Thursday, 1 November 2012

Blood on silk

This exhibition of work by Fiona Davies at the Hockey Gallery, Farnham, consists of huge panels of white, silk paper hanging across the gallery forcing the audience to weave a path through them. They reference shrouds, sheets, and body tissues and seem to breathe and move as the viewer passes between them. They developed from Fiona’s experience of her father’s ‘medicalised death’ and a subsequent project looking at the use of silk microchips to monitor blood inside the body. Having made silk paper for many years, I was impressed by the sheer size of the panels, but disappointed that there was no blood on the silk. The panels are hung at least a metre from the ground and I found the sight of other people’s disembodied legs distracting although it was reminiscent of the view seen under hospital curtains. Paradoxically, I found the view from the balcony looking down into the gallery much more immersive than actually being among the sheets. That meditative view allowed the vast size and beauty of the sheets to be experienced.

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