June Hope

is a Northern Tasmanian fibre artist who uses felt and collage to create sophisticated 2D and 3D forms.

Fibre, textile or fabric art is something of a newcomer in the world of fine art. Often made by female practitioners, it has a history of being overlooked by the world of fine art. Outside the conventions of painting and sculpture works made of textiles seem allied to costume and homewares.

Despite the hurdles, outstanding textile artists emerge into contemporary art. They are people with awesome fabrication skills and subtle understandings of textural aesthetics in two and three dimensions. Using textiles, fibres and paper, these artists express meaning in a way that differs from conventional mediums. Works made in this fashion carry the imprint of, an often unacknowledged, history, bringing textile art into the mainstream.

June Hope is an example of an emerging power in textile art.  June uses Merino fleece often combined with silk, fibres or paper then hand-felted in a traditional and ancient method using only water and physical energy. For her 2D works, the felt forms a base layer which is then worked and collaged with specialised papers and perhaps some hand-stitched embellishments. June’s 3D work is made in its entirety in the felting process.

June Hope’s latest works express the body as a vessel, influenced by her ceramics background.  In Tribe 2 and Tribe 2 we see a subtle and delightful troupe of naively rendered pots, patterned with inks, dyes and paints and embellished with hand stitching; members of the same tribe but different. Some works are textured with the written word. In Juliet’s Chalice the artist remembers a trip to Verona where Shakespeare’s fictitious Juliet fatally solved an impossible dilemma. Another Time, Another Place is a memory of Melbourne with its tall buildings; containers for the multitude, no longer the artists home.

Each artwork by June Hope invites close examination, the surfaces are fascinating and the colours pure and deep. It is a pleasure to host her work at Nolan Gallery.