Michele Howarth Rashman: He Calls Himself Margaret




“There’s one in the village, he calls himself Margaret’ was something I once overheard being said between two old women in my local post office and it had been rattling around my head ever since. It got me thinking about what we call ourselves and how we see ourselves…and how other people perceive us.”

Michele Howarth Rashman

 

He Calls Himself Margaret, Michele Howarth Rashman’s eye-opening exhibition of sculptures and psychiatric knitwear, runs 17th November – 14th December 2011 at the Outside World Gallery. In the artist’s first solo show, six larger than life-sized sculptures feature alongside several framed up and much-loved jumpers, adorned with their darkly humorous slogans. Each hand worked, micro stitched mixed media sculpture is built up layer upon layer, using a unique and compelling process Rashman has developed and refined over many years. Each piece, a one-off, takes months to complete, is impossible to duplicate or entrust to assistants, so inevitably has a rarity refreshingly at odds with much current artistic practice. This painstakingly meticulous process is a defiantly unmanly method of working in a persistently macho art world. It raises questions of art and craft, masculine and feminine, the beautiful and the grotesque. Spending such long periods of time engrossed in this detailed work, it is inevitable that a profound rapport and connection is made with the subject that is individual to each piece. As a consequence, despite the sometimes comical aspects of the completed sculpture, it is always the artist’s intent that her approach is not perceived as mocking, but empathetic and humane.

 

“Each piece has an internal life, a back story if you like, that taps into a world of people, usually women, who somehow miss the mark. Bad hair, bad wigs and bad posture. Saggy breasted and sad eyed… these are the romantically deceived and disappointed, the washed up and invisible. And yet somewhere in their making an effort, in those acts of self improvement – the wig, the padded bra, the surgical enhancement, the flower in the hair – there is a poignancy and nobility that I hope touches the viewer.”

Michele Howarth Rashman

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Duration 17 November 2011 - 14 December 2011
Times Thursday/ Sunday: 12pm – 6pm. Monday/ Wednesday: By appointment
Cost Free
Venue The Outside World Gallery
Address 44 Redchurch St, London E2 7DP, ,
Contact 07814 430 852 / c.a.halpin@theoutsideworld.co.uk / www.theoutsideworld.co.uk

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