by Kym Hepworth
Our September/October 2009 issue includes a look at the creative process of
Kym Hepworth. A mixed-media
and beadwork artist based in Savannah, Georgia, her beaded assemblages are inspired
by mourning art, Dark Romanticism, and Gothic literature. She incorporates historical
photos and found objects in her work to explore themes of love, loss, and grief.
Here we share additional work by the artist and her inspiration for each piece.
In mourning art, the image of a lamb is often seen on children’s gravestones
and symbolizes Christ, innocence and purity.
Keepsake (baby doll) (with detail), 2009, doll dress, beads,
rhinestones, thread, found objects, quilt; 8⅛" x 8⅜" x 3⅞".
The idea for this series is to playfully combine the themes
of the loss of childhood, either through mortality or maturity, with children’s
you go first, 2009; beads, thread, ribbon, photo transfer,
canvas, fabric, pins; three panels, each panel: 16" x 17" x ½"
This work was inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem, Because I could
not stop for Death.
Little Journeys, 2008; beads, thread, fabric, pocket watch,
bifocal lens, tintype, wreath, paint, graphite, hat pins, quilt, fabric dye, found
objects; 13⅛" x 10½" x 3¾".
The empty chair and dog (left) are symbols commonly found in cemetery
iconography. The scissors, measuring tape and ball of thread (right) symbolize
the Moirae, or The Fates, in Greek mythology.
Waiting, 2008; beads, thread, photo transfer, fabric, opals,
paint, wooden shelf, found objects, powder, oval frame: 9¾" x 11¾"
x 1¼"; shelf: 3½" x 24" x 5".
This work was inspired by Emily Dickinson's poem, I Died for Beauty,
but was Scarce, and the proverb, Children should be seen and not heard.
Hush Now, 2008; doily, fabric dye, beads, thread, pocket
watch, inkjet on paper, paint, graphite, and fabric; 13⅜" x 13⅜"
All photos: Robin Miller.