New Paltz-based artist Kate Hamilton sews enormous versions of familiar garments – camisoles, overalls, tee-shirts – using translucent sailcloth to fabricate them. The huge clothing is then suspended from the ceilings of galleries using rigging, which makes the items appear to be caught in motion moving gently in a breeze. For the viewer, confronting these familiar shapes rendered so large – looming overhead like the balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – ignites unexpected feelings of childlike wonder. People have often told her, Hamilton says, that the garments evoke memories of childhood, associations from when they were small and adults were tall. That sensation is heightened with the garments that one can enter into, suggesting the experience of being in a fort or hidden away in a “secret space.” Clothing becomes metaphor for human experience in Hamilton’s vision.
Hamilton’s pieces are featured in a new exhibition at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, alongside works by artists Allyson Levy, Laura Von Rosk, Louise Laplante, Andrea Moreau, Elizabeth Coyne and Eileen Murphy. There will be an opening reception for this show on Saturday, December 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.
For this exhibition, Hamilton has made a giant Pussy Bow Shirt and a Baby Bonnet. The bonnet needs little explanation, perhaps; but that shirt is a replica of those floppy-bow-tied blouses that women donned under a suit in the late ’70s and early ’80s upon entering the male-dominated business world. The idea was to look as professional as a man in his suit and tie, but to retain one’s femininity. In this exhibit, Hamilton examines clothing’s role in the perception of femininity, creating associations and asking questions perhaps more poignant than ever in the aftermath of the recent presidential election.
Hamilton will also be showing some of her life-size shoe constructions crafted from paper and mounted on the wall as if they’re walking or climbing. Made in an assortment of styles, each shoe is suggestive of a specific woman’s choice that shows who she is as she walks in the world.
Also in this exhibit
Andrea Moreau’s drawings begin with imagery found on postage stamps, used as points of departure to create a world expanding the boundaries of what was originally depicted. Sometimes the chosen stamps originate from countries engaged in conflict, which inspires Moreau to use information gleaned from unsettling news accounts to create her imagery.
Mixed-media artist Louise Laplante will exhibit new drawings on collaged pages of vintage paper. In blending the Old World with the New, Laplante combines her original images with ephemera of the past, encouraging conversation about its relevance to the present. She utilizes vintage book pages, personal handwritten letters, sheet music or instruction from old guides on etiquette or science in her constructions.
Elizabeth Coyne will exhibit recent abstract paintings that the artist describes as “a synthesis of the mind.” The large-scale canvases use gestural brushstrokes and dark hues of oil paint to create imagery of abstracted symbols, blending the artist’s perception of the surrounding world with a personal visual language.
Stone Ridge-based artist Allyson Levy finds inspiration in her own four-acre garden. A fascination with Earth’s bounty is expressed in her encaustic works. Organic materials – leaves, seeds, branches, insect wings and flowers – are decoratively arranged in a layer of beeswax, encaustic and pigment. Levy says that her intention is to capture and reflect on a specific moment in the material’s lifespan. “From sprout to decay, the viewer is visually confronted with the profoundly beautiful, devastating and inevitable [life] cycle.”
Laura Von Rosk will exhibit new paintings that blend subconscious memory of natural forms and real-world influences into “constructed” landscapes. Visions of observed landscapes are filtered through the artist’s mind, where the natural forms are repeated, emphasized and manipulated into wondrous environments filled with lush green valleys, winding turquoise rivers or dreamlike tree formations painted on 12-inch wood panels.
Eileen Murphy’s oil paintings are built like stage sets, charged with the energy of something about to happen. Shadowed fields, glistening water and wooded paths are completed in passages of fluid brushwork and precise detail. Patches of expansive sky and grassy fields are separated by contrasting horizons where Murphy displays her skill in hyperrealistic brushwork.
“Winter Exhibit” opening reception, Saturday, December 10, 5-7 p.m., free, through January 22, daily 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 12 noon-5 p.m., Carrie Haddad Gallery, 622 Warren Street, Hudson; (518) 828-1915, https://carriehaddadgallery.com.