Friday, November 18, 2016

Fragments


 Some days are just your lucky days - today I was very fortunate and privileged to open the first ever Australian exhibition "Fragments" by  UK  Fibre Artist Sue Hotchkis.  Here is a little about the techniques of this amazing textile artist from her own website ... 

Working intuitively with print and stitch, marks, textures and colours are exaggerated, intensified to reveal the detail and complexity within the images. Materials are deconstructed using modern methods, ripped, burnt and dyed. Time is invested in their reconstruction; pieces can take from a week to several months to create. Whilst being aesthetically pleasing the work can also act as a metaphor for deterioration and ruin, associated with urban decay and ultimately death and loss. They evolve organically, built up with layers of print, cloth, paper, and stitch into three-dimensional abstract forms that hover between object and image; to create a unique, visual and tactile landscape of form and texture. Challenging traditional understandings of the division between the visible and the unseen.


At the opening, I didn't  really need to say much as these art works  ”speak for themselves” but that is too much of cliché. When discussing what I intended to say tonight with the Timeless Textiles Wednesday group, I asked them to give me a few words. The superlatives flowed - superb, brilliant, impressive, engaging, amazing…. But I had my own description....   
Seductive - and I don’t mean that in any raunchy way, but in that fascinating magnetic attraction which is irresistible. With Sue’s work, you are first attracted by the form, shape, texture and colour and once engaged, you are tempted to look much more closely and then to contemplate.  At this stage, you are then challenged by the dichotomy of ideas and values - the natural vs man made; old vs new, the shiny vs the decaying while experiencing the beauty in the connection.  While you embrace the appeal of the bright and the clear, you appreciate the quieter, more tentative beauty which is present in this work.  Sue Hotchkis notices and appreciates   the wabi sabi sense of the beauty in the  imperfect, the decaying and evolving.
We in Newcastle are privileged to see this wonderful body of  work, but even more privileged because through her work, Sue gives us another ‘eye’ , or rather another ‘sense’ to experience another beauty , one which we would generally dismiss or overlook.
Sue Hotchkis at "Fragments" exhibition opening at Timeless Textiles Gallery
Photo by Maggie Hall