I strive to capture a sense of place and evoke a feeling of something familiar yet seen in a new way. Vermont, New Hampshire and Québec are regions that I cull ideas from, as well as my own heritage of Abenaki, French Canadian, and English. Materials hold great significance: whether it is cold rolled steel, wool from the Johnson Woolen Mills, quills from the eastern porcupine, walnut ink I make, or black felt paper reminiscent of days worked roofing with my father. I believe that the visual recording of a moment in time is analogous to the oral tradition of history: both are interpretations of events.
It's Like Falling Into Water, the title of one of Brenda Garand's sculptures, aptly describes the experience of viewing her amphibious body of work. Whether it is her drawings mixing walnut ink, flood clay (from the storm Irene), and India ink or her sculptures with wire, porcupine quill, hawthorn, and beaver stick, Garand's art is drenched in nature's energy and wily ways. Her wet-on-wet drawings swim with movement; they drip and float in currents of rich brown, inky black, and chamois white. Her dangling sculptures drape and swing from the wall with a cascade of thin wire and fishing lures, casting shadows of intricate shapes like overhanging branches of a leafed tree on a stream. She cuts and paints roofing paper to look like feathers and winds silk around delicate tree branches and steel that mimics the fuzzy lines of her gouache and ink drawings.
From Authority and Grace Brenda Garand's Art
By Dian Parker 2017