Friday, December 2, 2011

2nd Annual Telfair Trunk Show at the Jepson Center

If you're in Savannah, GA this weekend, come join Robin and me at the 2nd Annual Telfair Trunk Show in the Jepson Center's Eckburg Atrium on Saturday, December 3, 2011 from  10:00 am - 5:00 pm. The holiday trunk show features exceptional wares made by local artists and artisans, including ornaments, cards, handcrafted art, and one-of-a-kind gift items. There will also be free activities for children, a gift wrapping station, and holiday refreshments.

This year’s artists include:
Tina Austing
Kelley McCarthy
Joanna Angell
Maricia Blizzard Flowers
Robert Triheart
Chris Geiger
Mary Millsaps
Robin Miller and Kym Hepworth (a.k.a. inthecrystalpalace)
Kay Warren
Eric Wooddell

inthecrystalpalace will display original mixed media assemblages, collages, collage magnets, collage pendants, and sun ornaments. 

The Jepson Center is located at 207 W. York Street in the Historic District.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This Bird Has Flown: a new mixed media assemblage

Kym Hepworth / red thread

Kym Hepworth / red beads

Over the summer, I bought a doily at an antiques store. When I looked at the shape of the doily - two circles joined at the middle - I immediately thought that I'd use it in a piece about lovers. With that in mind, I began embellishing the doily with red beads. 

Kym Hepworth / work in progress: doilies embellished with seed beads

Kym Hepworth / work in progress: beaded doilies

The piece remained generally about lovers until I looked at a Victorian brooch that I own and it provided me with a more specific inspiration about marriage. At first, I considered using found images of any anonymous man and woman and placing them in the center of the doilies. However, I decided that it was important to use portraits of an actual couple, and I ended up using the images from the brooch itself.

Kym Hepworth / Victorian brooch

The Unquiet Grave

The wind doth blow today, my love,
And a few small drops of rain;
 I never had but one true-love,
In cold grave she was lain.

"I'll do as much for my true-love
As any young man may;
I'll sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day."

The twelvemonth and a day being up,
The dead began to speak:
"Oh who sits weeping on my grave,
And will not let me sleep?"

"T is I, my love, sits on your grave,
And will not let you sleep;
For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
And that is all I seek."

"You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
But my breath smells earthy strong;
If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
Your time will not be long.

"T is down in yonder garden green,
Love, where we used to walk,
The finest flower that e'ver was seen
Is withered to a stalk.

"The stalk is withered dry, my love,
So will our hearts decay;
So make yourself content, my love,
Till God calls you away."
- popular ballad collected by Francis James Child
 (source for ballad: The Norton Anthology of Poetry, third edition, edited by Alexander W. Allison, et al., published by W. W. Norton & Company, New York, © 1983)  

As I worked on the piece, my idea for it changed again and turned darker. The love birds on top of the brooch suggested mourning doves and then mourning. The lovers joined in marriage changed to lovers bound to each other beyond death. A narrative developed that the wife had died first and the husband was left in mourning for her. In order to convey or suggest this story, I covered the image of the woman with black netting, placed a feather between the couple, and positioned a bird - ready to take flight - directly over the image of the woman. I picked out a wooden rope trim for the frame and echoed it with green braided trim along the inside border. This small detail suggests - in a very abstract way - being joined together or union. The dominant color of the piece is dark, charcoal gray and, of course, refers to mourning. 

Kym Hepworth / This Bird Has Flown / 2011 / mixed media / 9 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 3 in.
© 2011 - Kym Hepworth. All Rights Reserved. 
Available at inthecrystalpalace 

Kym Hepworth / This Bird Has Flown / 2011 / mixed media / 9 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 3 in.

Kym Hepworth / This Bird Has Flown, detail 

That's what the work is about for me - for someone else, it could be about separation or divorce or simply an odd thing with a bird stuck on top for no particular reason at all. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

excerpt from The Widow of the South

"Time, twisting on and on, always taking away and never bringing anything back, could kill people years before they extricated themselves from their bodies and flew off to God. I had heard her float through the hallways of the house, whispering the names of her children as she blew out the lamps. John Randal, Mary Elizabeth, Martha. It sounded like prayer, like some sort of invocation. I'd been in a Catholic church once, down on toward Natchez, and I'd heard the same sound when the priests approached the altar, muttering the sounds that would bring Christ back to them.

