Monday, November 2, 2015

Felted portrait of Dame Mailarta

"Dame Mailarta"
Needle felted wool, foamcore
24" x 24" — 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In Cahoots (Synergy), Slide Room Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA

Needle felted wool and ink drawing, gesso
A collaborative work with artist John Harris

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Jar Show, Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks to artist Jeff Hartbower for curating another interesting show this one to challenge each artist to work with inner space of jars.

"Mama Moai" - needle felted wool

Sunday, August 23, 2015

About Face, Martin Batchelor Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA

There is a community of artists in Victoria who aren’t seen in commercial galleries, are not employed by the University of Victoria and yet have been creative workers of considerable skill in our city for many years.
Martin Batchelor’s eponymous gallery is a place to which many of them gravitate, for, unlike other galleries, his space can simply be rented by the exhibitors. Yet each year, Batchelor likes to do a bit of community outreach, to invite artists through an open call to exhibit in a themed show. This year the theme is “Selfies,” and the triple-hung show offers self-portraits by almost 100 artists.
The show has been curated by Martin Batchelor and Efren Qiroz with artist Irma Soltonavich. Though not an artist himself, Qiroz is the man behind the remarkable website With no commercial or institutional support, Qiroz has made it his personal project to record the art life of Victoria and, to date, has posted more than 1,800 videos on YouTube.
When he announced the Selfies show on Facebook, with a $10 entry fee and no jury, the results were instantaneous. And everything was hung. The opening last week was packed, testament to the solid interest the show has tapped into.
There is often resistance among artists to thematic shows, but since the theme was the artist herself or himself, everybody wanted to participate.
“At first, they swore that they never had made a portrait of themselves,” Qiroz said with a laugh, “and had never made a selfie.” Though many people disparage selfies, everyone seems to be doing it.
Many media and a wide variety of approaches are on show.
Arlene Nesbitt, a photographer, caught herself in a reflective moment amid the miscellanea that is her usual subject matter. Marion Evamy, the principal of Red Art Gallery in Oak Bay, sent in a beautiful painted panel that began as a photo on her cellphone, was Photoshopped into a schizoid vision and was then painted with her typical vivacious colours. Appropriately, her signature is spelled ME.
Odette Laroche brought three tiny oils. My favourite shows her as Cleopatra, with a diadem and a smirky grin I just can’t forget.
Another wonderful painter, the talented Dawn Pearcy, brought a superb little painting of herself (with barnacles on her shoulders, pine cones in her hair and a touch of gold leaf for flash). She also brought two others, of her in disguise! At $200 these gems are hard to resist.
Richard Motchman, whose work I have followed for at least 25 years, is an accomplished painter of faces, and for this show he made a forceful self-portrait, which, in his usual style, is set like an altarpiece behind two hinged doors. The outer and the inner man are not the same, of course.
So many artists. Angela Montanti is one I met when she was artist in residence at Monterey Elementary School in Oak Bay. Good artist, no gallery.
Another who seems in the same boat is Nicholas Vandergugten, a singularly talented linocut artist. His stunning images of the Johnson Street Bridge, seen at Bean Around the World Café years ago, are the defining image of that structure. Rumour has it he is preparing another show soon.
In my tour of the room, I noted my tendency to favour the representational portraits over the many and varied expressive abstractions that stood in for a face. Jesi Barron is a senior citizen but her “selfie” is a vigorous oil in the traditional representational style, and perfectly portrays this well-loved artist. It occurred to me that a strong selection could be made from this show if we ever decide to create a local version of the National Portrait Gallery.
The finest of all is surely Dale Roberts’ felted portrait of himself as Mailarta, the mail art queen. You might expect that his very personal imagery and unusual medium would make it hard for him to find an audience, but Roberts has been working at a high level as an artist, apparently undeterred by thoughts of what some audience might require.
He communicates joyously through the mail with thousands of people worldwide. While his medium of felting — fibres coloured and matted together, and embellished with a bit of needlework in this case — may be a hard sell in the cutthroat gallery world, Roberts works with love and finesse.
Roberts’ self-portrait (in a mail carrier’s hat) stands out in a strong field. If there was any justice in such things (which there isn’t, by the way) this piece would be purchased by the City of Victoria as an important component of its gallery of notable citizens.

“Selfies” — self-portraits at the Martin Batchelor Gallery, 712 Cormorant St., 250-385-7919, open Monday to Saturday, until Aug. 27.

