Sharon Margaret graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Auckland University of technology in 2007- her final works encompassed photography and needlework they included large scale, tenebrous self-portraits that featured knitted nuances. Hitherto Sharon’s work has focussed on knitted pieces “Collection” conveys the artists exploration of a new medium – embroidery.
To quote Rozika Parker:
– The art of embroidery has been the means of educating women into the feminine ideal, and of proving that they have attained it, but it has provided a weapon of resistance against the constraints of femininity”
Within the fruits of this exhibition Sharon Margaret has wielded this weapon with a subtle poignancy that silently sweeps this ancient art form into the contemporary realm. These unobtrusive pieces shake from their shoulders the feminist connotations so often associated with the artists’ oeuvre and offer a glimpse of personal truth into the artists’ being.
An intimation of the unseen, unspoken portions of time shared between the artist and her subjects has been woven and strung through finite holes, with the exertion of an intimate, painstaking skill – one which has here been articulated with heart-wrenching delicacy.Strands of hair have been employed depicting anxiety, sunshine and change through tonal gradients that suggest the ephemeral nature of our time spent together.
These softly spoken, tactile-rich works ask us to re-consider the imprints and shadows that our presence leaves behind on those that we come across in this life, they insinuate warm breath on the back of a neck, an uncanny perfume, a look of disarming acknowledgment and urge us to not forget those seemingly insignificant moments that more often than not facilitate the formation of our selves.
Sharon has deployed a disregarded and infinite remnant of quotidian life in order to demystify the carefully kept gifted and found objects before us. From this action has burgeoned pieces that function as an autobiographical insight into who the artist has become. The works beckon to us gently persuading us to question the importance of those standing beside us, those far away and those no longer here. Within this collection a forgotten, single strand of hair has been transformed into the distillation of a memory. It is a triumph.
Parker, R. The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the making of the feminine. I.B Tauris:New York, 2010, ix.
Clara E. McKay