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Quilted Picture of a Pelican

 

intimate, embroidered work

      Click images to enlarge

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Polly Hope  |  Quilted Pictures, Fabric of Life & Death       8th - 25th June   2011


The gap between Art and Life was a Pop Art target and both sides - from the early sixties at least have increasingly sought to fill it: Conceptual, Environment and Systematic Art from one side and growing public concern for architecture, design, popular arts and crafts from the other.

The eastern Mediterranean where Polly has her workshops, and South Asia where she has worked and from where she also garners her inspiration, have a slimmer Art-Life gap than modern Western Europe or America. Byzantine as well as arts from South Asia, know no class barriers, social or material and there's no cut link in the chain from luxury items - icons, mosaics, religous treasures known well to the West - and the work of the simplest village craftsmen. Painting, metalwork, jewellery, carving, embroidery are equally Fine Art potential and there's a live visual language still - tourist boom and post-War Western-style progress notwithstanding plus a still vigorous, if now depleted band of popular craftsman.

Polly Hope's works are a new "Art-Life" mixture, painter with village mattress-maker, applique, embroidery, padding and quilting, beads, sequins, coins and oddments from everyday life. They slip effortlessly from small scale to architectural environments, from Mediaeval to wrapped Christos and Oldenburg's soft sculptures.

They are witty, fantastic, bright-coloured, serious and alive, and apt comments on customs, legends and habits of life all around her. Polly Hope works with closely judged tones and rich-textures - patterns as her paint media - and magically transforms her surfaces to a vision of strange private certainty, all glitter, movement and translucency, drama, light and warmth, between tapestry and painted bas-relief.

'I paint not what I'm looking for but what I've found' said Picasso and this in a different sense too is Polly Hope's mantra.

 

Quilted picture spacer Quilted Indian Tiger
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