Tucked away, up the stairs by the entrance to the Hayward Gallery, South Bank Centre,
is the Hayward Project Space.
Currently Shelia Hicks is exhibiting her work there. Her Foray Into Chromatic Zones. A 'foray' into colour. In this exhibition I can't decide which meaning she's going for. An 'attempt' or a 'visit'? You get to do both, to visit and to try colour out for yourself.
She works with textiles, or 'supple materials' as she likes to call them.
These are pretty supple.
For 60 years Shelia Hicks has worked with fibres.
Producing fibre based calligraphy,
drawing with mohair on rice paper.
And weaving panels on small picture frame style looms,
She calls these 'minimes' and describes them as pages of her diary.
Having done weaving at art college,
I know that these are no quick reflections, jotting down thoughts at the end of each day.
Weaving takes a long time.
Before you start thinking, 'yeah, isn't weaving a bit 1970s, not particularly cutting edge?' Hicks was sought after by Modernist architects. In 1967 she was commissioned to make wall panels for the Ford Foundation building in New York. These are not them, but are modelled on replacements made in 2014.
The originals were 'damaged in situ'.
Having read that the building had a 12-storey glass atrium,
I'm guessing that the culprit was light.
Originally produced in the sixties, the design looks so old yet so new.
I say 'old' reservedly, they were first made the year I was born and I'm not old!
Shelia Hicks studied under Josef Albers, a master of colour, who taught about and wrote 'Interaction with Colour'. I've mentioned him before, here, more weaving, rugs at Somerset House, Form Through Colour.
In the Sunset Pavilion, part of the Hayward Project Space,
Hicks provides us with a room full of colour to play with,
in the form of 'bales of pigmented fibre'.
Invited to 'interact with and immerse ourselves in colour', it seemed rude not to.
How often do you go to an exhibition wearing just the right coat?
Me, preferring to be the other side of the camera, I give you,
I waited quite a while for that bus.
Shelia Hicks: Foray into Chromatic Zones
is on in the Hayward Gallery Project Space until 19th April 2015.
Details on the South Bank Centre website, here.
If you go, let me know how you get on in the Sunset Pavilion.
It was good fun playing with colour and cameras.