Sunday, 4 October 2015

Art That You Really Really Will Not Have Seen Anywhere Else!

Yet another, but perhaps more self-publicising reason to visit our exhibition at The Old Brick Workshop this Art Weeks is to see twelve entirely new works I've created over the course of this year. After having a fairly substantial break from exhibiting anywhere, it is very exciting, enjoyably nerve-wracking  and important to me to have the opportunity to receive feed back and show new work again. They include some familiar themes of mine, namely tools as well as a few new surprises! [See:]
Apart from being a shameless plug for the exhibition this is the first in a series of posts I’ll be writing about that recent work in an attempt to understand it better and share a few thoughts on the making or thinking behind some of the work.

Natalie Parsley 'We Two Tools Together Clinging' 2015 Mono print and ink on paper. 24 x 32cm.

The more familiar tool related thread to my practice includes the work, ‘We Two Tools Together Clinging’ (pictured) inspired from Lee Lozano’s drawings of tools, depicted anthropomorphised locked in embrace or mortal combat [See: ]. The colour scheme unintentionally mirrors that of an early David Hockney painting, ‘We Two Boys Together Clinging’ whose title I have deliberately manipulated to fit my own. That is pretty much where the similarities end and recommend you visit the real thing as Hockney’s is an amazing painting!  Hockney’s references a headline from a climbing accident, "Two Boys Cling to Cliff All Night" which he propagandised into being about his own homosexuality at a time when it was taboo to shout about it publically/openly. I haven’t really assigned sexuality to the tools in my work, it could really be interpreted either way as I’m more interested in it being about a relationship of sorts rather than comment on gender specifically. The ‘clinging’ in the title of my work alludes to the human sense of ‘embrace’ as well as the function of clamps as a tool, to cling, hold or grip something. If assigning human attributes to inanimate objects in this work, the word-play of ‘tools’ could be read both literally about tools but also the derisive  slang of ‘being a stupid or socially inept person’. Rather than mockingly it can sometimes be empowering when such negative labelling is adopted by those it is originally intended to make fun of and there is a sort of strength in unity that these two ‘tools’ of any gender or social commentary have come together in a form of embrace. One could read it that way or of course, it could simply just be two clamps locked together! I enjoy discussion about the double or multiple meanings of art, how it is interpreted. At the very least that is what I attempt to do when I view or write about work I've seen. What is significant and important to me about this piece of my work however is that it is one of the first times I’ve used a title to manipulate the reading of a drawing I’ve created. That’s quite significant and interesting to me and will be something I think I will revisit again for future work.
David Hockney 'We Two Boys Together Clinging' 1961 Oil on Board. 48 x 60"
You can see my work as part of the exhibition at The Old Brick Workshop, Wellington. Open daily 11-6 now until Sunday October 18th

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