N A R R A T I O N S & F A B R I C A T I O N S

  • HAIR TRIGGER

    I have been busy conceiving and fabricating new work, and most recently familiarising myself with the intricacies of hydroponics. I have also been asked to participate in two forthcoming exhibitions…

    I first visited White Moose at the start of a long weekend in Devon some time ago, and the gallery has now invited me to show several of pieces of my work in an exhibition that explores our perception of memory and time.

    During my previous visit I stayed in a friend's eighteenth century house at the bottom of a deep ferny valley just minutes from the sea. That trip inspired The Last Inhabitants, a series of detailed lichen embroideries that saw Nature contort tiny garments that had once housed babies. I eagerly anticipate what may influence me when I return to North Devon for the show.

    Several people forwarded my Shorn Out of Wedlock postcard to Professor Emma Tarlo at Goldsmith's University. Enticed to my studio, we talked all things hair for almost seven hours. Emma has now curated an intriguing journey into the world of hair. From intimate personal stories to global tales about the circulation for hair around the world – as only an anthropologist could.

    I was bestowed with a huge box of human hair early in my residency at Cockpit Arts, and some of it will feature in pieces in both exhibitions. I have used it profusely as anyone who has visited during Open Studios will testify, though still cannot fathom why there is barely a dent in its contents.

    FORTHCOMING EXHIBITIONS:

    Dreams of Everyday Objects

    26 May – 7 July 2018

    White Moose

    Moose Hall, Trinity Street

    Barnstaple EX32 8HX

    Hair! Human Stories

    7 – 26 June 2018

    The Library Space

    108 Battersea Park Road

    London SW11 4LY

    Open Studios

    8 – 10 June 2018

    Cockpit Arts

    Cockpit Yard, Northington Street

    London WC1N 2NP

    Read more...
  • TIME & EMOTION

    I've recently been stitching wall hangings. Large appliquéd cloths containing quotes. My current work-in-progress has seventy words totalling 457 letters. Each character has been scaled up, traced in reverse, fused to fabric, and then individually cut out with a scalpel. Each word has been ironed to a contrasting fabric strip, backed with a stabliser, stitched, stablising layer removed (in fragments), before being finally measured, re-fused and applied to the background cloth for final stitching.

    Seventy hours and over 1000 metres of thread - so far. It has been labourious and I have become obsessed totting up hours and quantities. The repetitive nature of the different stages has obviously given me too much time to think. Could I have bypassed an element here or there? Would it be more efficient doing it this way rather than that? Making samples at each stage has afforded me choices, but there have been no short cuts.

    Perfectionism can be a crippling trait, and many of my friends (fellow creatives) are the same. We are hard taskmasters, particularly on ourselves, so it can be extremely helpful when someone - whose standards of perfection you trust - says 'Enough!'

    I regularly need to remind myself of the happy accidents that have led me to produce unexpected and joyous results. Random elements within planned work such as the initially patchy transfer printing in my Borders and Boundaries wall hangings that led to me replicate the 'error' throughout the series. I almost always embrace these chance mistakes since their very randomness in my otherwise ordered planning excites me.

    And yet I adore imperfection in things beyond my control, such as the peeling painted doorway (tessellated, above) that reveals decades of layers beneath, and of course, the wonder of imperfect beauty found within the natural world, which forces you to stop and question what you are actually striving for.

    FORTHCOMING EXHIBITIONS

    London Group Open 2017 (Part 2)

    Wednesday 22 November - Saturday 1 December

    The Cello Factory, 33-34 Cornwall Road, Waterloo, London SE1 8TJ

    [see link for opening times & related events]

    Winter Open Studios

    Thursday 23rd November (6-9pm)

    Friday 24th / Saturday 25th / Sunday 26th November (11am-6pm)

    Cockpit Arts, Cockpit Yard,

    Northington Street,

    London, WC1N 2NP

    Read more...
  • DIGITAL ANALYSIS

    On being invited to participate in a forthcoming exhibition of surrealist work, I decided to revisit a piece I'd long since packaged away.

    The idea to tip each finger of a pair of long leather evening gloves with a thimble had come to me in a dream. Feeling that the unconscious fusion of the two held a greater meaning than both being a form of protection, I spent several hours contemplating the significance.

    The Latin name for foxgloves, digitalis, means ‘relating to the finger’, while in German it is called Fingerhut - thimble - or literally finger hat. Fingertipped... Thumbells... Thimblerigger (a swindler)... Glove compartments... Pins and needles... Lady’s fingers...

    When I'd finished, I consulted a dream analysis website:

    GLOVES: "Consider the phrase ‘handle with kid gloves’ and how you may need to be more cautious in some situation. Or perhaps you are overly cautious. Alternatively, wearing gloves may mean that your creative abilities are still latent."

    THIMBLE: "To use a thimble in your dream indicates that you need to tend to the needs of others instead of pursuing your own self-pleasures." (Tenfold?)

    GLUE: "To dream that you are gluing something together suggests that you are piecing together aspects of yourself and acknowledging those previously rejected parts. On the flip side, you may be too clingy…"

    The thimbled gloves still reside in their box, and I submitted three other pieces for the exhibition.

    IN THE LIGHT OF SURREALISM

    8 August - 3 September 2017

    at Hastings Arts Forum

    Curated by Jo Welsh, with work by Brian Catling RA, Gus Cummins RA, Kathleen Fox, Jane Hoodless, Antony Penrose, Katherine Reekie, Jo Redpath, Tim Riddihough, Mick Rooney RA, Jacob Welsh.

    -oOo-

    IN OTHER NEWS

    Amid the thimbles, gloves, ebony and hair, I continue to work on my bio-medical project and, though it is still underwraps, I am pleased to announce that I have recently joined forces with curator Liz Cooper. Together we challenge each other, ourselves - and the topic in hand…

    Read more...

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NARRATIONS & FABRICATIONS

Artist Jane Hoodless presents a personal glimpse at some criminal, cultural and curious aspects of British social history, and shares a little of the inspiration and research behind the work she creates.

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