16th September – 2nd October 2015
This spring Saint Cloche gallery, Paddington, presents celebrated ceramicist and artist, Alison Fraser (Slab & Slub), in her first solo show, ‘In to Memory‘.
In the words of the artist,
“This show is a lament for the loss of the handmade skills in domestic dressmaking from a passed era. Adornment of the bride, and child for christenings, are the focus of the show. Women and their family would spend days and weeks creating exquisite clothes with great skill and care. Such skills were, of course, taught completely within the home. The mass manufacture of clothing has led to the loss of these wonderful, meditative, and often selfless – activities. We are now too narcissistic to devote our time to others. This is a loss to our community.”
For ‘In To Memory’, Fraser explores two fascinating techniques to present her concept: Cyanotype handmade photographic technique, and ceramic. The former sees the artist place antique clothes on archival handmade papers that have been painted with cyanotype fluid. This chemical is UV sensitive, so where the sunlight hits the paper, it turns Prussian Blue and where the garment obscures light, it remains white. The effect is ghostly and ephemeral.
For the latter technique the artist soaks handmade vintage garments in porcelain clay slip, folded, let dry and then fired to 1300 degrees Celsius. The fabric of the garment is ‘cremated’ through the firing process, leaving only a shell of luminous porcelain. The effect is
intended to evoke notions of carved marble – similar perhaps – to a headstone, and the flowing gowns of angels.
The impact of the drama, scale and inherent ethereal mood of this work is breathtaking.