Kym Hepworth / Reliquary / 2007 / mixed media / 8 3/8 x 6 1/8 3 1/4 in. 
 © 2007 - Kym Hepworth. All Rights Reserved. Available at inthecrystalpalace.

I didn't much care for that sort of thing, and I had no faith that a priest could work such magic, but I found myself praying that someday, maybe, Carrie McGavock would perform that miracle, that time would get all wrapped up on itself and confused, and that those children would walk the hallways with their mother again. There was beauty in that woman. Not in her pain, but in the part of her obscured by the pain and the black crinkly dress and the black thread of time. 

Kym Hepworth / The Widow / 2010 / mixed media / 13 1/8 x 9 7/8 x 4 1/4 in. 
© 2011 - Kym Hepworth. All Rights Reserved. Available at inthecrystalpalace.

I saw a young and beautiful woman, a woman who could lift burdens and redeem men. I wanted to be redeemed, I wanted to be absolved. And I wanted that woman, the angel who walked in the cemetery among her dead children and kissed their gravestones when she thought no one was looking, to be the one doing the redeeming. I had no name for that, no word. Just a feeling." 

(source for quote: The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks, published by Warner Books, New York, NY © 2005 )

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Elvis and Other Kings at Estel Gallery

Look out Music City, cause here I am and I ain't never leavin'! I'm wearing my nudie suit too!

Two of my beaded assemblages, King Edgar (Edgar Allan Poe) and Sweet Dreams Mr. Poe, are included in the show Elvis and Other Kings at Estel Gallery in Nashville, TN.

Kym Hepworth / King Edgar (Edgar Allan Poe) / 2011 / mixed media / 12 1/8 x 17 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.

Kym Hepworth / Sweet Dreams Mr. Poe / 2006 / mixed media /21 x 27 ½ x 2 in.

Featuring new work by Gary Monroe

Casey Pierce, Jarrod Houghton, Kym Hepworth, 
Dustin Dirt, Delia Seigenthaler, Tatiana Klacsmann, 
Reesha Leone and Nancy White 

The show runs from September 3-24, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 3, 2011 from 6:00-9:00 pm

Estel Gallery / 115 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. (formerly 8th Ave North) / Nashville, TN 37203
Tues-Friday: 11: 00 am - 4:00 pm / Saturday: 12:00-3:00 pm / after hours by appointment

Thursday, April 7, 2011

new work: Called Back (Emily Dickinson)

Here's another new assemblage that was recently added to our Etsy shop, In The Crystal Palace:

Kym Hepworth, Called Back (Emily Dickinson), 2011, mixed media, 10 x 23 5/8 x 3 in.


Called Back

Just lost when I was saved!
Just felt the world by by!
Just girt me for the onset of eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide!

Therefore, as one returned, I feel,
Odd secrets of the line to tell!
Some sailor, skirting foreign shores,
Some pale reporter from the awful doors
Before the seal!

Next time, to stay!
Next time, the things to see
By ear unheard,
Unscrutinized by eye.

Next time, to tarry,
While the ages steal, -
Slow tramp the centuries,
And the cycles wheel.


The title of this assemblage alludes to Emily Dickinson's gravestone epitaph (see image below). The right panel of the piece, in which a old wall telephone is nestled inside a wreath, playfully refers back to this. The overall color scheme of the piece is white and pale blue. I personally associate this palette with an icy-cold winter's day, an endless clear blue sky overhead, and stillness all around. Emily Dickinson is immediately associated with white: She began wearing white sometime in the 1860's when she was in her 30's. She was buried in white and enclosed in a white casket. In the left panel of the assemblage, her portrait is framed inside a white wreath. The wreath is meant to suggest a bridal wreath. In mourning art imagery, a bridal wreath represents the death of a bride. The middle panel of the assemblage has a butterfly with a downward pointing skeleton's hand. Again, in mourning art imagery, the butterfly symbolizes the soul in resurrection, while a finger pointing downwards indicates the Finger of God taking the deceased home; sudden death or mortality.

