Catherine Thompson (Canada)



My work and my life circles around what you could call ‘nomadic’ living. It is a word that I commonly use and though it is not an entirely adequate term, it will do. I find myself landing on what you also might call ‘home’ in many places. Many places in Canada, where I mostly live and in a couple of places in other parts of the world. Compeung is one of those homes and it felt so right away when I  arrived for my first res here in 2011. It has been so good to be back home again. This year at Compeung (2012), I been working with textiles for the most part; making pieces of clothing primarily with Pwo Karen fabrics from the Sop Moei district in Mae Hong Song province. I also used 20-30 year old fabrics from unknown hill tribe (chao khao) sources. The sounds, the shape of the land, the air, the living inform what I do. I could feel as I stitched up my pieces by hand that I was living through the lines of the land. The land of southern Alberta in particular, which this winter I am missing so much. The stitches are also of this place in the north of Thailand and I find the two places, so different, merging. Again.


The Sun and The Wind – Going North

The pieces that I made at ComPeung will be well worn during a long solo horse ride that, all willing, will take place in May of 2012. It will be year two of my long ride over rough beautiful open country in the western plains of of Saskatchewan and Alberta. The essential takes precedence; clothing is essential; simplicity is essential; conservation of energy, awareness of moment, gut feelings, the skies, my companion horses. As time goes on, I can feel the non essential peeling away and being left by the wayside. Important absolutely on a long ride, but also, it is becoming clear, in a long life.