Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beci Orpin

images: Emma Byrnes

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had dropped in to Harvest Textiles to worship at the feet of Beci Orpin, which I did literally. I sat on the floor with one eye on Hazel while Beci used her deft fingers to cut and shift small pieces of paper around the central table. I'm not sure what she was making. It may have been one of her delightful and delicate mobiles. Behind her, taped to the wall, were bibs and bobs: trading cards, fabric, coloured paper, objects d' art. Designers often refer to the assortment of displayed material as 'mood' or 'inspiration' boards. Neither of these words strike the right note for me. A bit breathless? Orpin's arrangement of flotsum and jetsom framed her like talisman's. The oft repeated symbols – a hand, a heart, an unhappy tooth, a fox and bear, amongst others – draw on elemental iconography. With a clear passion for folk and geometric shapes, Orpin's work is steeped in indigenous traditions. But her palette, hardcore neons and gelati-like pastels, shoot her straight into the present century. This is unmistakably the work of a city living and loving gal.

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