Using just the natural elements around us, local artist Dawna-Lee Ringer has created a series of containers and baskets that celebrate our natural and cultural history for her collection “Nature’s Containers.”
“The gallery showing is a combination of my year’s journey. It started with submitting a grant proposal to Columbia Basin Trust,” said Ringer.
Now that she had the means, she was really able to focus her energy of collecting materials, and turning them into art.
“For this show you’ll see I think there’s about six different species that I used, so there’s cedar, there’s birch, cattails, there’s the gourds, spruce root, and the red osier willow,” said Ringer.
“We live in a great area, we have the wetlands, we have the adjacent mountains. And I was collecting the majority of my material from those areas. Hopefully when the visitor comes they can draw a connection with what they see out there in the natural world, and some of the things you can make with it.”
Ringer has information cards with all her pieces currently being shown at the Art Gallery of Golden.
“If somebody comes in to look at it, hopefully they can guide themselves through it, and feel like they’ve learned something as well,” she said.
Ringer has been doing baskets on and off for many years, on top of the various other forms of art she also explores.
“I just get myself into everything. I do lots of workshops, I’ve been doing stuff for the Metis aboriginal youth, so we’ll make moccasins, we’ll do birch bark baskets, we’re going to do something with the gourds this year… so over the last four or five years I’ve been doing that with the schools,” said Ringer.
“For me it’s just always wanting to learn. I see something I like, and I have to try it. If I get really good at it, I’ll either continue it on, or it becomes an opportunity to teach.”
Ringer has been part of this community for more than 25 years, and has a small business with her photographer husband called One Sparrow Images. And through their website www.onesparrowimages.com you can view some of her other art.
But it is the workshops she is hoping to expand on.
“There’s this tendency for me to take what I learn and then share it. The workshops are really good for that. I get to share a lot with people and then watch them blossom,” she said.
Nature’s Containers is now on display at the Art Gallery of Golden, and will be there through April 11.