Dawn’s interest began with fabric and with painting as a child. Her university degrees were in social work, with a minor in Fine Arts. Amidst her career as a social worker and while raising a family of three, she discovered she could combine her passions for weaving and art. In 2006, she moved from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to Little Harbour, Pictou County and remarried. Her ‘new’ studio is a 170 year-old house on her husband’s property. In restoring the house as a studio, they made the discovery that the house had been built by Dawn’s great-great-great-grandfather.
She has shown locally and internationally since the 1980’s, in more than a hundred exhibitions, 17 solo shows including AGNS, Montpelier Cultural Centre, Laurel Maryland, John Aird Gallery, Toronto. Her work has been collected by the Museum of Civilization, Canadiana Fund, the Museum of American Design, formerly the American Craft Museum, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to name a few. She has commissioned works in many private and public Collections, including UOIT Oshawa and the City of Kelowna.
She is a member of Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts and has Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Mt.Allison University and from Mt. St. Vincent University for her contribution to the Arts. She has led workshops and seminars, and served on juries in Canada and United States. Her career has been the subject of many published articles and reviews, as well as a filmed CBC documentary.
Dawn still creates interlaced sculpture from natural materials such as willow, honeysuckle, wisteria, grapevine…. sometimes, cast into bronze. Almost always they are inspired by the human form, abstracted to invite individual interpretation. She identifies her most important source of inspiration as ‘the beauty of human frailty’