‘EACH TINY BRUSH STROKE ; REASSERTS THE PRINTED PATTERN BENEATH'
1.1,?” 'i ‘i‘I’
r 41‘ :‘i ~ N.
‘l Lip it'l'
i v _'_v; J. i'lv-
i . V
Anne-Marie Watson finds subtle patterns in the work of LOUISE HOPKINS, where painting, print and fabric are interwoven.
nIike a traditional painter. Louise Hopkins
doesn‘t start working with a blank canvas.
Instead she chooses to begin with more familiar. found objects for the inspiration and support of her paintings. Hopkins‘ solo exhibition in Edinburgh is a gluttonous feast for the eyes. Bringing together the full range of her work for the first time. the Fruitmarket Gallery exhibits over 30 of her paintings and drawings from the past ten years as well as a number of new works. which have been specially commissioned for the exhibition. This comprehensive survey of her work to date reveals the dominant themes. ideas. explorations and processes within Hopkins‘ practice.
Her use of pre-existent printed material is the common thread which runs throughout all her work and she has used a whole variety of different surfaces on which to make her marks including furnishing fabric. maps. song books. comic strips. lined paper. graph paper and photographs. Hopkins spends a lot of time with her chosen imagery in order to work out the appropriate type and level of mark making for each painting and after this process she transforms each surface with differing levels of intensity. This is an intimate and time-consuming process. which becomes evident in the works themselves.
Born in 1965. Hopkins completed her MFA at Glasgow School of Art in I994 and is perhaps best known for the different series of paintings she has made on furnishing fabric. ()ne series in particular was exhibited in I996 at Tramway Project Room and brought her work to national and international attention. At a glance these paintings could be mistaken for delicately rendered studies of flowers.
However. on closer inspection it becomes clear that they are all made on the same type of material. a repeated generic ﬂower print. The fabric has been turned round so that the original pattern is still showing through. though faintly. and on part Hopkins has painted over the pattern with light brown paint. Close up the real intensity of the image becomes clear as each tiny brush stroke reasserts the original marks of the printed pattern beneath.
By leaving a trace of the original material within the painting Hopkins reveals her own process of over- painting in order to redirect attention back to the initial surface. So in removing and subsequently redrawing. but never quite erasing what was already there. she is able to disrupt the ﬂow of all this printed information by rendering it less familiar. Good examples of this are her works on maps. which interest her because they offer widely accepted and unchallenged images of the world. In Hopkins‘ maps. on the other hand. we are often faced with total destruction and left floundering and disorientated. wondering why the whole world has been ﬂooded by the sea or the landmasses of liurope have all been squashed together. Throughout her work there is a determined warning voice. constantly forcing us to pay attention. to slow down and consider that not all the information we receive ought to be trusted. You have to spend time with Hopkins‘ work. and this exhibition offers a perfect opportunity to appreciate her beautiful. highly charged and complex work.
Louise Hopkins - Freedom of Information, Paintings, Drawings 1996-2005, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh until Sun 1 1 Dec
THE BEST EXHIBITIONS
* They Are the We of Me Author and playwright Carson MeCullers is invoked in Jane Topping’s installation of drawings, paintings and sculpture in GoMA. The work is inspired by the time MeCullers stayed with Tennessee Williams. WH Auden, Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee. amongst others. in a Brooklyn townhouse in the early 1940s. See review, page 86. Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, until Sun 20 Nov.
#7 Like it Matters Change is in the air in Glasgow. What sculpture once was and is now becoming charges the galleries in the CCA. Three Glasgow- based artists explore how art can be made out of non- traditional materials. Carolee Schneeman, Robert Rauschenberg, Bas Jan Ader and Bruce Nauman people the space with ﬁlms of bodies in action. linking action and process to this transitional period of art-making in Glasgow. See review. page 86. CCA. Glasgow, until Sat 29 Oct.
* Louise Hopkins - Freedom of Information The mini-retrospective of Louise Hopkins' work at the Fruitmarket Gallery includes painted interventions on pre— printed media — maps, fabrics, etc. The ease in which we ‘read’ printed and painted surfaces is thwarted; the viewer is forced to look closely at surfaces that we pass over too quickly. See preview. page 85. The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 77 Dec.
(i~2() Oct 2005) THE LIST 85