Rule of Three
by Nicholas Hlobo
A tea stain reaches across a piece of clean, white paper, leaving two circles untouched at the centre. The work’s title alludes to a riverside ritual carried out by skinny-dipping boys, who respectfully throw rocks into the water before entering. The rings may be the stones slipping in, displacing the surface and rippling outwards. Or this may be an aquatic creature, with spaces for eyes. The light brown extremities of the slithering spill become tentacles, decorated with colourful ribbon. Its swim has been unsettled by the splash, its crimson trim the blood lost after impact, its empty sockets staring out at us with a startled gaze.
Words by John Wadsworth
Hate and Power Can be a Terrible Thing
by Tracey Emin
A soft, pastel-pink blanket provides the backdrop to a blistering personal and political attack, spelled out in crudely cut and stitched words. Tracey Emin does not shy away from confrontation; the target of her fierce fury is made explicit in the inclusion of the large St George’s Ensign. The flag, along with the work’s various snippets of text, seems to denounce Margaret Thatcher’s leadership during the Falklands War. The craft of appliqué, traditionally associated with femininity and domesticity, seems an ironic choice of medium for an assault on the ‘Iron Lady’. Far from decorative drapery, Hate and Power is both an act of protest and an exploration of the position of women in politics.
Words by Katherine Fieldgate
developed by Thatgamecompany
We stand alone, a red-robed figure surveying a sun-scorched sandscape. A distant mountain peak defines our goal. As we traipse across oranges and browns, we stumble upon ruins, glimpse glyphs, and catch scraps of tattered cloth. The fabric extends our scarf, enabling us to soar above the dunes; the symbols show the path ahead. Moving by land and air, we may chance upon others, near-identical to us. We may be greeted with a friendly chime, offered a helping hand, or left to our own devices. Once the trek has ended, we may choose to start over again, our circumstances changing along with the embroidered pattern at the base of our garment.
Words by John Wadsworth
More to discover
Journey: Watch the trailer here and a playthrough here. Jamin Warren has interviewed the game's director, Jenova Chen, for Kill Screen, as has Kevin Ohannessian for Co.Create. Jorge Albor has written about Journey for PopMatters.
Hate and Power Can be Terrible Things and Macaleni Iintozomlambo are examples of needlecraft, as is the embroidery of the figure’s robe in Journey.
Read more: Fashion and textiles
A roundup of the artworks featured in the Rule of Three column in 2017, from Archipelago to Ligneous.
A roundup of artworks by African and Asian artists featured in the States of the Arts column in 2017.
‘Knowledge gives you the satisfaction of development.’ We talk to composer and pianist Hauschka.