Kym Hepworth, Emily Dickinson's gravestone (Called Back)

Kym Hepworth, detail, Emily Dickinson's grave

Kym Hepworth, sunflowers, New Orleans

new work: King Edgar (Edgar Allan Poe)

Here's a new assemblage that was recently added to our Etsy shop, In The Crystal Palace:

Kym Hepworth / King Edgar (Edgar Allan Poe) / 2011 / mixed media / 12 1/8 x 17 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.


excerpt from the poem The Haunted Palace:

"And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace-door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,

A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn! -for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home, the glory
That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed. . . ."

- Edgar Allan Poe


The idea behind the visual imagery in this work was to create an association that would link 'King Edgar' with King Death. Poe's portrait is framed by a wreath with wings. This imagery references a motif found on 17th and 18th century gravestones - the winged death's head (see image below as an example). The winged death's head is a memento mori image (remember you will die). Another use of mourning art imagery is the wreath, which symbolizes victory of the deceased and redemption.

(source for above image: Maine's Coastal Cemeteries: A Historic Tour by Karen Wentworth Batignani, published by Down East Books, Camden, ME © 2003)

Friday, April 1, 2011

I thought I saw Lauren Bacall

hey fellas, Happy Friday!

Kym Hepworth, cover of scrapbook album

Kym Hepworth, page from scrapbook album of Hollywood film stars (with Gregory Peck  (1916-2003) & Lauren Bacall (1924-)

Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall), 1945-46, Construction, 20 1/2 x 16 x 3 1/2 in.

(source for image above: Joseph Cornell, edited by Kynaston McShine, essays by Dawn Ades, Carter Ratcliff et al., published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York © 1980)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

work in progress: Mary's Lamb

Kym Hepworth, doll dress, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

work in progress - Mary's Lamb

Kym Hepworth, doll dress, March 14, 2011

An earlier spelling of the word bead was bede, from Old English gebed, “prayer.” The Old English verb biddan meant “to pray” as well as “to ask.” By the late 14th century, the word bede/bead had attached to the objects on which the prayers were told or counted.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

work in progress: Mary's Lamb

I started working on a new piece over the weekend. It's a variation on my assemblage Mary Had A Little Lamb. However, in this piece, Mary is the Virgin Mary and the lamb is Christ. Below is an inspiration for the work:

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), Ecce Ancilla Domini! (The Annunciation), 1849-50, Oil on canvas, support: 724 x 419 mm frame: 1002 x 698 x 88 mm

A doll dress is the first element I'm working with in the piece:

I'll cover most of the surface of the dress with opaque white seed beads:

hand-sewn with white thread and a needle:

Kym Hepworth, doll dress, March 5, 2011

working in my studio:

Kym Hepworth, doll dress, March 9, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm In Love With This Idea at Georgia Perimeter College

I'm In Love With This Idea is an exhibit of work by members of the Women's Caucus For Art of Georgia.

WCAGA members who are participating in the exhibition include:

Vicki Bethel, Patricia Bohannon, Marilynn Brandenburger, Jeannine Cook, Angie Dachs, Helen DeRamus, Sally Wansboro Eppstein, Betty Handmacher, Maxine Hess, Kym Hepworth, Dory Ingram, Jane Jaskevich, Thelma Johnson, Marjorie Jordan, Susan Ker Seymer, Corlia Kock, Val Koonce, Kate Lehman Landishaw, Chris Lewis, Kathy Meliopoulos, Lynne Moody, Barb Rehg, Ann Rhodes, Ann Rowles, Marjett Schille, Nancy Stein, Aviva Stern, Anita Stewart, Virginia Tyler, Claudia Wilburn and Stella Wissner
(Please click on the links to view the artist's websites.)

The exhibit was curated by Don Dougan and organized by Barb Rehg. It runs from March 2 - April 22, 2011 at Georgia Perimeter College - Clarkston Campus. If you'd like more information, visit the WCAGA blog and if you're in the area, go see this show!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In The Crystal Palace: what's in a name?

As you can tell from the previous post, Robin and I recently opened a new Etsy shop together. I thought I'd write a little bit about the sources of inspiration connected to the shop's name. We kicked around a few other names for the shop before choosing In The Crystal Palace. We wanted a name with a clear Victorian association, and something that suggested a poetic, mysterious, and other-worldly atmosphere. We are also huge fans of Joseph Cornell's (1903-1972) work. His construction (below) ties these ideas together beautifully:

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Pink Palace), c. 1946-48, Construction, 10 x 16 7/16 x 3 1/4 in.

