Wednesday, 8 October 2014


Somerset House, London until October 25th

When long-stored emotions finally break cover, the broken body writhes in pain and crumples into submission. So writes the artist of this artwork

The Rant is a wall-hung installation of great beauty, made by the textile designer and artist Kim Tattersall. It's made of paper, pen, wax and dye. From across the room it looks like a fragile scarf or even a liturgical stole. It's very still, but crumpled and tattered. It's monochrome but go closer and among its crimps and curls you can spy bits and pieces of letters.  They hang there - a frozen torrent of broken words and raw emotion.The image on the right is a detail of another of her works.

(c) the artist
While researching this artwork I happened to go to some sessions on the poet George Herbert, who was born in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and died just before the Civil War. The lecturer suggested that the poem The Collar contains a heartfelt and moving rant. To  "rant" is "to speak in a loud and angry way". The origin of the word is Dutch: ranten meaning 'to speak nonsense'.  After Herbert's death the Ranters, and the Diggers, and the Levellers were all  grass-root  English groups. They did speak some nonsense, but they also  challenged the church and state's many injustices.

They certainly questioned people's perceptions of what they were seeing. In the light of this, these words of the artist are interesting:
...By keeping fabrics simple, i.e. one colour, but adding texture through the print process, the fabric, moving on the body or in the breeze, changes before the viewer’s eyes, thus questioning their perceptions of what they are seeing. The chameleon effect, light and shadow – the essence of who we are'.

The Rant is one of many works of art currently on show in London's Somerset House, short-listed by a distinguished panel in the annual National Open Art Exhibition, now in its 18th year. With prize money of  £60,000, it aims to nurture creative talent from both emerging and professional artists.
You can see the exhibition in Chichester at the Pallant House Gallery from Dec2 - 14
and at the Minerva Theatre Gallery, Chichester Festival Theatre from Dec 17 - Jan 3
Also back in London at the Works on Paper Fair at the Science Museum from 5-9 Feb

No comments:

Post a Comment