This series began with the chance discovery of an abandoned ship’s hawser (a rope used in mooring or towing a ship) during one of my early trips to New Bedford, Massachusetts. The rope’s heft and tattered state immediately suggested an exciting series of drawing investigations. Each drawing in the Hawser Series derives from that single piece of Korean War era rope.
In the drawing I encountered abundant physicality: “muscle” “hairy-ness” and “sinew” which lead to meditating on the many evocative rope-derived idioms and aphorisms embedded in the English language. These often referred colorfully and metaphorically to the human condition: “end of one’s tether”, “at loose ends” and “all strung out” being but a few examples. Beyond its former utility at sea, this industrial-strength tether has served anew as an elegant model for my graphical musings on the strands of our human strengths and frailties." - Huguette Despault