A R C H E O L O G I C A L   D I G     1978     250cm x 210cm

 The Fabric of Life -
Stuffed Pictures  by  Polly Hope

 June 7th - 28th   2011, Indar Pasricha Fine Arts, 22 Conaught Street, London W2 2AF

Peter Nahum writes about Polly Hope

Art consists of a variety of enriching elements, each individually important in their own right. There is design, which is essentially consists of two: of the overall composition of the piece and also of colour balance and selection. There is the personal input of the artist; of their own journey through life. There is passion, which when used with a modicum of discipline makes the work more accessible to the onlooker. Passion has two extremes: angst which is the easiest to include and generally receives the highest critical praise, and happiness, so hard to incorporate without the use of shallow clichés. Then there is the curiosity of the artist for the common-or-garden quirks of life which are so easily taken for granted. Finally, and one of the most important, is the whole fascination of the artist with the physical properties and application of the materials they are using, a fundamental which seems to be lost to many of the younger generation of designer artists.

Any work of art may consist of one or more of these elements. The enriching qualities of Polly Hope’s works are that they contain all of these by the bucket load. First and foremost her pieces communicate with the viewer with a tender sense of humour. Secondly her joy of using the materials is paramount. Thirdly, she does not shy away from personal intimacies, rather lovingly describing them, beckoning the viewer into situations hidden from tourists, who from the window of their bus observe the streets of a foreign city; whereas Polly, with intimate local knowledge, takes the viewer by the hand into private places and introduces them to family life. If art is about communication then Polly Hope guides you right into the heart of that place. If it is the quirky that makes the ordinary real, then it is Polly’s observation and love of the locality that says to you “come over here and look at this”. And if sometimes Polly’s “reality” does challenge and by doing so may lightly offend, then so does life.

So what more do we learn about Polly Hope from her creations. Her love of animals and birds, but never in a sloppy sense. Her fascination with human life, the richness of other nations and their mythologies, mixing the familiar and the foreign. Her sense of the joy of being and the reality of living. Her wish to communicate and to stimulate. Her curiosity. Her ability just to do it.

What is the point of buying and collecting art works? That they give pleasure and are more than merely decorative; that they stimulate and in unexpected moments bring a smile or trigger a daydream. That they create a desire to explore further? Polly Hope does not disappoint.

© Polly Hope 2011