Hatchery and Other Fabrications
by Ruth Dupré
THURSDAY 5 october 6.30pm - 8.30pm
FInissage 28 october 2017
Ruth Dupre has always kept us waiting in expectation. What will she be up to next? She has travelled through so many different terrains in her career as a fabricator of art. Whether working as ceramicist, painter, film-maker, glass artist, photographer or sculptor, she has always managed to re-define, make anew, whatever she has touched. Now she has turned her attention to the flighty, here today, gone tomorrow world of fashion, where illusion is always writ large.
From time to time she has created useful things, but always playfully. When she made ceramic plates, the shape was familiar, but the playful, faux-Inca surface painting strangely exotic. When she made ceramic shoes, they had a child-like quality. They also looked like poignant survivals from the ruins of Pompeii.
The point about garments is that they are, finally, expected to be wearable. Surely not! Will these ruffs - fancifully described as picardels (an Elizabethan word beloved by the poet Marianne Moore) - settle comfortably at the neck? They look extraordinarily restless and peacockish, as if they are daring you to wear them.
Are these objects that seem to be one-dimensional dresses anything more than the Facades - a word used in homage perhaps to Rothko - that Dupre has chosen to call them? Perhaps they are as much affronts as fronts. The materials from which they are made - which include paper and fragments of plastic - are as much Arte Povera as Galliano. And all this work - these shapes, these marks, these colours - is rooted in drawing and collage, which is why the show includes evidence of where all these flights of fashion began, in drawing and painting in two dimensions.
The world of Dupre's art, no matter how much it takes off in flights of fancy, lands somewhere interestingly familiar.