Just as exotic and improbable flowers spring from the inhospitable desert after rain, Canadian textile artist Marjolein Dallinga has tapped an inner spring of creativity to create the works in an exhibition opening at Newcastle’s Timeless Textiles Gallery in March. In creating the Water from your spring exhibition, Marjolein was inspired by desert flowers.

“The desert is an extreme environment from which life seems to be eternally banned,” she said. “It offers the ultimate challenge, a world of absolute contrasts, to seekers of meaning.”

Marjolein explains that the life force is resilient and, as in the desert, can spring up in seemingly impossible places.

“It wraps itself in a droplet of water, is born of the contrast between frigid night and the warmth of the returning sun, and suddenly there is magic. A miraculous explosion of magnificent multi-coloured flowers springs into being, creating a stunning glitter across the ochre earth.”

The artist has tried to embed these contrasts, and the miraculous nature of their creation, in the 53 works that make up the Water from your spring exhibition.
Born from introspection, Marjolein’s works are exuberantly, almost impudently, full of life. Each of her creations tries to convey that hope, love and perseverance will carry the day even in the worst circumstances. There is a rich pulse of life beating in them.

Desert Flower Marjolein Dallinga’s creativity stems from her love of living things, horses and riding, movement and colors. Training in graphic arts and painting at Minerva Academy, a fine arts institute in Groningen Holland where she was born, Marjolein then did mostly painting and drawing. She went to Canada in 1989, where she married and raised a family of three boys.

With increasing demand for space at home, she gradually turned from painting to focus on smaller and less demanding creative things such as toys, during which time she became interested in sheep’s wool and learned about working with wool, particularly felting.
Felting is an ancient technique and allows greater freedom in the creative process, as it requires very limited mechanical intervention – unlike weaving in a loom.

She also found it to be a medium in which she could express herself as she had done in her painting. Felting fitted her lifestyle of caring for her family.

Marjolein’s felt handbags, hats, shawls and mittens interested many people and she began teaching the art of felting. Through contacts she made in her courses, she became involved in producing experimental theatrical pieces for Cirque du Soleil.

She now makes individual pieces to order, with the only limitations created by material challenges, not by Marjolein’s seemingly limitless creativity.

Water from your spring opens at 6-8pm on 19 March 2015 and continues until 12 April