Hulme has created a series of works that centre on close-up views of sections of wall, isolated from the context of a larger mural. In these works that appear semi-abstracted, the artist emphasises the patina of grit and decay that has gradually built up. Layers of paper paste-ups peel off in chucks, their frayed edges intricately defined through the artist’s precise technique. Bold, colourful interruptions of recent graffiti on these frayed and faded surfaces set up a sense of temporal awareness, where past and present cohabitate and inform the reading of each other.
Other drawings feature entire laneway scenes such as her major work Backdrop. Here Hulme contrasts sections of brightly coloured graffiti with monochrome areas to amplify the volume of the coloured graff. This strategy of heightening the visual intensity of certain sections through colour is employed throughout the artist’s work. Whereas without the distraction of colour in the monochrome areas, focus is brought to the qualities of line and tone that Hulme skillfully uses to render the scene.
Overall Hulmes’ work speaks in a language of contrasts. Colour and monochrome, past and present, up close and stepped back, urban grunge and fine art – all are combined in the picture plane and brought to a point of balance. In doing so she draws harmony from dissonance, and finds an order present within chaos.
Catalogue essay by Marguerite Brown, MAArtCur, 2019