Labrador is a vast land filled with pristine wilderness, abundant wildlife, and many opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. It has a special kind of magic that grabs your heart and doesn’t let go. Taking all of those elements and weaving them into one cohesive design is no easy task, but visual artist Charlene Rumbolt of Great Caribou Studio has done it in fine style.
Rumbolt is a versatile artist who works in various mediums (mainly oils) and enjoys producing fibre art and multimedia pieces, printmaking, traditional beadwork and working with sealskin. She mainly practices her craft and sells her work out of her Mary’s Harbour studio (which also displays work by other local artists and traditional artisans).
Now, visitors to the Goose Bay Airport can also check out Rumbolt’s work, featured on Business & Arts NL’s newest #ComePlayWithMeNL public piano (the first to be placed in Labrador). This latest piano was unveiled on December 19 and is sponsored by Royal Inn + Suites.
Rumbolt recently took some time to chat with Business & Arts NL about what inspires her and how the design for the first Labrador public piano came together.
Business & Arts NL: What initially got you interested in the visual arts and what inspires and informs your work today?
Charlene Rumbolt: I have been creating art since a very young age and was able to follow my passion in my late twenties by attending art college at the Georgian College of Art & Design in Ontario. Today my work is focused on my Aboriginal roots. I am inspired by the lands of Labrador and by my NunatuKavut culture. This shapes much of what I do in my visual arts practice.
Business & Arts NL: Your design for the piano really encapsulates the beauty of Labrador. Can you tell us a bit about your process and how you went about deciding what elements to include?
CR: The theme was “Traditional Labrador” so I went through a process of deciding what represented Labrador, what is important. I have always been in awe of the beauty of Labrador, so I wanted it to play a prominent part in the design. I also wanted the piano to emulate the colours of the flag without being overt, so I chose the images based on what would work best with that colour scheme and the shape/contours of the piano.
Business & Arts NL: Does the final design match what you initially envisioned?
CR: Painting the piano was a process. The initial sketches were laid out for a different style of piano, so adjustments had to be made. Also, I assumed the bench would be a wooden one so I initially designed it to be painted in native berries, but since it was a different style stool, I had to completely revamp the design of it. Since I felt the berries were important, I decided to move them to the key cover so they would still be prominent. There were also a few design changes along the way but in the end, I’m pleased with the finished product.
Business & Arts NL: What’s been the most rewarding part of this project for you?
CR: Being able to share what I feel is the beauty of Labrador with others.
Business & Arts NL: Where can people check out more of your work?
CR: My studio is on Facebook or at www.GreatCaribou.com.