Wednesday 27 April – Sunday 8 May 2016
Celebrated for her sustainable sculptures and installations using organic and industrial recycled materials, this autumn, Floral Sculptor Tracey Deep returns to the gallery with an exciting new exhibition titled Paperbark.
Tracey Deep thinks of ways she can respond to, and talk to and experiment with the natural world. However, what if the earth spoke through her? What if all our stories were already raked on the soil before humans touched the ground? “Smile, O voluptuous cool breathed earth!” said Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass. Perhaps there is a way to feel the breath of the land on all faces, that does not require a rapt or exulted audience. Perhaps there is a smiling quality in every individual element of nature. Perhaps there is a way to experience ‘nature’ without resorting to imagery of gourds, or vessels, or Terra Maters. I think we can do better than turning the biotic matter of the land into a fecund female metaphor.
Instead let’s think of the earth as a series of arrangements – sticks sidling up to one another, allowing themselves to be woven by Deep. Grasses whisper and lean together as Tracey binds them and clusters them as one. Palm fronds jostle for Deep’s attention, waiting to see if she will gather them up…just right. The artist’s will is there, her intention and actions are as material as the natural produce she works with. But…it is a process of work that sits in tandem with what is already extant.
So, what Deep achieves is “a settling”. Her kindness and affective concern for the fronds, the barks and the sticks settle the voices of the supposedly inert, the apparently non-sentient. It is as though Tracey conspires with her materials in a way most of us will never understand. That is her power and that is her joy.
Wednesday 27 April 2016 6-8pm
To be launched by Georgina Reid @theplanthunter
Proudly supported by The Paddington