Bonnie Lucas’ Textile Assemblages
As my practice has evolved over the last year or so I have started to move back into three dimensions as well as time based and performative practices rather than being focused on drawing and embroidery. With this in mind I have been taking a look back at uses of textiles and cloth, exploring ways in which artists have used these materials in ways which bridge that gap between art and craft, with a particular interest in artists that use cloth for more sculptural or performative works.
This led to my discovery of Bonnie Lucas, an American artist based in New York City.
My kitsch sensibilities drew me to these textile assemblages, or collages. These works are carefully assembled from a variety of items that includes dolls, items of clothing, cheap plastic jewellry, thread and yarn, amongst other things.
They appear to be very ‘feminine’ pieces of work both as result of the colours in the work as well as the collections of objects used in their creation, such as dolls and women’s lingerie. Women’s issues are of particular interest to the artist and manifest in a disturbing contrasts within the work; for example, adult themes being addressed through childlike imagery and colours. Jeffrey Wechsler likens this approach to the way in which old fairy tales were formed in order to convey theme’s that might be considered as ‘adult’ in a more covert manner. At first glance these works might appear to be images created directly for children but the context of the objects is changed in such a way that it makes the viewer uneasy.
Whilst still they’re still wall based works I’m interested in the way in which Bonnie Lucas has assembled together tactile items, including some three dimensional objects, to create these images. It might not appear so on first glance, but it looks like a lot of work has been put into the creation of these assemblages to create these formal arrangements that work so well.
Visit Bonnie Lucas’ website to view more of her work: www.bonnielucasartist.com