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Hortus Conclucus, 2019-2020, 162cm x 320cm, various dyes on rag (Citrata Basil, lavender, bay leaves, rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, mint, parsley)



Messua Poulin-Wolff



The work is made from reused materials, and then dyed with plants that would have likely been cultivated in an Hortus conclusus. The aromatic plants used for colour are homegrown. The meditative nature of needlework reactivates lost domestic tempo echoing the slowness of monastic life, and is deployed as tension in our contemporary context. Here, the enclosed garden is revisited in the contemporary urban context as a space of “wildness”.  Through its colour and materials, the work superimposes a speculative past in a present space.

∑ (Summation),2016, various hand made dyes on canvas (avocados, logwood, green alkanet) and hand made Indian ink







229 (part of ∑ Summation), composite of thousands of handmade ink markings made over 229 hours


Poulin-Wolff’s paintings think about temporality and materiality. Her works result from their processes, an improvisation between body, materials and milieu over time formatted through the making of marks: colour, traces and imprints. She emphasises the process, working with laborious and repetitive techniques in collaboration with materials. All her colour are from home-grown, wasted or found ingredients (plants, roots, fruits and weeds). She is currently undertaking a PhD in painting at the RCA in which she explores the format temporal value through the marking of time to extract a slow methodology as a model to resist late-capitalist temporalities.



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