Handkerchief Art is Useful Too


Images from Flash Company

In praise of the humble handkerchief, once ubiquitous and now ignored. It has had a long history--from high fashion to a way of flirting, from plain white to embroidered. And always more environmentally friendly than paper tissues.

Flash Company, the name of a handkerchief exhibition, takes the simple white handkerchief as its starting point. Artists across the world were sent a single hankie as a palette to create and the resulting work is on show.

Kathryn Johnson is an artist living and working in Newcastle, she makes realistic copies of undervalued or disregarded things.

Though the handkerchief may have lost its currency as an essential everyday accessory, it's time to bring it back. These artists are promoting its use with a vengeance. Using paint, embroidery, drawing and collage, the handkerchiefs depict a world in a white square. The tree image is painted on a fresh white handkerchief by Hannah Maybank.

Peter Locke is an Illustrator whose work is the result of a quick response to a subject. The first idea is usually the best. This one is called "The greatness of a man's power."

Sarah Foqué is a Belgian artist/landscape architect based in the UK. Her practice focuses on the mapping and exploration of space and its boundaries.

Keara Stewart often makes drawings from collected images and bits and pieces. She works with scavenged objects; her work explores memory, unknown narratives and forgotten places.

Michael Davies uses a recurring motif of flying ducks; here altered to suggest bullet wounds, shell bursts or flowers. The white handkerchief is a symbol of both love and surrender. Flash Company
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Tags: Artists | Crafts | Exhibits