Part 2, Research point – collections and materials

Tabitha Moses: http://www.tabithamoses.co.uk/page36.htm

The web page above, the artist’s own, has been somewhat unreliable as a source; quite often failing to load. Other sources are variable but the overriding message is that she is focused on fertility and uses a great deal of stitch work in her art. Some pieces are satin limbs dotted with sequins or pins and representing the discomfort of eczema or other skin diseases. It is very emotive work that seems driven by Moses’s own experiences. This is from an exhibition/talk in 2019:

Tabitha Moses practices at the intersection of art, health and wellbeing; drawing on the experiences of herself and others. She has used the language of fabric and stitch to examine the ways in which we navigate illness, trauma, infertility and healing. Tabitha has exhibited and undertaken residencies nationally and internationally. She won the Liverpool Art Prize with work based on infertility and IVF. Her piece, Investment: Tabitha’s Gown, an embroidered hospital gown illustrating her fertility story, will be part of a permanent exhibition at London’s Science Museum, opening Autumn 2019. She lives in Liverpool and can sometimes be found swing dancing or singing in a choir.

The Fertility Show, Manchester 2019. https://www.fertilityshow.co.uk/manchester/visiting/speaker-list/detail/tabitha-moses

The work is uncomfortable to look at and it’s meant to be. Is the satin and glitter a deliberate provocation? An unconscionable contrast between the aesthetic and the message? So much of the story is of hidden things, things people try not to discuss or that they make efforts to disguise. Here they are themselves disguised as pretty fabrics and delicate stitching – sirens singing a seductive song to draw us in. I’m not sure if observers are meant to like what they see, if they do, maybe they can be said to have missed the point. This, for me, is more about appreciating both the art and skill of the making and the actuality of the taboos it makes us see.

David Dipre: https://www.saatchiart.com/daviddipre

Dipre appears to be an artist whose work is expressive, often impasto, and sometimes applied to 3D objects although the one featured on the Mutual Art site and representing the Picture Palace exhibition seems very much more restrained and minimalistic. On reflection, I suspect it isn’t his at all. I can find very little else about him beyond a search of Google images which pulls up paintings much like the Saatchi ones. I must say I find the colours muddy, and the images of unaccountable value. Why is this work considered ‘good’? I’m relatively adept at separating ‘like’ from ‘appreciate; understanding the difference between personal preference and merit, but these to me fail to qualify on either count and so are quite baffling. Personally, I like impasto. I enjoy applying paint with a palette knife or a large pebble which is why I chose to look at this work. Unfortunately, it is not to my taste and nor can I see why it has merit.

Lisa Milroy: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/lisa-milroy-2220

A painter of collections with a style that falls just short of photographic. I can see these images are painted and that makes them much more interesting. The Tate page is headlined with her 1985 painting of pairs of identical shoes – or are they the same pair that she has just repositioned each time? I like the colours, the clarity, and the contrasts here – deep blue, shiny shoes against a white background that could be a slightly roughly plastered wall were it not for the implications of gravity. She seems to have a palette that is very slightly mid-tone, slightly pastel, but never quite – those shoes are strong. But then there are the African paintings that are so much less neat, more like sketches, more raw and less ‘finished’. I’m not sure I would have recognised either group as the product of the same artist, and her more recent work differs again. I rather like that about her.

This is from the Royal Academy:

Lisa Milroy studied at St Martin’s School of Art, London from 1977 to 1979 and at Goldsmiths College of Art, London from 1979 to 1982. In the period following graduation from Goldsmith’s Milroy concentrated on painting everyday and household objects, often arranged in rows or patterns against plain backgrounds. This pared-down approach was utilised in her travel paintings of the 1990s which concentrated on building facades. The repitition of windows and other architectural elements echoed the rows and patterns of objects found in the earlier paintings. In her recent work, most notably her series featuring geishas, Milroy has explored a less linear aesthetic. The geisha paintings are overtly playful and mix different styles of representation.

Royal Academy. https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/name/lisa-milroy-ra. Accessed 25 September 2020. Small personal note; ‘repetition’ is misspelled on the RA site, and Goldsmiths’ has its apostrophe after the ‘s’. Or it did. It abandoned the unequal battle recently and jettisoned the punctuation entirely.

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