Rhonda and Susannah Hamlyn

Rhonda and Susannah Hamlyn in Art Monthly

Rhonda Hamlyn’s decade-long collaboration with her mother Susannah (Beatrice) Hamlyn was intense, involving long hours at home together making layered, densely embroidered textiles. They called these works patterned rugs, and later also wall hangings, but the suggestion of soft furnishings was misleading.

They were not entirely abstract or representational, but instead offered slow synaesthetic meditations on language, meaning, sensation and experience.

Their works were not easy to categorise. Rhonda Hamlyn (1944–2015) and Susannah Hamlyn (1916–1994) began their collaboration in the early 1980s, at a time when clear pigeonholes existed for women’s textile work. Their rugs drew on handiwork traditions, shared knowledge and collaborative practice, but did not slot easily into these narratives.

Full story in the Spring 2020 issue of Art Monthly.