you made me remember

shawn o’hagan

Artist Biography

shawn o’hagan has been based in Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) since 1975. She lives and works on the west coast of the island, dividing her time between her house in Corner Brook and her cabin in Elmastukwek (the Bay of Islands). She has a BFA from the University of Guelph, a B.Ed. in Art from the University of Toronto and an MFA, with a specialization in painting, from the University of Waterloo. She has worked with many processes and materials, and for the past 20 years has concentrated on textiles. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows, mostly in the Maritimes, and her work can be found in many collections including the Canada Council Art Bank. She was nominated for the 2023 Canada Council Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Craft and was awarded the 2023 Visual Arts of Newfoundland and Labrador Tara Bryan Endurance Award for her long-time contribution to the Newfoundland and Labrador arts community.

Exhibition Statement

‘you made me remember’ consists of small textile collages and laser cut and hand-carved plywood paintings. This is a happy exhibition. In this body of work, I attempted to create as my young children did. I watched them draw without intention and inhabit only the moment of creation. These works are driven by my subconscious and with the confidence I have in knowing that my intuition will dictate what comes next. They are an external manifestation of my creative energy. Having no clear agenda, they are about process. About how the work grows. About discovery and about the pure joy of making. Adding and subtracting. Shifting. Making mistakes, allowing accidents to dictate the direction of each piece. Getting excited about how one colour, one texture, one pattern interacts with what lies beside. Working until it feels right. Once the collage was pieced and pinned, my hands took over. I fused the work together with slow hand stitching, embroidery, and applique. I spent time with the work. The more I manipulated it, the more life I breathed into it. Material objects carry their histories, and vintage textiles, with all their wear and tear, reveal the hand of their original maker. As I slowly and carefully stitched these pieces, long-lost personal memories began to surface for me. Ghostly colours, textures, sensations, sounds. They made me remember.


Published ©2021 by the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. All photography courtesy of the artist unless otherwise stated.