Two hundred and forty nine

Sea Fan

2010 by Fiona Hepburn
Cynthia Corbett Gallery; www.fionahepburn.com

Fiona Hepburn’s work is a pleasingly intricate exploration into natural form and its inclination to be articulated through the simplicity of line and space. Working with paper three-dimensionally and print making otherwise, Hepburn visualises the intricacies of form with beautiful and curious detail – from the repetitions of circular spores to the intertwined veins of leaves. Her paper leaf skeletons are larger than life and though they sizably command attention, they are subtle whispers of form; in their ghost like simplicity of colour and material they are gentle and mystical – spider webs of nature’s shells. It is no wonder then that these designs work so well in print, where line and space can be transposed to different settings, just as three-dimensional objects can. Sea Fan grows upwards and outwards in painstaking detail, injected with life it seems with its ever-evolving and inquisitive stems. Each opens into tiny pockets of space, building an object so perfect it reflects the very being of nature’s considered design. There is something comforting about this determination to echo and, though Hepburn’s work is distinctly stylised, there is nostalgia here in the traditional drawing of natural form in Victorian sketchbooks of discovery. Hepburn, however, secures her affiliations with modern graphic design by projecting this image on paper lightly covered with graph-like squares, providing a gentle background that mirrors detail yet does not distract from the overwhelming calmness that prevails these naturalistic compositions.

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