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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

making and unmaking

Louise Richardson. Tatting (detail). 

There is a scene in Walt Disney's 1950 movie of Cinderella, in which the mice and the birds sew Cinderella's ball gown for her. Flying about with threads, measuring tapes, fabric, and lace, the birds assemble the dress. This is one of the images that comes to mind when I look at the sculptures and assemblages of British artist Louise Richardson, in which butterflies and moths hover, holding threads attached to dresses, attached to skeins. Attached to skins.

But there is a darkness and an ambiguity here. There are creatures of the day and creatures of the night.

Are they making or unmaking the textiles? Tatting, or reducing it to tatters? Ravelling or unravelling? Spinning or unspinning? Knitting together or taking apart?

(Moths, it is known, are both the sources of silk, and the eaters of holes in the fabrics of things. Both creators and destroyers.)

Louise Richardson. Ties.

Louise Richardson. Order.

Louise Richardson. Find-It, Bind-It.

Louise Richardson. Settle.

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