Absent Presence

 



“This is very much an exhibition about a woman’s connection to her world.

It is roughly divided into three discrete bodies of work: solitary cacti, empty dresses, tablet packets

This collection of work – paintings, paper-scrolls, drawings and lazer cuts – might lead the viewer to look for the presence in what remains.

“I’ve long been interested in Chinese Ancestor paintings which are painted on very large paper scrolls. They endure very well but after centuries start to fade where the mouths have been kissed so much across the years. I primed large sheets of paper and found that the cacti lent themselves very well to this format. The scale gave them presence and a formality, and knowing that the paper had been earmarked for an ancestor painting suited the concept that the plant was its own family tree.

On this scale is the large drawing of a dress that I knitted for my daughters when they were very young. Neither of them liked the dress and it was never worn. It took as long to draw as it did to knit. I like that it’s caught in ascension or surrender and that it mimics, by chance, the cacti that it hangs next to. There are all sorts of cross references for me with the cactus painting and the dress spanning generations by being made in anticipation of being worn, old-fashioned even then, then  reappearing for grandchildren.

I made my first tablet paintings in 2004 as oils on board. These here are acrylic on aluminium. I find the tablet packets fascinating – so clean and crumpled, very interesting to paint, so cheap, so readily available, the opposite of their real worth in a way. I imagine there are stories behind each and every empty packet.”

Absent Presence slide show with information on paintings in this exhibition