Landscapes, narratives and objects have been consistent themes in Dupree’s work; travel has been the means by which she has collected the images which inform her work. Whereas previously it was the exuberance of foreign sights, she now draws on a local image bank of the abandoned, exhausted material of everyday technology: cars, fridges, sinks, ironing boards, umbrellas. Seeking out the eerie allure of transient decay, she records the lost ‘usual suspects’ of domestic possessions.
Dupree picks out objects that were once technologically efficient but that have lost their use-value. She rescues these icons of urban material rejection by exposing their startling, tragic beauty with a curiosity for the secret narratives of the thrown away. A huddle of discarded shopping trolleys is anthropomorphized, their gestures embodying the elusive yet repeated social rituals of consumer culture. Dupree’s portraits of outcast objects are re-placed in her own colour-saturated landscapes where they sit either drawn or photographically delineated, no longer elusive but fixed with a certain dreamlike quality.
A fascination with the virtual landscapes of computer games and an affinity with the intense edgy colouring of David Lynch films are other elements in her work. Recently she has begun to explore the use of digital processes and to combine these with the traditional labour involved in screen printing, cherishing the chance happenings of unconscious accidents. Using fabrics ranging from industrial tarpaulin and canvas to furnishing fabrics, she occasionally uses paper nylon to provide the particular translucent flatness associated with virtual environments. Dupree’s textile art uses layers of colour and strong images to represent a compelling, contemporary urban experience.
Linda Sandino 2002
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