Tolarno Galleries announces representation of Hannah Gartside

Tolarno Galleries announces the representation of Hannah Gartside (born 1987, London, UK; lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne).

Gartside is currently on view at Primavera 2021: Young Australian Artists, the annual Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney showcase of Australian artists aged 35 years and under. Her five kinetic textile sculptures each represent an iconic female figure of the past, including Artemisia Gentileschi, Tarot card illustrator Pamela ‘Pixie’ Colman Smith, and actor Sarah Bernhardt. Made from 19th and 20th century clothes and fabric, the works were designed with their subjects’ personal histories in mind – splays of red velvet evoke the violent scenes of Gentileschi’s renowned 17th century paintings, a sail of pink silk crêpe honours Loïe Fuller’s pioneering stage lighting designs and moving fabric costuming.

Embedded in feminism and material culture, Gartside uses vintage and found textiles to create installations, sculptures and costumes. Skills of dress-making, patchwork quilting and fabric dyeing accrued during her former career as a theatre costumier at Queensland Ballet are elevated to the conceptually rigorous. Both deeply personal and fiercely communal, Gartside’s works engage fundamental experiences and emotions of our human condition: longing, tenderness, connection, desire and wonderment.

"She uses deadstock fabrics, clothes found in skips and op shops or given to her by friends, garments of dead relatives and fur from pets. For the artist, clothes are psychic objects that not only have history (a faded menstrual stain, the scent of a beloved) but presence; material has its own life... In this sense, the sculptures are about fabric itself, the singular way in which material is able to articulate the immaterial – a current of air, an undertow of desire. Fabric also has its own sound world and Gartside is listening to what it is saying, 'pulsing, sighing, calling to us'." – Hannah Fink, catalogue essay, Primavera 2021: Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hannah Gartside is a finalist in the upcoming Ellen José Art Award at Bayside Gallery, Victoria, a $15,000 non-acquisitive award to a female visual artist aged 18-35 years, on view from July 2022. She will next exhibit in the June 2022 group show Text Tile, a showcase of textile based practices of over 50 artists within Australia and New Zealand, at Caves Gallery in Melbourne.

Tolarno Galleries will present a solo exhibition by Hannah Gartside in 2023.

photo: Ilona Nelson

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