Margarita Rubra

Sadly Margarita passed away on the 27 September 2013 after a long illness. She will be missed.

This website remains for the moment to show the World some small part of what she did, and to say goodbye to a friend.

Subverting the buttonhole

Studio Practice

I intend to make a new work for submission to the Tantalus 10th anniversary Exhibition to be held at the Rugby Art gallery in November 2010. I started in plenty of time to get my thoughts together so as not to be in a rush to finish, but as always, things take longer than you expect them to.

I'd been working with flower shapes and I thought to make an altered version of the buttonhole, but to work bigger, to use a hard material, so far removed from the dainty flower pinned to the lapel or dress on formal occasions. Could there also be a hint of menace?

These were my starting points. I'd looked at Surrealist art and Pop art plus the contemporary work of Zetti Neuhaus from Brazil, and the wonderful Floral Generica of Eduardo Catalan.

Small beginnings

I like the spikes!

Working Methods

I produced a drawing of the initial concept from which templates were created to scale up the leaves and petals.

Aluminium sheet and rod, and copper, are familiar materials that are easy to work, and quite different from the softness of the real thing.

I use a range of tools for cutting, shaping and texturing, a selection of which can be seen opposite.

The aim was to join the pieces on a curved stem using bolts, unfortunately the spiky effect had to go. The petals were also joined with small bolts, a processes that was both time consuming and fiddly.

The central flower from the original prototypes made it onto the large piece. As in the prototype this was made from contrasting copper.

Finishing off

The piece needed polishing to give the metal a sheen. The idea of added spikes proved too many ideas on one piece, the spikiness was transferred to the tips of the leaves. I've also decided to remove the copper centre.

So this is the resulting piece. Yes the copper is there, but will be removed later! That part of the work is ongoing… see what I mean by needing extra time to make new decisions.

Exhibited in Rugby

This is the finished piece at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum (RAGM), and I told you it would change. I replaced the copper flower with the tendrils in the same material. I think it makes it a little more menacing.

And that was wasn't the end of it, see what you think of Buttonhole's latest incarnation.

© Margarita Rubra 2009—2018: All rights reserved.
Technical help and advice P.D.Carter. Website photography provided by Clare Topping.