Georgie Hill: Concave Iridescence, notes 1–11, 2017–2020
In addition to Georgie Hill's exhibition of new paintings Concave Iridescence, she is exhibiting a small group of collage works made from experimental painting fragments within her studio. Curator and writer Abby Cunnane asks Georgie about these works and how they connect with the paintings.
Q: We spoke about these works as references, notes. I started to wonder about how they relate to the many other references you draw on in your practice: fictional narratives, historical figures, architectural forms, spirit writing, weather maps, diagrams. It’s as if your paintings are in orbit with all these things, and that rather than being fixed, these note-forms are in constant movement, reconfiguring from project to project. Does this idea make any sense for you? How do you see the collages sitting within your wider practice?
A: I think within quite a solitary practice like painting, it’s important to have connection points or ongoing ‘conversations’ that resonate with your thinking and feeling. These references are often from the past, but also current, things that I encounter in fiction, songwriting, art, architecture...some resonate with me very strongly...It is, I agree, something like an orbit—a source of energy to draw from, one that is always morphing and accumulating.
Within my studio I have also accumulated hundreds of fragments of my own test painting on paper. I often play with these pieces, juxtaposing them to trigger ideas, sometimes creating small collage works with them. These operate as visual notes that feed into the larger paintings, sometimes over quite a long time, through their presence in the studio. They tend to hover there, sometimes intersecting with or touching on what I am currently making.
The title of this body of work, Concave Iridescence, refers to several ideas. One of these is a piece of writing by Anna Kavan, describing the work of Virginia Woolf, in which she compares it to a hair-thin bubble of spun sugar blown into space from a slender pipe:
“That intricate and insubstantial creation, not to everybody’s taste certainly, but floating with such an entrancing
unearthly shimmer upon the air, seems to bear a resemblance to the work of Virginia Woolf. There is the same fascinating elaboration of detail, threads laced and interwoven so subtly that their mazy ramifications have an air of fortuitousness, the same luminous lustre which never coarsens into transplendence or glitter, the same elusive charmed quality. The prosaic substance of everyday woven into the lovely, fragile mysteriousness of dream”.
Anna Kavan, Machines in the Head: Selected Short Writing (London: Peter Owens Publishers, 2019), 220.