"Island in the Stream"

"Island in the Stream"

"Island in the Stream", 2022
by Laurie Swim
Textile Art
26 X 45 inches 


This work has many interpretations for me and those who have seen it so far…and I like that!

Awhile ago, before the world was set on its heels with Covid, I accepted the challenge of creating a piece for a group show with the theme of ‘Home’. Canadian artists who work with fibre-based materials were matched up with Israeli artists using the same medium to create art.

My Israeli partner came up with an idea that would connect our creations, the Japanese technique of Kintsugi, the art of repairing broken pottery by mending with gold lacquer, fostering the philosophy of what is broken can be mended, even adding value; also breaking free from obsession with perfection that often causes friction and stress. Combining Kintsugi with ‘home’, where things often get broken and mended, making it stronger. Islands in the Stream happens to be Larry’s and my song so I started there. I made a sketch of an island silhouetted against a glowing sky featuring a house, a home for shelter and comfort where you can relax, eat and sleep in relative safety. I chose a simple cape style house, not my home, to reference local architecture.


Concept sketch for "Island in the Stream"  by Laurie Swim


‘Home’ can also be a vessel for one’s story where roots go deep, in the ocean in my case and branches can reach through the sky, as a family tree. The spruce trees slanting off this Island refer to the effect of soil erosion on the South Shore of Nova Scotia where I live. Metaphorically, however, they could be symbolic of family division, or even death. The gold pillar ascending from the centre of the house and reflected in the water below is the ‘coming together” the mend that makes a stronger connection.

My fondest interpretation, however, is one made by my 10-year-old grandson Eli. The explosion of fireworks above the house is “A goddess ascending”.

Laurie Swim 2022





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1 comment

I believe your grandson’s interpretation of this painting is both intuitive and wise.

Audrey Ogilvie

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