The words ‘cultivate your own garden’ and ‘wildflowers’ take on new meaning in the art of Georgie Hopton (b. 1967). The British artist treats her garden as a palette, growing abundant produce on the Upstate New York farm she shares with her husband, the painter Gary Hume, and using the food and fruits she has harvested to create extraordinary monoprints. In addition, she prints these fruits and vegetables onto a wide variety of surfaces, including hand-blocked wallpaper and fabric designs and bespoke rugs – all of which will be on display at Lyndsey Ingram, alongside her monoprints and collages, as the artist creates her own visual universe in the gallery’s intimate space.
Hopton disrupts the traditional notion of the still-life, selecting flowers, fruit and vegetables from her garden, then cutting them up and reincarnating them into new forms in her art. Meanwhile in her London studio, she creates large-scale collages, transforming domestic materials such as fabric, paper and yarn, into wild and weeping images of flowers that seem to take on a life of their own. Hopton’s work – whether made from her garden harvest or in her urban studio – reinvents traditionally domestic, female materials into a singular vision that is both abstract and figurative, decorative and expressive, familiar and fantastical.
For Hopton, cultivating her garden is not only an inspiration but also the essential ingredient of her creative life:
‘Each summer I gather my excess crop, haul it into the studio and cut it up. Dried flower stems crammed into vases, gathered the season previous, the Leather Leaf Viburnum outside the door, thicker and brighter, despite my annual plucking, and the harvest heap, all await my usual pilfering and tinkering. My work is a result of these encircling riches and the now habitual printing that feels like a natural response to all this excess.’
Because Hopton has chosen to live her life across two continents, her work has become seasonal; hunkering down through the wet London winter and into mid-spring, she makes large-scale collages from printed and painted papers, wool, fabric and string. Early spring sees her annual migration to Upstate New York in time to sow seeds and again summer through autumn, where she harvests the crops to nourish and sustain both her kitchen and studio.
Hopton’s love of printing and collage reflects her hybrid approach to looking at art and the world. A self-proclaimed glutton, Hopton uses edible materials that have the potential to feed both the artist and her work. She attributes this magpie-like habit of gathering up anything that catches her beady eye to her childhood when her mother knitted to make ends meet and the house was full of bits of fabric, wool and unraveled sweaters that would be recycled into rainbow striped jumpers.
Georgie Hopton in conversation with Louisa Buck.
Wednesday 13 March, 6.30pm
Georgie Hopton: Within a Budding Grove at Lyndsey Ingram, London
Feb 27 – April 5, 2019.
Writing via press release and photographs courtesy of Georgie Hopton and Lyndsey Ingram, London.