On Christina Read

Home Magazine, 2 October 2017


Here’s a plan: if a Hollywood movie was made of her life she’d be played by the actress Kirsten Wiig because the artist Christina Read is funny and goofy and charming. And also because she makes self-reflexive art painfully aware of its own verbal tics. E.g. Read’s last exhibition produced for the end of her 2016 Olivia Spencer Bower residency was titled Here’s A Plan (things to do) but was based on plans for exhibitions that she hasn’t made yet, inspired by chapter titles from a nonfiction book that she hasn’t written yet either.

Confused? So is Christina. Pop psychology intrigues her. She consumes self-help books and sews evasive to-do lists on fabric wall hangings, her handcrafted sentences often crossed out e.g. how to stop being me (and become someone better). Whether her medium is painting, sculpture, quilting or works on paper, Read always leaves room for her reader. Meditation Quilt (2017) is an ebullient blue fabric decorated with a broken circular motif. “I was keen to do a work which was very optical and spinney, something that sucked you in.” Her quilt zeros in on doubt. We live in trying times and Christina Read’s art is trying.