Saturday, 16 January 2010

Jeanette Orrell

Jeanette Orrell - seen here

I've been looking at the work of north Wales based artist Jeanette Orrell, the wire birdcages I posted yesterday reminded me of her wire sculptural drawings. She also makes drawings and prints on paper.
The work is quiet, modest even - there's a fragility about the sketchiness, an only-just-there-ness. The wire utensils, however are over sized at around 75cm which is not necessarily apparent from the images and I have not seen the work other than in print and online. The work is undoubtedly feminine concerned as it is with the domestic; and viewing as a woman this fragility creates a slight sense of discomfort for me. There's a dreaming quality, an insularity that comes from the intimate, day-to-day nature of domestic life - the lightness of the techniques might hint at how tentative identity can feel when one is deeply involved with nurturing the lives of others.
The scale of the work is interesting, have the pieces become iconic? Totemic? Surreal? Funny? Over bearing? I hope I can see them in the flesh at some point to find out. My personal response is one of disquietude, the unusably light construction and scale of the utensils and objects niggle at my sense of autonomy and weight as a woman; both beautiful and subtle, their sub text is slightly unsettling.

Jeanette Orrell - seen here

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