As luck would have it, we went to Barnes and Noble in Hilton Head, SC earlier this week and bought Bill Bryson's (1951 -) new book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Can you guess what subject Mr. Bryson writes about in his first chapter? The Crystal Palace. Here's an excerpt:

"In the autumn of 1850, in Hyde Park in London, there arose a most extraordinary structure: a giant iron-and-glass greenhouse covering nineteen acres of ground and containing within its airy vastness enough room for four St. Paul's Cathedrals. For the short time of its existence, it was the biggest building on Earth. Known formally as the Palace of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, it was incontestably magnificent, but all the more so for being so sudden, so startlingly glassy, so gloriously and unexpectedly there. Douglas Jerrold, a columnist for the weekly magazine Punch, dubbed it the Crystal Palace, and the name stuck.

The finished building was precisely 1,851 feet long (in celebration of the year), 408 feet across, and almost 110 feet high along its central spine--spacious enough to enclose a much admired avenue of elms that would otherwise have had to be felled. Because of its size, the structure required a lot of inputs--293,655 panes of glass, 33,000 iron trusses, and tens of thousands of feet of wooden flooring--yet thanks to Paxton's methods [Joseph Paxton (1803-1865) English architect, designed the Crystal Palace], the final cost came in at an exceedingly agreeable £80,000. From start to finish, the work took just under thirty-five weeks. St. Paul's Cathedral had taken thirty-five years.

The Crystal Palace was at once the world's largest building and its lightest, most ethereal one. Today we are used to encountering glass in volume, but to someone living in 1851 the idea of strolling through cubic acres of airy light inside a building was dazzling--indeed, giddying. The arriving visitor's first sight of the Exhibition Hall from afar, glinting and transparent, is really beyond our imagining. It would have seemed as delicate and evanescent, as miraculously improbable, as a soap bubble. To anyone arriving at Hyde Park, the first sight of the Crystal Palace, floating above the trees, sparkling in sunshine, would have been a moment of knee-weakening slendor."

And then it all burned down . . .

Watching the blaze, Winston Churchill said, "This is the end of an age."

(Source for image: Joseph Cornell, edited by Kynaston McShine, essays by Dawn Ades, et al., published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York © 1980; Source for quote: At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson, published by Doubleday, New York © 2010)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In The Crystal Palace: our new Etsy shop

"Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry
"Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy . . ."


Robin Miller and I recently opened a new shop together on Etsy. In The Crystal Palace (inthecrystalpalace, if you search by sellers on Etsy) offers a selection of our mixed media assemblages. Here's a sample of our wares:

Robin Miller / Solar Eclipse of 1851 / 2011 / mixed media / 6-1/8 x 4 x 2-1/4 in.

Robin Miller / Adoration of the Aerialist / 2011 / mixed media / 4-3/4 x 6-1/2 x 2-3/4 in.

Perhaps the two works below look strangely familiar to you?

Kym Hepworth / Mary Had A Little Lamb / 2011 / mixed media / 10 1/4 x 11 1/2 x 3 in.

Kym Hepworth / Vamp! (Louise Brooks) / 2011 / mixed media / 15 7/8 x 12 x 3 1/2 in.

We'll be adding new work soon.
Come buy, come buy

Friday, February 11, 2011

lover's credo

each day is Valentine's Day

so why wait?

Happy Friday!

The Replacements - Kiss Me On The Bus

Paul Westerberg - Kiss Me On The Bus

Thursday, February 3, 2011

zombie trivia

Here's a little known art history secret: she's running away from zombies!

Niccolò Dell'Arca, The Lamentation (detail), c. 1485-90, Terracotta, lifesize, Sta. Maria della Vita, Bologna

(source for image: History of Art by H. W. Janson - 5th ed., revised and expanded by Anthony F. Janson, published by Prentice Hall, Inc. and Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York © 1995)

The Runaways - I Love Playing With Fire

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Flower Study (vanitas) 2/2/11

The thermometer doesn't lie. I might. It's supposed to reach 70 degrees today in Savannah.

