On The Grid
Human beings have found grid patterns useful organizing tools in a myriad of settings. This exhibition explores the interplay between the whole and the parts, between the orderly framework of the grid and the organic motifs contained within it, and between diversity and unity as design elements.
A fundamental dimension of diversity in this project arises from the fact that each of the four artists works in different media. Louisa Ferguson cuts, layers, paints and fuses glass in a kiln; Judith Gidluck dyes and paints fabric, pieces it together and quilts and embellishes it; Kathryn Green creates rich textures with plaster, sand, paper, and embedded natural materials, layered with acrylic paint, image transfers and carvings; and Mary-Anne Parker draws intricate, free-wheeling designs in ink on papers of all types.
To create a structure for On the Grid, we started by setting some parameters: each piece would be a 12-inch square, predominantly monochromatic, with roughly equal numbers in each of 12 colours, circling around the colour wheel. Within the geometric boundaries of the squares, each of us began to explore a variety of organic designs: from leaves, flowers, and trees, to fossil-like textures and objects, to circles and spirals. Regular meetings in which we shared our work sparked off new ideas, in what became an ongoing process of cross-pollination, both deliberate and subliminal.
The resulting installation of more than 120 squares presents at first glance a flowing spectrum of colour. Moving closer reveals the unique details of each square as a distinct work on its own. Taking a step back, the juxtaposition of varied media becomes apparent, highlighting each one’s individual characteristics, like the distinct timbres of musical instruments in an ensemble: the sheen and transparency of glass next to the matte softness of fabric, the rugged textures of plaster and leaves contrasted with the smooth simplicity of ink on paper. Throughout this diverse matrix, recurring motifs create connections across artists and media.