Common Threads – exploring our interconnectedness
An exhibition of prints, paintings, fabric art and assemblages by Janet Reinhardt and Bronwyn Rodden. The Shop Gallery, Glebe, 27 May to 2 June.
Material objects seduce and resist us, their nature and meanings alter from use, nostalgia, accident and aesthetics. Bronwyn’s current interest is Assemblage, ‘art that is made by assembling disparate elements – often everyday objects – scavenged by the artist or bought specially’ (The Tate). This definition fits her new work perfectly.
We are surrounded by mountains of stuff capitalism fabricates, from fine art to kitsch to the useful; we can make it new by assemblage and recycling. Bronwyn reuses, recycles, repurposes natural materials mixed with crafted and manufactured. Each is a conversation between their parts. She can attune an Op-shop’s 1950’s Japanese Dragonware (Kutani Moriage) with kelp stalk, a Lilly Pilli-dyed paper fan, snake vine twine and more. ‘Well-travelled Pelican’ combines an old Japanese ceramic salt shaker found in Montevideo market, kelp stalk and Bangalow Palm leaf. ‘This well-worn traveller deserves our respect.’
Recycling artists are growing in number. Bronwyn is drawn to objects that resonate with her. ‘Everything has to have a purpose’, she says. These works are play and art, she brings out the form and beauty. You can explore narratives and metaphors, portals into unexpected connections and disconnects.
Bronwyn is known for her use of native inks that she prepares. This process carries on into the assemblages: ‘This Fragile Life (after Morandi)’ uses inks distilled from hand-dyed Wattle, Lilli Pilli, Davidson Plum and Commelina. She is also showing 2D works, including ones incorporating bushfire materials from the UK and Australia.
Printmaker Janet Reinhardt has been developing fabric/textile collage with eco printed paper, vintage wool, sheer fabrics using leaves from local parks and a graveyard. Other works use traditional pulled thread work on fabric dyed with the natural dye, indigo. Janet stitches relationships and inspirations together from the fabric of human experiences. All works are embellished with hand embroidery in silk, linen and stranded cotton.
The materials themselves are often taken for granted and the social and aesthetic value of textile media and their creative expression is still underappreciated. I am looking forward to seeing work that can help change this generally gendered perception.
The Shop Gallery, 112 Glebe Point Rd. Open 11am to 6pm, 27 May to 2 June. Launch party 3pm Saturday 29th May 2021.