Kym Hepworth, daffodils, skeletons and zombie apocalypse!

excerpt from Zombie Apocalypse! created by Stephen Jones (entry from Maddy Wood's diary, age 13, dated Sunday, May 5):

"A thin stream of smoke rose up from the carpet and stank of burning. Maybe that's what made me look down. It must have been. She'd dropped her cigarette and it was burning a black hole in the carpet. It stank like plastic. I remember thinking that mum wouldn't like that and then I saw dad's shoes sticking out from behind the sofa and his feet were kind of shaking. There was a wet sound too, something slick and horrid and greedy, an then George gasped and started pulling me back. I remember his hand was hot and mine was cold. I remember peering over the back of the sofa and seeing dad.

Mum was straddling him. She looked funny with her skirt all hitched up and her tights torn. Mum's neat and tidy. She likes to look presentable. But this wasn't mum. It just looked like her. There was a knife in her shoulder. It was one of the ones from the block in the kitchen and it was right in to the hilt, but she didn't seem to notice it.

The vase from the coffee table was smashed around her and her hair was soaking wet and a daffodil hung loosely across the back of her untidy bun. The base was still in dad's hand, but his grip had gone. Water ran down mum's face and made pink paths through the crimson that smeared her chin. She didn't look at us, but buried her head back into dad's shoulder with a hiss. She sounded like a snake. It was yuk.

Dad let out a soft sigh. No scream or anything. But it was enough to make us run. . . ."

(source for quote: Zombie Apocalypse! created by Stephen Jones with Peter Atkins, Pat Cadigan, et al., published by Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, PA © 2010)

Kym Hepworth, skeleton, daffodils and zombies

The Zombies - Tell Her No

Kym Hepworth, daffodil stems, skeleton and zombies (run!!!)

Del Shannon - Runaway

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Flower Study (vanitas) 2/1/11

Kym Hepworth, daffodils day 12

Kym Hepworth, vanitas

Kym Hepworth, day after day

Badfinger - Day After Day

Kym Hepworth, detail of daffodils on day 12

Kym Hepworth, cloudy day

Monday, January 31, 2011

Flower Study (vanitas) 1/31/11

A more organized person than myself would have started her flower series with this post:

Willem Claesz. Heda, Still Life, 1634, Oil on panel, 16 7/8 x 22 7/8 in., Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam

from H. W. Janson's History of Art on Dutch Baroque still lifes:

"Most Dutch Baroque still lifes treat the theme of Vanitas (the vanity of all earthly things). Overtly or implicitly, they preach the virtue of temperance, frugality, and hard work by admonishing the viewer to contemplate the brevity of life, the inevitability of death, and the passing of all earthly pleasures. The medieval tradition of imbuing everyday objects with religious significance was absorbed into vernacular culture through emblem books which, together with other forms of popular literature and prints, encompassed the prevailing ethic in words and pictures. . . .

The banquet (or breakfast) piece, showing the remnants of a meal, had Vanitas connotations almost from the beginning. The message may lie in such established symbols as death's heads and extinguished candles, or be conveyed by less direct means. Still Life by Willem Claesz. Heda (above) belongs to this widespread type. Food and drink are less emphasized here than luxury objects, such as crystal goblets and silver dishes, which are carefully juxtaposed for their contrasting shape, color, and texture. . . . But virtuosity was not Heda's only aim. He reminds us that all is Vanity. His "story," the human context of these grouped objects, is suggested by the broken glass, the half-peeled lemon, the overturned silver dish. The unstable composition, with its signs of a hasty departure, is itself a reference to transience. Whoever sat at this table has been suddenly forced to abandon the meal. The curtain that time has lowered on the scene, as it were, invests the objects with a strange pathos."
(source for image and quote: History of Art by H. W. Janson - 5th ed., revised and expanded by Anthony F. Janson, published by Prentice Hall, Inc. and Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York © 1995)


Kym Hepworth, clock, top hat and flowers

Kym Hepworth, clock face with flowers

R.E.M. - Time After Time (AnnElise)

Kym Hepworth, clock, top hat and flowers 2

Kym Hepworth, detail, clock face with flowers 1

Kym Hepworth, detail, clock face with flowers 2

(In case you're wondering, this beautiful floor clock was made by the talented Robert Miller. Flowers and top hat are not included.)