Images of the work can be found on the gallery’s website:
De Monseignat’s work is a must see for me. She overtly references the Uncanny and her practice actively employs textiles, along with other materials, to do this.
This exhibition comprised of an installation, black and white drawings, textile/mixed media collages and a stitched textile. A catalogue is promised with three essays.
The installation comprises of a metal frame, reminiscent of a wendy house, but that has been blown or knocked over onto one of its gable ends. The far left portion of the half-height curtain that surrounds the frame had been turned back to invite the viewer into the installation. This is quite a different feel from the image which repels rather than invites. The ‘curtaining’ is made from the awnings of her childhood home in Monaco – hence the red and white stripe – and shows obvious signs of weathering and use. Once inside, the installation is quite cramped, the viewer is greeted by a slatted, metal framework. White, fabric covered ‘bricks’ are inserted at intervals completely blocking the view of the central focal point of the installation. Where it is visible, the horizontal slats, echoing the vertical slats of the fabric surround, disrupt the view – like looking through a venetian blind. It reminded me of looking out of the view out of the shutters in the South of France. Moving round this three sided metal frame 180 degrees to face the opening through which the installation was entered, a bed-like construction is contained by the three sides of the metal work. In this bed, under a blue and white stripped sheet littered with hand hemmed, circular apertures, are a number of various sized ‘creeptures’, de Monseignat’s signature glass spheres of captured fur. I have been unsure about these ‘creeptures’ before, feeling their overt reference to Freud is too obvious, but in this context of the bed and partially obscured, they are unsettling, pustule-like, hinting at disturbed sleep and the story of the princess and the pea. The unseen spheres visible as undulations under the fabric and with no evidence that they even exist, are equally disturbing.
De Monseignat’s use of drawing is interesting and clearly demonstrate her thinking process. Interestingly the stripes on the fabric studies are only evident on the photograph. The collages too, studies in combining materials that form her vocabulary for this exhibition, surprise by occasionally flashing the viewer with an image of him/herself – this is not just her home, but catalyst to think of our own.
De Monseignat’s stitched mind map – reminiscent of Jessica Rankin’s stitched maps clearly demonstrates the investment of thinking time and the idea of the stitch existing simultaneously on both side of the cloth, bursting on to the right side from its hiding place on the wrong side – emphasised by de Monseignat’s use of muslin.
There was much to think about in this exhibition. Close to my own research but, I don’t think, too close.