A Bird in the Grass is Worth a Thousand Hearts

Ida Lawrence and Caitlin Hespe

A bird in the grass is worth a thousand hearts sees Retramp re-vamped into a laboratory of play and possibility in a reunion of sorts. Caitlin Hespe and Ida Lawrence are two artists who have been working physically apart (most recently in Budapest and Berlin, respectively), though also in close contact. Through telepathic communication (or just regular phone contact, we cannot be sure) motifs merge and collide, and thematic encounters occur. In her drawings and paintings, Caitlin Hespe pairs images in surprising combinations through a new logic and sensibility. She makes leaps and links between associations and language, and plays with the page as a space of illusions. Ida Lawrence’s canvases tell stories of mishaps, (mis)understanding and (dis)connection. Set between Germany, Indonesia and Australia — her homes at different times — her narrative paintings reflect recent observations, delve into distant memories, and chart her attempts to make sense of the world.

The title is a conflation of (at least) four English language proverbs, each representing a sentiment or lesson for a specific moment. One values that which is close in the present, another that absence can grow desire, one says things in the distance are seen with a skewed perspective, another that images and words can not really equate. Holding each of these ‘wisdoms’ could be confusing, maybe nonsensical, or perhaps the confused proverb is a wisdom in itself? We cannot be sure. 

In the same way, this exhibition is connecting threads of the artists’ thoughts, anecdotes, messages and mark-making sensibility into a new conversation within the gallery space.

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