Reconsidering Beauty by Lisa Hadgkinson ACAD PDF  | Print |  E-mail

lisa Hodgkinson Scab

Scab, cotton & linen doilies, acrylic medium, & paint, 36” x 36” x 4”, 2011. 

My work has drawn on the history and associations of found materials. As an artist I create a portrait of the urban lifestyle and of ourselves in it. During my time at the Alberta College of Art + Design I focussed on this significant relationship between artwork and materiality. The contemporary urban Canadian lifestyle of excess and insistence on “newness” in what we consume creates an overabundance of residual and discarded materials. We are reaching the stage in North American society where the objects we reject and throw away are as culturally significant as the new “stuff” we purchase. 

scab detail

detail of Scab, cotton & linen doilies, acrylic medium, & paint, 36” x 36” x 4”, 2011

 My work is made up of manipulations of these found materials into forms that represent the human body. When creating a piece I think of my work as a human form. This bodily reference begins to dictate the scale, colour, texture, and composition of the work. I choose the materials I use carefully for their particular relationship to a human body. The materials are manipulated so as to be reminiscent of muscle tissue or fat, a cut or a thumb print etc.  In comparing organic forms with man made, mass produced, and unnatural forms the pieces cause reflection on our physical make up and our daily routines. My art considers the residue of our material culture while searching for beauty and meaning in what we have.  

Lisa Hodgkinson Another pile

Another Pile, plastic beaded garland, 60” x 60”, 2011.

Another Pile is a work that demonstrates a fascination I have had with reoccurring linear forms within the natural world. The pattern of a thumb print resembles the path of the nervous system. The roots of a tree resemble dark veins under thin skin. In Another Pile, a simple contrast is created between the natural formation of pattern and the harshness of a man made material. The beaded garland laying as in a mandala formation considers the lessons of accumulation and impermanence.

detail Another pile

   detail Another Pile, plastic beaded garland, 60” x 60”, 2011.

The Luddite was the first piece of a body of work made from recycled data cable and zip ties. In the fast paced and overstimulating climate of our daily lives, traditional craft techniques balance the human need for creativity and kinesthetic knowledge. Data cable used so commonly to transport complicated digital information is used instead to construct a rug-like object. Disconnected from any information transportation use, the dead cable is repeatedly wound and bound to create a simple, unmoving, and tangible form.

luddite by Lisa Hodgkinson

The Luddite, data cable & zip ties, 48” x 48” x 4”, 2010.

 The depiction of a healing wound, Scab is a discussion of the value of handwork traditions in a contemporary sentiment. The shallow height of the work creates a dense and dark puddle of colour laying on the floor as a scab would on skin. Lace and linen doilies so carefully constructed by generations of women now exist in abundance in thrift stores, no longer valuable. Yet there is a power in the knowledge of these age-old techniques and we are healing with a movement back to domesticity and tradition, to the value of the hand made, and to labour.      

 All photographs taken by the artist

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