Sunday, 12 September 2010

Ainsley Hillard - Folds

Ainsley Hillard - Folds

I went to Newton House in Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo to see Ainsley Hillard's current show, Folds this afternoon. It is a site specific installation which is located in the Old Laundry of Newton House. The work is housed in the 'dry laundry' room, where the women ironed and folded the dry washing. Ainsley has researched into the history of the building and the people who would have worked there through the house archives. Having listened to an interview with the head laundry maid, Florie Keziah Hannell (1888-1985), Ainsley has made works that reflect her memories of the linens, damasks and dressing table linens that passed through her hands.

These fabrics and the repetitive processes involved in their care are explored in the exhibition. A series of doilies and fancy linens have been dipped in porcelain and fired - the firing process has burned off the material leaving a delicate porcelain ghost of their form. These are hung at table height from the original drying rack. A series of woven Jacquard panels are shown against the rough whitewashed walls, in which ghostly hands endlessly fold. A series of delicate prints - one-off pieces in which ghostly traces of handkerchiefs and embroidered cloth are printed and embossed into the paper are also shown.

It is a very evocative experience, the work inhabits the room naturally and respectfully - the intervention is considered and sensitive. The effect is ethereal and ghostly - it calls to life the actions of the many hands that worked in that space and their intimate relationship with the textiles they must have come to know so intimately.

The show runs until 19 September and is open Mon - Sun 11 - 5.


Ainsley Hillard - Folds

3 comments:

  1. wow!
    that looks great - the room and the work seems to fit perfect together!
    thanks for sharing :-)

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  2. Ainsley's work is amazing. Love every medium explored. Thanks, you have also helped me imagine the atmosphere - the laundry ladies presence are so apparent in the work.

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  3. Thanks for comments! Really glad that the atmosphere comes through, because it's integral to this show...

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