January 3–27, 2024

Artworks by Bettina Matzkuhn

Mon- Fri, 12-4 PM

For gallery access please go to the box office window and they will give you access to the gallery.

1895 Venables St.

Image of reception

Opening Reception
with the artistS in attendance

Wednesday, Nov 29 from 6-8pm

This event is FREE and open to the public!
Wearing a mask is recommended.

Artist Statement

I grew up around sailboats on BC’s coast, and hike in many corners of Canada. I treasure charts, maps, symbols and landscape. My interest in local ecologies represents an ongoing learning.  I study landforms, vegetation and weather for their histories, portents and metaphoric potential. A sense of passage is important to me as embroidery becomes a miniature trail, a pathway explored by the fingers rather than the feet.


My process includes research, photography, test samples and drawings I make before beginning and during the making itself. I experiment with a range of materials, for example, bootlaces, cut up gore-tex, and repurposed items along with more traditional fibres such as silk, cotton and linen. I want my work to be evocative and open to discussion.


Hand embroidery is a slow, sedimentary process, a versatile language I’ve used since childhood. I learned sewing skills from my mother and from my elementary art schoolteacher. I often print, stain or dye the cloth I stitch on. A sewing machine is a good tool to construct sections or to anchor collaged elements while handwork is reserved for the intimacy of detail. The sheen, colours and textures of my materials convey opulence. For me, there is nothing more opulent than the natural world.


Bettina Matzkuhn works in textiles with an emphasis on embroidery. In the 1980s, her NFB animated films –using textiles– garnered awards and gave her an appreciation for the materiality of her medium.  She holds a BFA in Visual Arts and an MA in Liberal Studies from Simon Fraser University. Landscape, geography, and ecology are embedded in work that has taken forms such as embroidered sculptural sails, sewn maps of many kinds and digital drawings printed and then embroidered. She values her collaborations with mentors from other disciplines. Residencies include Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and the Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency, and she is the recipient of Canada Council and B.C. Arts Council grants. She taught as a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University and has served on the board and committees for the Craft Council of BC and the Canadian Craft Federation. Matzkuhn has exhibited in solo exhibitions across Canada and her work has been included in shows in Korea and the U.S.A. Public collections include the Surrey Art Gallery, Cambridge Art Galleries and the University of Western Ontario’s Weldon Map Library, and her work is held in private collections. She writes professionally on the arts, teaches and lectures. Her studio is in Vancouver, BC.