Louise Hubbard

Brick hedging edging

The title of Louise Hubbard's installation at West Space refers to building processes and materials which the artist uses and brings undone. Hedging Edging is a building technique used in brick laying which produces stability, order and coherence in a structure. Hubbard's work explores ways of imposing order on space in the everyday, the emotional and in art. The instability of Hubbard's work rigorously addresses space and the site it occupies. Accompanying Hubbard's installation in the galley space is a textual glossolalia:

 

Wedgingsledgingglugingbridlinggroomingclip-

pingclubbing

dressage

assuage

collapsing

figure and ground and the basic system of train-

ing.

 

This text alludes to emotional memories of the care of horses, anxiety provoked by the instability of boundaries and to systems of training. The text contains uncertain connections between self and other, subject and object. It indicates the relationship between figure and ground in spatial arts such as sculpture and architecture and the training imposed to produce forms which are clearly delineated from their formless surroundings.

 

Hubbard's work is a visual glossolalia gleaned from found objects, refuse and detritus. She does not buy her materials. Nor does  she make them more permanent by subjecting them to nailing or gluing. These materials interact to produce a floor drawing, a kind of map created from feeling and memories. The work is assembled from the spaces of domesticity, suburbia and childhood; sites which are also upsetting and disquieting. The tranquil and comfortable spaces that we work to produce also provoke discomfort. The radical ambiguity of Hubbard's assemblage is concerned with the fascination, trauma and even physical threat of the uncanny (unheimlich}. One encounters a Kantell stack: late modernist functional plastic chairs which the artist uses for their association with a dripping formless egg yolk. Uncanny forms are stared out by the subject for what repels and attracts. It is a process of becoming other for both subject and object. The ideology of modern functionalist design-anti-decorative, rational, and ordered- is brought undone. Carefully arranged on the gallery floor is a fat drawing of a horse in white plastic chain. A lunch box sits precariously on the edge of a table-tennis table which leans against the gallery wall. The lunch box contains a number of plastic children's horses which are about to spew or stampede from it. This minute detail is also epic. The open lunchbox has strong associations with eating, digesting and abject disgust. The artist's attention to detail produces powerful associations between the work and bodily openings which have a phantasmic power to conceal and confront. They are openings to the outside world and to other. They are the spaces through which the world enters the subject, or through which the subject goes out to meet the world and the other. Green plastic tape used in home construction sits precariously on a slightly soiled rug on the gallery floor. A polystyrene object resembles a large piece of rich quartz. The apparent disorder contains its own logic and a ridiculous sense of order. This is the scene of the other inhabited by both subjects and objects, a strange, intuitive and slightly paranoid situation where boundaries and borders are undone in the condition of the sublime. Hubbard's is an exploration of the profound power the psychic wields on the physical. It is a means of finding a profound reality.