Through her visual art, textile work, and writing, Reign’s art is a physical expression of community, identity, nature and spirit.
From the very first time they meet her, most people feel the connection to Reign. She’s open, honest and unguarded. That acceptance is the ethos she brings to her work as a multidisciplinary artist and to the environment.
“I believe in the wholeness of self and nature, and that is reflected in how I make art. Society has told me I’m 'neurodivergent'; however, I think of it more of creative genius; I am a visionary and I think out of the box. I know I don’t like repetitive tasks, even within my work, or else I end up losing interest, so I embrace that part of myself and work on multiple pieces at once. I love turning to a variety of mediums for my art - It keeps my brain happy. I am a big believer in sustainability and looking at art in a new light, as a result much of my work incorporates reclaimed or recycled materials.
Reign says, “For me and for all artists - and we are all artists - art tells the story of who we are. Most of my life has been in this beautiful province, but I also traveled around the world with my missionary family. In Africa I saw young children who didn’t have ‘toys’ that had been purchased, but with what they did have - could be a tin can and a stick - they could make the most interesting toys. Despite not having material wealth, there was much joy. There was also much trauma - personal trauma as well as societal and religious trauma - which challenges communities, as well as how we live now in everyday life. This wounding often results in people rejecting and hating themselves, which then frames the self and the world around them.
“It was not accurate,” she says. “It called for revolution."
My art led me to create a new narrative, to re-create my story. I found loving yourself - radical self-love - is a religious experience. By that I mean loving yourself in spite of religious and social conditioning. And one that continues to evolve.”
A few years ago Reign’s work showed up as Riott Art. She describes it as a fight against the pressures and oppressions of racism, misogyny, sexism and capitalism that strip people of their value. This phase expressed heavily through outward expression of clothing design.
More recently Reign’s art is settled into an equally fierce ‘Go Love Yourself’ revolution that is finding expression in e-books.
“We are all creators. We can all re-create our stories through our art, whatever that may be.” Reign’s studio is location on Water Street.
Reign’s visual art is a statement in bold line and strong colour. Portraits of Newfoundland whales, people and the inner self convey a sense of empowerment and courage. The viewer sees through the lines and colours of the art to find an authentic core within themselves.
Reign says, “People find their own experience within my work. My Whale Song series has been a favorite of many different types of people and that’s so beautiful to see.”
Reign’s expressions of faces and bodies and of the divine feminine express the complexity of pain and oppression as well as power, and ultimately (I hope, she says), love.
Her work is displayed in homes, offices, and public spaces in Newfoundland and across the country. A list of her exhibitions is here.
Reign grew up in the era of when Fashion Television came on stream. “I loved it - the lines and the confidence not just on TV, but in the places I have traveled. It was such an expression and I loved creating garments that tell stories.”
On the other hand, fashion - fast fashion - has a devastating effect on the planet. “When that became clear to me, it changed how I saw it. But I still needed to create in a sustainable manner.”
Reign Love Textile Art is created from vintage pieces and fabrics yassifed with reclaimed copper, buttons and leather.
She says, “It’s clothing that has its own story, as do the wearers. People enjoy sharing them with each other. It becomes a legacy.”
The power of words and the power of spirit have been a guiding force in Reign’s life. A Memorial graduate of English and Religious studies, Reign channels restoration and recovery from trauma through her writing. She publishes regularly on the Reign Love website, and has released #RebelRomance - digital art e-books.
#RebelRomance series are affirmations of self-love and the divine feminie. Reign says, “Each person who reads it, and each time they read it it will reach them differently.”
The e-books are available on Amazon, kindle and Apple.
“We are community,” says Reign. As a single parent of two and person whose art earns her living, her work integrates with family life and community.
The Reign Love Studio serves as community space for gatherings, art jams, and social times.
She says, “People need an outlet, safe space, and dedicated time for healing and connection. The workshops, themed ‘Go Love Yourself - Cultivating Your Creative Life’ offer creative self-care as a ritual that can include breathwork, dance, visual art, meditation and other creative outlets.
It’s especially lovely for women and their kids - they’re safe, the kids are safe, and they can let go and create.
Go Love Yourself Workshops are offered throughout the year at a ‘you choose’ donation. Check here for details.
To purchase Reign Love Art, visit the St. John’s studio by appointment, check the website, and keep an eye out for Wayne Bartlett auctions.