'Farm to City' was commissioned by Food Stash Foundation in Vancouver.
Friday, November 29, 2019
SAMC Gallery at Trinity Western University, November 28- January 12
Pushing Through a Brick Wall is a soft manifesto. The works in the exhibition use the visual language of domestic craft and textile to subvert and dismantle structures, physical and ideological, that seek to divide. A brick wall is transcribed on a linen tablecloth through charcoal rubbing, a peace wall is transgressed by a wayward plastic bag, a flag emptied of nationalistic rhetoric declares “homeland, homesick, homeless.” This work springs from Hawkinson’s experiences in the contested territories of Israel/Palestine and Northern Ireland.
In the mid 19th century Belfast was the linen capital of the world. In the early sixties linen mills began folding and Northern Ireland’s narrative was overshadowed by sectarian violence and division. Linenopolis and Pushing Through a Brick Wall were inspired by the physical and socio-political environments in Northern Ireland. The works fall into the genre of ‘counter-monument’ by creating ephemera from actions that challenge how collective events are remembered and memorialized. Brick walls and monuments shift from permanent to permeable when transferred to linen.
Interface follows a plastic bag through the streets of West Belfast. It takes on an anthropomorphic quality; cowering in the shadows of the peacewalls and courageously transcending barriers. The print installation Partition explores the visual resonance between fences and lace patterns. Waver is a standard for the displaced, a marker for the anti-hero. Unlike flags found in Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine; this flag is void of nationalist ideology. It’s symbolism reaches uncomfortably past human tendencies for belonging and nationhood.
With A Journey of Significance Hawkinson documents all the broken carvings from an olive wood factory in Bethlehem, Palestine. The figurines weave a universal story of expulsion and wandering. Similarly, Diaspora fits shards of ceramics found in Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem into a foreign form. It’s olive wood base hopefully inscribed with ‘RETURN.’
These works aim to confront the operations of power through a contemporary reworking of artisan craft and domestic labour. The work is political, but in a poetically nuanced way. What is rigid and impassable becomes malleable. There is an invitation in Pushing Through the Brick Wall. One that resists discourse of rigid ideological positions and instead offers viewers a place at the table.
Saturday, June 29, 2019
My obsessive print making project has paid off! I have a solo show in Fort Langley next month. The prints will feature prominently on a wall facing the front door. I'm going to plaster the entire wall with lace and fences. Come see for yourself!
The inspiration. I walked past this window every day in Belfast.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
I had a video piece in a group show at the Seymour Gallery a few years ago. Below is a piece that a local poet, James Witwicki, wrote in response to 'Monument for the Land'.
A woman is piling,
then unpiling, rocks
she has been
against the backdrop
of an ugly concrete wall
bristling with reinforcing
steel and barbed wire.
In a vacant field
in a quiet corner
surrounded by yellow wildflowers
vivid yellow on gangly stalks.
This woman unpiles rocks.
This is not entropy;
you can play it backwards.
But time will march forward,
--- Please --- I must know ----
In a vacant lot,
in a quiet corner,
in a bitter war-
torn country. Soothing words
in Arabic, soothing words
words in relief - mother to child,
ones who survive, piling rocks
Old, gnarled trees preside
This woman wears
a simple, modest,
earthtone shift. Sometimes
she stumbles slightly
while walking away
from the camera.
Doesn’t mean that she is not sure.
She has been unpiling rocks; and if,
and if unpiling rocks is sufficient,
she will continue ---
Friday, April 12, 2019
The artist life is funny. Two months ago while being interviewed for a magazine article, I apologized for having zero shows on the horizon for them to promote. I told my friend (the interviewer) that I was just making the artwork, and anything on top of that was a bonus.
This week I've had two openings, both with new work that has never been shown before. Both are group shows that I'm excited to be involved in.
A month ago, I made a commitment to another artist friend to always be in my studio Friday mornings. We call each other in the morning before starting. It's been a huge gift to have the accountability and the reminder that this is worth spending time on.
I'm churning out linoprints from drawings I made in Belfast. I'm not a printmaker so I don't feel tied to traditional forms of printing and displaying. I love the strong, graphic quality of the black line. I'm experimenting with abstracting lace doilies. The connection between lace patterns, some of which look more like maps or droopy chainlink fences, and the repetition of the barriers, are working for me. I might need a chiropractor eventually from the labor but its worth it.
Friday, March 15, 2019
“Can an artistic intervention truly bring about an unforseen way of thinking... can an absurd act provoke a transgression that makes you abandon the standard assumptions about the source of conflict? Can an artistic intervention translate societal tensions into narratives that in turn intervene in the imaginary landscape of a place? And can those kinds of artistic acts bring about the possibility of change?” -Francis Alÿs
This body of work grew from a year of art research trips to Northern Ireland. Pushing Through a Brick Wall is a collection of graphite rubbings and needlework pertaining to the physical and socio-political environment of Belfast. In the mid 19th century, Belfast was the linen capital of the world. The textile industry flourished for decades. In the early 60‘s linen mills began folding and Northern Ireland’s narrative was overshadowed by The Troubles.
The white handkerchief with red embroidery is a scaled map of peace walls that are located on sectarian divides.The marks appear as scars or stitches. Brick walls and monuments shift from a permanent status to permeable when transferred to linen. Words were collected from tombstones, public squares, churches and commemorative plaques. They become anti-monuments. Harmless handkerchiefs, white towels of submission, a rag to wipe up the mess. Domestic objects weighted with conflict and confession.
May this piece be a quiet attempt to acknowledge the depth of pain experienced by all, while also offering the possibility of a way through the brick wall.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
I'm in a studio season of proliferating. I made these sketches a year ago in Belfast as references for linoprints. I don't know where it will take me but I am enjoying the process.