Ghost Orchard is a sequence of 4 monumental papercuts inspired by recent work by poet, Deryn Rees-Jones. Charlotte Hodes and Rees-Jones have been collaborating on image and word projects for over five years and their joint exhibition The Errant Muse at the Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool brings together their new work.Ghost Orchard continues Hodes preoccupation with presenting a vision of a world in which chaos and order vie with one another. The women that populate this world are both decorative elements as well as protagonists finding their space in amongst elements drawn from the natural world. The starting point for Ghost Orchard was Hodes’ pencil drawings of the tiny natural forms made with a magnifying glass by Robert Hooke, represented in his 1667 publication, Micrographia.
Her technique of collage involves an elaborate process of using her own drawings and hand-painted and printed papers rather than being dependent on found material. Through re-drawing, scaling and the juxtaposition of the elements, she intuitively ‘grows’ the papercut through using the scalpel tool, exploring both the fragility and strength of the paper itself. The play of imagery from micro to macro is mirrored in her papercut technique from which her small fragments make up the monumental whole of the final work. The scale and complexity of this work challenges the preconceptions of papercut as being an intimate small scale activity.
Ghost Orchard 1-4, @ 107 x 184cm, (total 428 x 184cm) hand-cut digital, woodcut & painted papers,2019.
Image captions in order: Ghost Orchard 1-4, Ghost Orchard 1, Ghost Orchard 2, Ghost Orchard 3, Ghost Orchard 4, followed by 2 details from each section.