Visiting Paris-based artist Sheila Hicks’s first solo show in the UK, “Pêcher dans la Rivière” (Fishing in the River), was like entering a seductive subterranean realm. In the titular installation, 1989–2013, some thirteen feet of creamy linen threads are wrapped together to resemble rippling waves. As one walked around the rectangular piece, its surface appeared to heave; shadows appeared and disappeared, as if cast by moving threads of sunlight on a sandy riverbed. When the fabric filaments caught the light filtering through the windows, they shimmered like schools of silver-scaled fish dancing through sparkling water. Contributing to the underwater ambiance were five antique foines (eel-fishing forks) entwined within the flowing linen. If references to watery worlds ran through Hicks’s display, so did allusions to the sands (and strands) of time.
Hicks’s riverine exhibition of
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