Idle time, passing time—
Ishikawa Toraji Leisure Time 1934 Woodblock print 37.5 x 49 cm Donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program by Lesley Kehoe. Hamilton Gallery Collection
Brian Dunlop’s lithograph captures a familiar sight, a curtain billowing in the breeze through an open window. The closely cropped framing of the work focuses our attention on the draped lines of the curtain. While Dunlop’s lithograph suggests the movement of fabric, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s work translates the drapery of fabric into a solid piece of carved wood.
The resulting work appears to take on the appearance of a shrouded or covered canvas, immovable and stoic, and we can only imagine what is contained behind the curtain. In many regards, Abdullah’s work is an apt metaphor for 2020, as the world as we knew it entered into a period of shutdown – where time felt frozen – and we did not know what would come next.
The experience of passing idle time connects these two works by Japanese artist Ishikawa Toraji and Sydney-based artist Maggie Hensel-Brown. Ishikawa’s woodblock print captures a woman enjoying reading material, sitting on a red rug next to a reclining cat. Hensel-Brown’s intricate lacework on the other hand shows a number of the artist’s articles of clothing detailed through the intricate art of lace-making. For Hensel-Brown, lace-making is a laborious and time- consuming process that instils ordinary and mundane moments with a sense of purpose and wonder. It reminds us to appreciate the beauty in the everyday, and take a closer look at the things which surround us on a daily basis.