November, 2020

21NovMulti-Day Event10JanFeaturedHidden Histories(Multi-Day Event) Price: Free


November 21 (Saturday) - January 10 (Sunday)



Event Details

Hidden Histories – installation of miniature vessels

By Alison Baxter 

Exhibition dates: Saturday 21 November 2020 – Sunday 10 January 2021

Preview: Thursday 26 November, 6pm-8pm

Workshop: Saturday 12 December 11am-1pm
More information about events and the workshop will follow soon.

As a generalisation, women’s histories are not well documented. Theirs is often the supporting role to their husband’s public lives, and until the 20th century these roles have primarily been home makers and mothers. Their lives are often hidden despite the reality of their roles being a vital part of a functioning society.

Reading through Who owned South Hill Park?, written by Diane Collins, the wives are mostly mentioned as an aside, with the focus on the men’s achievements in association with South Hill Park being their home. They were not the homemakers. Their wives would have spent more time in the house than their husbands, who were busy with their careers and public lives elsewhere.

We read more about a couple of women, Frances and Henrietta Hayter, who are remembered for their influence and work. Just two out of a total of twelve wives that are mentioned as part of the history of South Hill Park as a home, rather than the ‘building’ it currently is.

This body of work responds to the whispers of these lives and the fragments of information we have about these women. Alison has created a series of miniature vessels that reference the female form and the scale of importance women’s histories are given. Some vessels are created in direct response to a specific woman, whilst the groups of vessels are a general response to women’s lives during the period of time that South Hill Park has existed.

The vessels are made from a range of materials that aim to evoke the different roles women played throughout this time. Some are solid, made from Jesmonite (a non-toxic water based resin), depicting the solid foundations women have given to their husbands and children. Many are made from delicately stitched fabric to depict the fragility of their lives, and the decorative nature of their roles. A few are made from metal cage like forms depicting the restrictions that women had in their lives.

By working in miniature Alison asks the viewer to pause, lean in and look – to be still and experience the moment and the object in total. Her ambition is that her work explores the balance between craftsmanship and meaning, that it has an immediate aesthetic impact as well as holding further layers of meaning that the viewer can choose to engage with. 

Alison Baxter is a Jeweller and Textile Artist who creates small scale work in textiles, resin and metals that become vessels, jewellery and site specific installations. She works with thread, fabric, metal and plastic exploring the fragility of materials and processes to express fragments of experiential memories.

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