Mahvash Mossaed reviews Bettina Hubby’s Pretty Limber 10.1.13
I say art is like God and artists are all like prophets who come into this world with a mission to spread the word – to spread the word with any language they can master, where the language could differ but the message is always the same.
There are not too many artists who dare to work with fabric or similar materials as such because it is a really difficult element and medium to use when creating art. Working with fabric makes it to be a constant challenge for the artist not to allow her art to lean more towards craft rather than art. However, in her cut and assembled collages, Bettina Hubby has dared to go ahead and take that route, bringing soul, energy, and movement into her work using fabric and other materials.
Bettina Hubby’s art has a certain sense of freedom that is transferred to the viewer. When you enter the gallery and look around the brown and black, white and gray shades of her collages on the wall, it makes you think you are just watching, from a distance, the moving shapes of someone dancing on the moon. The forms on the wall have energy and movement. Hubby’s collages against the white of the walls resemble the notes of music – it is almost like you can hear that the shapes on the walls are playing a tune for you. You know the artist has been the conductor behind the music, and you find the melody is engaging. The collages, the walls, and the space of the gallery are all in equal partnership. They need one another to communicate their message – one cannot exist and make sense without the others. Hubby’s collages need plenty of space to breath; without the space, we could not possibly understand and appreciate the work.
The collages are vacant shells, like the body is still here but the souls have already left. They are like some of us who are here but are broken and incomplete, searching for all the missing pieces of ourselves to be put together. The head, the hands, the arms, blood and veins, mouth and eyes need to come together to create a form in order to allow us to stand solid on a point of balance within ourselves and in relationship with the universe. For now, in Bettina’s collages, the pieces are broken down in the form of cut and paste pieces of different materials, like the different pieces of someone’s life and memories all put together, waiting for us to understand them. Maybe by that understanding, we could blow soul into these artful empty shapes on the wall.
I enjoyed the exhibition. Go see it – I think you would like it too.