Saturday, 13 June 2009

Rozanne Hawksley

I have long been an admirer of Rozanne Hawksley’s work so even though this exhibition was in Ruthin (a 4 hour drive away) I had to go to it. It was definitely worth the effort. It is a retrospective exhibition, curated by June Hill, and contains most of the works Rozanne is well known for, including ‘Pale Armistice’, the wreath made of white gloves, and her work relating to ‘The seamstress and the sea’.

I found the memorials to her children and husband very moving and the self portraits drawn while she was grieving were brutally honest. We can all empathise with these feelings. Her pieces relating to sailors and the sea obviously drew a great response when she showed ‘The seamstress and the sea’ as can be seen by the display of streamers inscribed by visitors to the exhibition.

I was also fascinated and repelled by reliquaries when visiting Italy, so the way Rozanne uses them in her work, making them beautiful yet horrific is just how I felt about them. Her use of gloves as signifiers of people is also clever as they are such personal items yet easily discarded, as she shows so well in ‘In whose name’ and ‘Continuum’.

A fascinating exhibition and excellent catalogue, I hope it tours to a venue closer to home so I can pay it another visit.

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