Judith Kentish
parchment #7 2006
natural dyes and bleach on cotton voile
110 x 260 cm
Courtesy of the artist

25 August – 23 September 2007

Judith Kentish first came to public attention when she won the Moët & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship in 1996. Referring to her works as a ‘trigger for introspection’, Kentish speaks of their impenetrable surface as ‘one of covering, blanketing, veiling… a winding cloth for the living… with the mark, stitch, line, all gestures of insistence dispersed across the plane… marking out its expanse as proof of time and being.’

In making the works of mappa II, Kentish dyed cotton voile using materials from nearby bushland: eucalyptus and silky oak leaves and silver wattle flowers. Later, Kentish touched the dyed surface with dots of bleach, the path of dots cast out to arm’s length. The artist speaks of parchment I – VII in terms of ‘cloth drawings’, drawings that both absorb and erase pigment. If the dyed fabric suggests a psychological or metaphysical void – ‘a terrain far beyond the body’ – the grid of dots becomes something to hold on to – that ‘proof of time and being’.