Fragment 47 a work of another colour
By Chad Ingram
Published Sept. 14, 2017
Nancy McPhee’s works of art are often created from a singular colour.
“You stitch with the same colour as the fabric, so you’re creating images through shadow,” McPhee said during an opening reception for her exhibit at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre on Sept. 8.
The Hamilton-based mixed media textile artist sometimes works in fabric, sometimes paper, sometimes plaster. She often does large installation pieces, such as Fragment 47, now showing at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery.
Constructed on three panels, a meticulously crafted image of an oak tree is illuminated by long light bulbs.
The work is inspired by the writings of Sappho, an ancient Greek poet who lived on the island of Lesbos from 630 to 570 B.C.
As McPhee explained in her artist’s statement, “Sappho’s 47th fragment compares love to a mountain wind so strong it shakes oak trees. There are only fragments of parchment with bits of her poems. The 47th fragment would have been part of a larger work; what we have is a sliver of a larger narrative, a ‘caught moment’ of an image of wind rushing through oak trees and sense of undiluted emotion. It is this simultaneous hush and pith that this exhibition ‘Fragment 47’ attempts to grasp – a moment between other unillustrated things. This work draws with light and shadow to trace lost narratives, scale and being in between.”
A librarian by day, McPhee also operates a Hamilton gallery called The Assembly. To learn more, visit www.assemblygallery.ca.