Audrey Feltham is a professional fine art printmaker who lives and works in Deer Lake, Newfoundland on the west coast of the island. She has been working as a professional artist for 22 years. She was born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta, but has lived in Newfoundland for 40 years. She has two children, Miriam and Sarah, who both live in Newfoundland and two grandchildren, Sam and Jake.
She is married to Jim Feltham, a retired high school teacher and a current high school basketball coach. Jim taught English, but has a passion for basketball and has been coaching for close to 50 years.
Feltham owns and operates Atelier West Studios, a fine art printmaking studio which serves both as an instructional venue for one-on-one printmaking instruction and as a studio for the production of her own work.
My artistic practise is centered in both exploration of process and theme, particularly the themes of memory and relocation or translocation. My work is narrative in nature, with the inclusion of text as an element that is intended as a departure point for the viewer. I am interested in taking the viewer on a journey with the intention of self discovery through the process of making connection with visual and written elements.
My exploration of process began with the incorporation of fibre based techniques into printmaking practise. This began in 1999 with the “Emblematura Prints” that I created for the travelling exhibition Fine Art and Haute Couture: Marriage of Power and Control. Since
then I have continued to examine the possibility of mark making through fibre construction and how that mark making can be incorporated into my printmaking vocabulary.
Thematically, my work has always been narrative. Since 2004 with the production of a series of prints entitled “Intimations: Shadows, Reflections and Metaphysical Marks”, my work has been concerned with memory. I am particularly interested in our capacity to
selectively hold on to or delete experience as we see fit in our attempt to better adapt to a current environment. This in turn of course affects how successful we are when we are forced to relocate and adapt to a new environment.
The thematic concepts are developed in the prints through both the use of mark making and through the incorporation of photographic image and text. Gloria Hickey, independentart critic, states “Photographs in family albums deal in accessible truths; they have an objectivity that the drawn image does not. Yet Audrey Feltham degrades the image, removing information to replace it with her own.” (Gloria Hickey.” Following Audrey Feltham’sRed Shoes”. Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design: The Mary E. Black Gallery. 2008).
This deliberate attempt to change the “objectivity” of the image is how I believe the individual deals with memory; we deliberately forget or choose to reinterpret situations so that wecan “recollect in tranquility”. Not only is the concept of memory dealt with through the abrading of the family photograph, but it is also alluded to through the use of mark making. Etched lines, drypoint scratches, and deliberate choice of collograph material, as well as the use of faint stitch lines and other fabric mark making techniques, create layers of background that support the photograph. They are a record of movement.
Hickey states “the layered use of text, mark making and multiple images is analogous tohow we acquire knowledge through accumulated and interconnected subjective experience. Feltham’s prints are multilayered maps to an invisible landscape shaped by personal experience and captured in narrative. The narrative expresses ‘who’ we are as well as ‘how’ we move through the defining landscape. Narrative allows us to share the story withothers.” (Ibid.)