In part two of the preview of our forthcoming exhibition SeenUnseen, we continue with the work of the remainder of our artists, but first here is a reminder of the dates of the two venues of our exhibition:
Robert Phillips Gallery
Riverhouse Barn, Manor Road
Surrey. KT12 2PF
Wednesday 13 October until Sunday 31 October
Further details, including a map to the Gallery, can be found by visiting the Exhibitions page of the Phoenix Contemporary Textiles website.
95 High Rd,
London NW10 2SF
Tuesday 16 November until Saturday 27 November 2021
Further information can be found here: Willesden Gallery
The seen and unseen aspects of the environment, and the tension between nature and man has inspired several of our artists.
A raw and unexpected beauty is often glimpsed in our industrial wastelands. Man-made artefacts, decayed and rusting structures are partially obscured by the natural world regenerating the landscape. Lichens, weeds and wild flowers push through cracked concrete, and seed in the wall of abandoned buildings, disguising their original purpose. Jo has tried to capture these striking ‘edge-lands’ in her work.
Robertta’s inspiration is the ancient sites found in her locality. The spirit and strength of the Neolithic peoples endures through time in their tombs and stone circles. The 16th Century agricultural corn pits and the manmade tree circles of today reflect a similar circular form. She use’s paint and stitch to
portray the weathered stone and flora found at these sites.
Much of Joan’s work has been inspired by her interest in birds. Playing with a variety of images of flocks of birds, of dangers to them such as electricity pylons and wind farms, and of individual birds attacked by predators or tangled with seaborne plastics, the title SeenUnseen sparked a connection in
her mind with threats to bird life.
Current work combines images of birds in swirling flocks with looming human figures that may provide an unvoiced threat. She is working mainly in monochrome to emphasise the threatening aspect, but dashes of colour may be added later. The above image is based on a photograph of her own elongated shadow but others include crowds of figures.
The natural world has been of constant interest to Kate and for SeenUnseen she has been studying the character and structures of wild plants and flowers. “There are an amazing number of varieties, which can be seen on our regular walks around the local area and trips to the countryside”, says Kate. She has become even more aware of the cycle of life and explosion of growth of plants in the spring and summer to the dying back in winter, followed by regeneration the following year.
This theme resonates with the current worldwide interest in bio-diversity, and the power of nature to combat global warming and to improve the quality of people’s lives.
The ability of language to both enlighten and obfuscate has been of interest to two of our artists.
Easily seen, but written by the unseen . . . ‘Graffiti’. Graffiti originally meant something scratched onto a surface and can be found as far back as in ancient Egypt. Ranging now from simple words or initials to elaborate wall paintings, it is seen as defacement and vandalism. which is a punishable crime. Linda plans to create some free hanging ‘walls’ with added graffiti.
Maria’s work explores the gap between the ‘truth’ and the ‘untruth’ in the current political arena. During the pandemic she became intrigued by the new language that emerged and the numerous ‘Covid sound bites we were subjected to, and started to wonder whether truth is indeed an abstract concept in this ‘post-truth’ era.
Illegibility has long since been regarded as a way to obscure and confuse meaning, and she has utilised this device in this body of work to comment on the way politicians choose their language carefully to obfuscate the issue.
We hope you have enjoyed the preview of our exhibition Seen Unseen and we look forward to seeing you at our exhibition if you live in the London area. We will be posting more images of the actual exhibitions on our blog and on our social media platforms so watch this space!