At the Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Judith Kentish spoke to us about her latest exhibition - from ideas of tending... It occurred to Jude that though she does not let her work as a nurse cross over into her art practice both disciplines share the principle of tending to something - be it people, materials or ideas.
Working in series allows a process of working out, when a creative act becomes too easy it indicates to her that it's over and time to explore another way to experiment by asking what happens if? Using ink is a slow process with minimal interference allowing the fluidity and staining of the medium to do its thing. "My action was to start the process, but the work finished itself."
The piece wool mound: a vigil is two piles of wool on the gallery floor with a wooden stool in between. When you lean into the space you can hear the sound of wool being teased, which alerts you to the difference in the wool piles - teased and unteased. Jude says "my work is performative, people just don't see me doing it." Yet in her video work ink drops: the viewing we see her hands carefully moving the ink on paper pieces from one pile to another. This careful tending of the luscious 600gsm paper is accompanied by the crunchy sound that the protective glassine sheets make when moved.
Her woven drops are long tubes that look like they could contain something but are too frail to manage. They throw lonely long shadows on the wall and are an interesting counterpoint to her inkfolds. I was mesmerised by these shroud-like, cloud-like fabrics pinned to the wall behind Jude as she listed the materials used in the seven bodies of work:
- cotton voile
The gifted wool had been accumulating in her studio and the act of wrapping it up in the voile to move it out of the way gave Jude the inspiration to make the woolsacs. These sacs play with the slumping of wool, the weight of wool, lyrically described in the catalogue:
pillowedinto ink stained,
a pond-shroud of description
each fat and full
Judith Kentish: from ideas of tending
On Display: 3 September - 11 November 2016