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)