Southey, Saskatchewan, Canada born 1943
Annandale, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: textiles, tapestries, kangaroo skin, cotton, wool loom-woven tapestry, wool, kangaroo skin, cotton
Beth Hatton develops narratives on the exploitation of the Australian environment and the implications of invasive agricultural policies on native fauna. In Imprint #2 she uses a grotesquely enlarged image of a fingerprint as a leitmotif and metaphor for the personal responsibility of those involved in wildlife management. Evoking the marsupial-skin rug, a fashion of the colonial period that brought some native species close to extinction, Hatton’s work also uses skin. The strips of fur in Hatton’s work, however, are off-cut waste sourced from the industries that produce kangaroo-skin products. Her technique is based on the thrifty traditional practice of rag weaving, where available materials are recycled. Hatton’s skin rugs offer warmth and revulsion in equal measures, pointing to the contradictions in contemporary attitudes to wildlife conservation.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra