From Sharne Wolff…
The exhibition Shelf Lives comprises more than fifty artworks – carefully arranged woolly chunks, stitched swathes of cloth, delicate textured parcels and fabric blobs on sticks. If those descriptions sound a bit odd, artist Jade Pegler admits she isn’t sure herself how to describe her “non-things”. These curios don’t begin with definite ideas but emerge from the process and playing around with different materials.
Pegler’s hybrid creatures are usually made with a blend of paper, fibres, fabric, wire and handmade felt. She makes the felt herself using alpaca wool and a combination of other natural fibres, often using a ‘dry felting’ method that involves stabbing the fabric repetitively with needles in a rather violent manner. German artist Joseph Beuys believed that the commonplace materials like felt could be invested with certain spiritual or healing powers. In this tradition, human labour and animal-derived ingredients like hair and wool allow Pegler’s objects, which represent nothing in particular, to embody the physical qualities of softness and warmth. Pegler also enjoys the idea that her objects are ambiguous both in appearance and in nature. She’s interested in exploring the way that something comical and endearing like a child’s toy can also appear frightening, gross or even revolting.
Until July 13
Gallery 9, Darlinghurst.
Pic: Jade Pegler, Shelf Lives, 2013 [detail]. Paper, wool, alpaca fibre, mohair, silk waste, polyester stuffing, flax, fabric, mixed media, wire, 56 wall pieces and 5 floor pieces. Courtesy the artist and Gallery9.