Heartwood @ Hopetoun
4 artists in the group Heartwood Artists created works that responded to items and themes in Hopetoun House, Scotland’s premier Country House situated on the banks of the Firth of Forth. The works were displayed within the house and grounds.
The overall title for my works was ‘Visible-Invisible’ relating to degradation, damage, restoration, and conservation of objects and materials and the modern concepts and techniques of making repairs visible as opposed to the traditional skills of invisible repair.
Discard & Reclaim: State Dining Room. This work relates to the exotic habit of oyster consumption and its counterpart of discard. The endless amazing shells of the oyster are thrown away and abandoned. Using some discarded shells as templates and unwanted scraps of porcelain, randomly shaped containers were formed, fired and glazed or Raku fired These were displayed as a discarded heap alongside the beautiful and precisely organized Meissen Oyster servery.
Giving the discarded a place within this sumptuous State Dining Room.
Make do and mend: Yellow Drawing Room highlights the changing attitudes towards longevity; of repair and reuse on one hand and on the other the current fashion for deliberate damage and the practice of highlighting this as design.
Examples of near invisible mending are highlighted on an old domestic linen hand towel . While these darns need magnification to examine, they are shown alongside ripped jeans whose deliberate damage is turned into ‘damage limitation’ with some very obvious ceramic ‘repair’.
Digital Dyeing: Red Drawing Room responds to issues of fading that affect historical textiles, Using a black and white image of one of Hopetoun House’s extensive and important collection of tapestries (Aeneas and his Trojan followers shipwrecked’ ) and by introducing video footage of actual dyebaths created a series of sparkling new colourways. These constantly fade back to their starting point before a new coloration begins. An endless process of renewal.
Suture: gallery a ceramic work responding to the ongoing task of repairing damage and restoring degradation that Hopetoun House must engage with. Here a porcelain dish deliberately damaged in its making, is sutured with golden thread, a reference to the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, making the repair an element of the design. While in Damage made visible , window glass which is only visible when shattered into small fragments finds it way through the damaged porcelain bowl.