Folk Art | PLATFORM - part of London Art Fair 2021

Folk Art | PLATFORM - part of London Art Fair 2021

20 January - 31 January 2021

Folk Art
Concept and Curation by Candida Stevens

A look at our cultural heritage, our communities and our identity, and how we choose to express this knowledge and pass it on as inspiration.

jaggedart presents the works by four female artists whose practice is embedded in heritage, inspired by storytelling and rituals, creating pieces using traditional ways of making and infused with new narratives.

Abigail Booth from Forest + Found | textiles
Denise de Cordova | wooden sculptures
Monica Fierro | collages
Thurle Wright | paper

The exhibition will take place at
Catherine Prevost, 127 Sloane Street, London.

Abigail Booth’s works explore psychological narratives surrounding identity and place through an investigation of natural colour and traditional practices of patchwork and quilt-making. Redefining the construct of the painted surface through a recognition of the canvas primarily as a textile, she uses traditional methods of quilt construction as a tool for the production of the multi-layered and semiotic image. Her use of natural colour is a way to introduce ‘site’ directly into the surface of her hand-stitched canvases, playing out through her use of organic, site-specific pigments that form a direct connection between the human, animal and environmental. In her studio, colour is produced from the cooking, grinding and precipitating of found and cultivated material such as plants, bone and earth, resulting in a rich palette of pigments and dyes. Deeply connected to her embodied interactions with the natural, her paintings also draw strongly on a history of quilt-making as a subversive and critical act of individual and collective female expression. Each work is a manipulation and subversion of the language of abstraction through her use of coded quilt patterns, more often associated with domestic handwork. Exploring this liminal space of the quilt and canvas, Booth challenges the relationship between the imagined and the actual, with each of her quilted paintings occupying a realm between the waking, sleep and dreams.

Denise de Cordova’s sculpted wooden characters appear to have popped out of a children’s book. Each piece is based on a real person, hand crafted and painted, sometimes carrying objects, charms or accessories. With her works, Denise explores ideas of identity, landscape, myth and folklore. Her female figures - sometimes staged in small mis-en-scenes with birds, mushrooms, logs and boulders - become part of an ongoing distillation of narratives that allude to uneasy alliances: the familiar and the uncanny, the domestic and the wilderness, the fictional and the nonfictional. Whether real or imagined, they become sculptural stagings, evoking a memory or a scene that might be understood as a ‘heightened truth,’ rather than one that is literal. The work is a personal collection of curated moments, stories or people, triggering singular emotions in the viewer.

Monica Fierro works with old, damaged books and gives them new life. Her practice has been inspired by embroidery, sewing, textiles and clothes making practiced by the women in her family. Her books reveal characters, particularly from illustrated XVIII Century English books, appearing from the curled up or folded cut out pages, becoming exquisite sculptures. Although many of the protagonists of the books may be tormented or dramatic, a sense of humour and mischief permeates the works. The collages presented in Platform are made on book covers. The pages and the story have disappeared yet Monica creates a new narrative. The figures are collaged onto the inside of the covers, imagery in black and white, presenting almost surreal scenes full of humour and fantasy, where fish fly and gentlemen are swallowed by gigantic shell-like hats. The scenes, reminiscent of Jules Verne, with characters swirled up by romance, adventure, fantasy and chivalry.

Thurle Wright’s intricate paper works are influenced by language, nature and their systematic and structural properties. Thurle patiently folds, morphs, cuts and contorts her various paper sources, in order to distort and deconstruct their original meaning and purpose. She frequently refers to maps and classical works of literature as her source material, creating compositions which look like fabric or tapestries. The sentences and words of a book are cut, re-ordered, woven, disrupting their original narrative and offering a different meaning. In their original form, by reading a map or a book, the reader is taken on a different type of journey, which is paralleled by the complex transformation that these materials go through as they become artworks. Her paper shapes and the way they are tidily arranged become like exquisite embroidery or fabric, weaving words, places and stories together.