Investigating the life of things across space and time

Slip (2016)

Slip (2016)
collage and painting on fluorescent card
mounted on canvas; 60cm x 50cm

Slip (2016)

Gallery of Slip details, exhibition installation and studio documentation

The story behind Slip

Falling is an uncontrollable action both literally and figuratively, When we fall (over, in love, asleep) we become vulnerable; quarry. Caught between spaces this figure falls headfirst and downwards.

Paolo di Dono, called Uccello (1397–1475):
The Hunt in the Forest (c.1465-1470)
tempera and oil, with traces of gold, on panel; 177cm x 73.3cm

The Hunt in the Forest is held in the collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Look at the clothes of the hunters in Uccello’s The Hunt in the Forest (1470) The colours – tangerine, geranium, lavender, rose, olive, blackberry, mushroom – are vivid against the deep forest because Uccello painted in the figures first as white silhouettes (whereas the foliage overhead was painted in from a black background). Each hunter has been dressed in contrasting tunic and hose, with orange being used for the horses’ tack.

I wondered about the inclusion of the small pond in the foreground, and about what might lie beneath…

Slip was first shown in the exhibition Quarry at the Brocket Gallery, London in 2016.

More works in Quarry

Cleave: a black smooth board sits behind a blacker abstract shape with a red cloaked figure standing on a rock

Cleave (2016)

As if peering through a gap in the trees this art work focuses on the relationship between light and dark, quarry and hunter. The colour and form of the red figure references Uccello’s practice within the late Gothic tradition and reminds us that red is the colour of fairytales, representing blood (virginity, violence, death).

Read more »
Mantle: neon green background with a figure standing, a black cloth thrown over their head and body, with sky blue hose and black shoes. A strong black shadow extends from the feet out to the bottom edge of the image

Mantle (2016)

As if standing in front of a green screen this mysterious figure invites us to imagine a space in which anything is possible.

Read more »
Quarry art work: a dark subterranean space is populated by absurd and strange creatures that flit in and behind the pillars that hold up the vaulted ceiling

Quarry (2016)

Like Paolo Uccello’s Hunt in the Forest (1470), Quarry came into existence from dark to light. Uccello’s technique created a theatrical depth and drama that I wanted to capture.

Read more »
Query: Raised pale embroidery like old scars on a pale linen, with fragments of tapestry and collage strewn across the whole canvas

Query (2016)

In Paolo Uccello’s preparation of his wood panels for Hunt in the Forest (1470), he glued canvas over knots and scored lines into a black underlayer of paint to mark tree branches and vanishing points.

Read more »
Salt: Lines and patches of embroidery against a pale brown linen background, reminiscent of a set of ruins in a destroyed landscape. A figure with a beak as big as its body and that covers its face entirely, tentatively steps across the ground.

Salt (2016)

Salt is mined, extracted and evaporated. Stitching mends holes, fills in blank space. This artwork began life as the back of an unfinished needlepoint and grew into an exploration of geology and archeology.

Read more »
Silk: an embroidered image of bright autumn trees in yellow and orange sits against a black linen background, with tree silhouettes behind

Silk (2016)

This work started as an old needlepoint completed by an unknown sewer, that I unpicked, leaving only these trees intact. It was a way for me to look at the stage without the players.

Read more »
Trace: two sets of arches, one in a pale sandy stone with overgrown ivy and the other, identical in outline but a flat black silhouette, sitting on a mid-grey linen canvas. The outlines of three greyhounds are stitched in white thread, leaping through the arches

Trace (2016)

I wanted to create a work that used just a few very strong elements to show the power of a repeated shape. I drew this grid over Uccello’s painting to reveal his mastery of perspective and as the starting point for Trace.

Read more »
When much had been forgotten: fragments of tapestry, collage and embroidery in the shape of statues and organic forms are scattered across a pale grey-brown linen

When much had been forgotten (2016)

The relics and ghosts of long ago are brought together here as if in a wild dream of nature. Starting from the verticals of Uccello’s trees and dotted lines he cut into the wood I wanted to present a landscape of fragments that offers a framework for a narrative.

Read more »
A walk in the woods: a blue-legged figure with a dark cloth over their head and body stands against a brick wall with plants growing round it

A walk in the woods (2016)

This conversation between Sarah Gillett and the writer Amy Lay-Pettifer digs deeper into the artist’s relationship with Paolo Uccello’s painting The Hunt in the Forest (1470) and her wider art practice.

Read more »
PACK: A person in a blue hoodie on a bicycle looks behind them to see hundreds of dogs chasing them through a wide, empty city street

PACK

The dogs in south London are running. One of the big ones slows down as it passes me and I step back as its nose swerves into my crotch, waving my arms as though that would make any difference. If it were really hungry it would just eat me but I get a face full of hot meaty air and it’s a lucky day.

Read more »

I think you might like...

Stink: A white gloved right hand viewed side on against a black background beckons to an unseen presence

Stink

He is a red man all over, everyone can smell it. Even through the jasmine oil I apply so liberally before each shave he reeks of rusty iron and musk like the heavy gate to the bull’s field that was left open last year. I prattle on about the weather and tug my comb through his beard with my fingers crossed. Every time I snag on a knot I wince, afraid by the size of his huge hairy fists and the bulk of him sprawled across my biggest chair.

Read more »
Gaga: Against a black background, white gloved hands splayed out with thumbs and forefingers touching to make a triangle

Tension Box

Gaga was the first word out of her mouth but unlike the other firsts in her life she had no memory of it. It was as if it had never happened.

Sometimes she wished she could gaga again, especially when she felt that lump in her throat, fat as a hardboiled egg swallowed by a snake.

Read more »
Hamelin and the Unsound House: snowy landscape cut up into vertical strips and rearranged so that the sky and snow and trees and cabin are abstracted and disjointed

Hamelin and The Unsound House (2013)

Hamelin is a rag puppet doll just under a metre in height that I took with me to Canada. She appears in So pass away the old timers, one by one as my alter ego. Multiplied through the process of etching, she exists in more than one dimension of space. She is also dressed as a fool: mischievous, bold, lost, never fitting in to the time she occupies or with the people around her. Everything about her is strange, to them and to herself.

Read more »