artists. The curator of  the group show she was in has contacted me and offered me a solo show. He said he has dreamed of showing my work for years. He had previously insured my work was sold and displayed by the then Minister of Culture in her office.

I now have a professional archivist who has spent years documenting work at the Textile Museum of Canada. I have a respected curator and an agent. And I have someone who is a loving caregiver and professional artist who wants to find a permanent home for my work. I never thought my work would require this but I am now classified palliative in terms of my cancer prognosis. My capacity as an artist is becoming more limited.

But I have been invited to show all over this spring. Internationally, locally and in different galleries across Canada. Too exciting to seriously worry about wasp parasites.
Shadow boxes used for the show "Underground" in the Britannia Beach Mine. Seen by thousands and filmed for three documentaries for T.V. including a film.
Me and Kris with some of the hive shadow boxes and my display for the" Into the Woods" Show.
A number of pieces here from the "Wonderland " Show.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Studio Reformed

My studio at Sweethaven is being hauled out and reorganized by artist Femke van Delft and her daughter Keta Bun. My son Dane is helping.

This is a dream reorganization for me. Femke works in mixed process and is brilliant. We have admired one another and one another's art for years. She just gets my stuff. She has a background in Visual Marketing and has an incredible sense of space use. No judgements, easy to correct and Tim will do anything she asks.
Keta is a bull worker. A sense of organization that is astounding and a mind for category. They have been here for five days and worked everyday.

My library is now completely organized! Alphabetically , by date, by passion. I sat in there and cried.
It was perfect.

During this process they have whistled and laughed. Got out for awhile and made delicious food like beet pesto. I made delicious food like nettle pesto and Fidgety for sandwiches. Tim made buttermilk pancakes with duck eggs. Mike, a local farmer, heard I was sick and loved kale and he brought me a huge bag of kale, wild harvested miner's lettuce and an incredible spicy salad mix as a gift. Food seems to be part of this.

Today the piles of stuff in the studio, the furnishings and machines are being transformed into the most delicious, workable studio that I can fall into and work when I have the tiniest scrap of energy.There are staging centers to allow me to work on more than one project at a time. Heaven.

Femke has not allowed me in either the Sweethaven library or the studio while this is going on. She has emerged with exactly two bags of garbage. Which I sorted through. All garbage. She comes downstairs with phone photos, hand drawn maps, descriptions and advice. No peeking. My first day at this was nerve wracking but as time has progressed  I see how well she directs others and knows exactly what I need and want I have simply released control. Complete trust. All rewarded.

I am really happy to say that Keta has decided to move into the Haven Suite. She wants to look for a job here and look after me. She has fallen in love with Mayne Island and Sweethaven. She perches her lovely young self all over the house and the gardens and has charmed my ducks and my family.

Through this whole process I am physically weak and have to curl up and sleep a lot. I now have to manage pain in a different way.  But this gnawing worry has been released. I can find my things and my work.

Inspiring Shelf

Femke in action

Studio shelves


Sketch book and Sample Books.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Vancouver Vacation

In Vancouver General Hospital distracting myself by learning a new App on my phone.

Mask is used to protect the world from me. A two day journey through the Emergency Ward.
I had a cold that didn't go away. Things changed and my oxygen sats plummeted, my poor heart went arrhythmic and dehydration set in.

I am home again on Mayne Island. Time to get used to my "new normal" and get on with it.