April 6 - 30, 2016
On the way towards becoming one of the world’s most renowned fibre artists, Sheila Hicks abandoned painting after being introduced to Andean weaving. Recognising the potential for textiles as cultural signifiers, she took clippings from stories of war, horror, and tragedy, collecting images of significant textiles from newspapers and compiling them as references. From these, Hicks began making small weavings that she considered her notebook, substituting text for textile.
In To Sheila, John Brooks responds to a recent artist residency in the town of Blönduós, Iceland by himself substituting text for textile. Brooks has recorded, reformed and reinterpreted a series of forms particular to the region: from ice blobs that don’t reveal their making process to rock mounds with ambiguous origins. Mediated through weaving, drawing, photography, sculpture, and video, Brooks allows the materials to alter the outcome of the work. Spanning both the mailboxes and interior architecture of Mailbox Art Space, small objects act as symbolic postcards while paying homage to Sheila Hicks, an artist instrumental in the development of contemporary textile art.