Pippa Hetherington

Interlaced Portraits

Archival piment ink on Hahnemühle cotton rag

Dimensions variable

Courtesy Spier Collection

The Interlaced Portrait series play with the perception of the photograph as evidence of truth and agency and she sees the process “as a way of connecting to others’ pain and psychic conflict, a way of listening to the ways people from different backgrounds experience the weight of personal and social history.” 

By distorting, fragmenting and then reassembling the portraits in a weaving technique, Hetherington looks at how memory is constructed, and how cutting into an image can feel violent but the act of repairing, weaving, and stitching can be restorative. Having worked alongside, and in collaboration, with artists from Keiskamma, she appreciates and has learnt the acts of sewing and suturing as healing forces, at the same time leaving scars visible as a gesture of an ongoing conversation.