Artist Explores the Physicality of Rope

Drawing of hawser line
“Tumult” by Huguette Despault May, from “The Hawser Series,” charcoal on paper, 50 by 38 inches, 2010.

Some people see a gigantic chunk of rope when they see a hawser line, which is a rope used in mooring or towing a ship. But when visual artist Huguette Despault May came upon one, she saw metaphors for the human condition. “At the end of one’s tether” is a suitable subheading for the image “Tumult” from May’s Hawser Series. In writing about the drawings, she says she encountered “abundant physicality: muscle, hairy-ness and sinew” in the hawser line she found. Her chosen medium—vine charcoal—perfectly complements that physicality. Drawings and photographs from May’s Hawser Series will be shown at Vanderbilt’s Sarratt Gallery April 5–May 15, 2013.