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at:

"Dame Mailarta"
Needle felted wool
16" x 18"

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Lacey Boy" Chair, Habitat for Humanity, Victoria, BC

Lacey Boy Chair
Assemblage, with crochet and needle felting, stencilling
"Take a Seat for Habitat" The chair will be auctioned off to celebrate the Grand Opening of their new ReStore. Reimagined from a plain wooden chair. 100% money goes toward current build.

The chair before . . .

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dame Edna, Needle Felted Wool

24" x 24" — 2015
Needle felted wool, insulation foam

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rrose Sélavy, Needle felted wool

Rrose Sélavy 
Portrait of Marcel Duchamp based on a photo by Man Ray
24" x 24"
Needle felted wool

Friday, March 6, 2015

rupaul - needle felted wool portrait

Portrait of RuPaul
Needle felted wool, styrofoam
24" x 24" — 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Otsuta, Needle felted wool portrait

Needle felted wool
24" x 24"

(based on woodblock print by artist Masamitsu Ota (1892-1975) of actor Kitamura Ryokuro - 1949)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Captain Canuck, Needle felted wool sculpture

Captain Canuck
Needle felted wool
24" x 18" x 28"(H) — 2015

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Needle felted portrait series

"Aunt Minnie"
24" x 24"
Needle felted wool

"Mathu Andersen"
24" x 24"
Needle felted wool

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Needle felted portrait study

Needle felted wool, foam
24" x 24" 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I.A.P. (International Art Post) Artistamp Edition, 2014

The latest IAP Edition Stamp to come out of Studio J.
Stamps by Mailarta, Dale Roberts and Snappy
More on the International Art Post Editons by Anna Banana at her site: 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Postcards from the Edge - 2015

Another 4" x 6" felted postcard

Needle felted wool postcard 
4" x 6"
Wool over insulating foam

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mailmania 5 - Opening TONIGHT!

Hope you can make it to the show!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Needle felted portrait of "Divine"

"Simply Divine"
40" x 24" x 24" — 2014
Needle Felted Wool, wood, foam

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grenfell Connects, Alumni Magazine, Spring 2014 Issue, Vol 10, No.2, Corner Brook, Newfoundland

Spring Edition of Grenfell Connects
Page 11
Cover Page
Special Thanks to Lori Lee Hollett for all her help in making this happen.
Full PDF Version of the magazine is available: Grenfell Connects

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Distorts - Installation at Studio J ArtSpace

The Distorts works arrive from the previous incarnation at the "Transformations" exhibit and today I installed the series at the studio in this 8' x 12' enclosure.

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Dominion Warrior", Oakdene Centre, Bear River, Nova Scotia

Dominion Warrior
11" x 12" x 2"
"Fables and Fairy Tales" at the Oakdene Centre, Bear River, Nova Scotia, Canada
curated by artist Ken Flett

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Transformations - Grenfell Art Gallery, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, CANADA

Transformations: Dale Roberts/Dame Mailarta
Curated by Ingrid Mary Percy
January 13 to February 15
The curator states: Roberts uses knitting, crocheting, painting, sculpture, weaving, collage, performance, assemblage and social engagement to explore ideas of play, home, culture, tradition, religion, identity and sexuality. 
Transformations: Dale Roberts/Dame Mailarta which is curated by Ingrid Mary Percy brings together the two main streams of Dale Roberts artistic practice: his textile based sculptural work and his performance/mail art embodied by his alter ego, Dame Mailarta.  
Dale Roberts was born in the town of Point Leamington, Notre Dame Bay Newfoundland in 1962. He attended the School of Fine Arts at Grenfell Campus Memorial University in Corner Brook, NL where he was part of the first graduating class in the Visual Arts program in 1992. He completed an MFA at Purchase College, State University of New York in Purchase, NY in 1995. From 1996 - 9 he was an assistant to various artists in New York including Jackie Winsor. From 1999 to the present Dale has lived and worked in Victoria, British Columbia. Since 1997, he has participated in over 70 solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the USA.

 Installation View
Girly Buoy, Either/Oar, Luke II and Lukey's Boat
  Installation View
Girly Buoy, Either/Oar, Luke II, Lukey's Boat and Distorts
Installation View
Nereid's Gold and Distorts
 Nereid's Gold
 Installation View
Nereid's Gold and Waterford Entry
 Waterford Entry
 Installation View
I'se da Buoy and Distorts
 Distorts - Installation View
Distorts - Installation View
Outports and Distorts
 Installation View
I'se da Buoy and Lukey's Boat
Assemblage - Suitcase Works 
Sebastian's Journal and Personal Ad
Needle felted portrait sculpture - Installation View
Media Room - Video Projection
Mailarta's Performance Costume
This show is dedicated to my brother Tony G. Roberts, 1958-2014