Physically things have slid further into the cellar, due to thieves who ran away with my sleep weeks ago, big bulging sacks full, and left me with a steady supply of nausea and vertigo. They must have taken a selection of rulers too; wools, crochet-hooks, notes, pens, photos, and other stuff, nowhere to be found.
But, so glad there is a but, and oh, to me it dazzles and shines: my exhibition at R-Space Gallery in Lisburn is open, tadee, tada, and I was able to give my artist’s talk via Skype-link on 2 May, propped and cushioned up in an arm-chair, with a wee good luck-charm next to the computer, a small vintage doll with ginger hair (real) flown in on a crochet-comet, a homely home-made thing I’d almost forgotten about, with nipply and other protrusions and a hairy tail. Made me remember that years ago I went to a private view with a pair of paper-mâché balls around my wrist, to ward off courage- and confidence-failings.
Bad weather in Lisburn brought a precarious internet-connection, but the deed was done, and I enjoyed doing it. There were challenges, but that’s part of learning. I could not quite hear what members from the audience said unless they got up and stepped to the computer mic – hardly conducive to people commenting or asking questions, but thanks to raised voices and repetitions a wee conversation ensued anyway. Amongst other things I heard that an eighty year-old woman had donated hair cut off 40 years ago for the workshop Strands of memory, to be conducted in response to my show by local artists Joanne Proctor and Millie Moore. I asked to be sent a strand to incorporate in a new piece. So many ways to connect…
On Saturday a phone-conversation lifted me on a happy cloud (and temporarily pushed the election-results from consciousness): five artists and participants of said workshop talked to me from the gallery, each expressing their excitement about my work and describing what they had made that day. Such a lovely and meaningful gesture – it moved me deeply. And I’ve got a selection of jpgs to look at! This exhibition thrills me on all kinds of levels, and I am ever so glad, and grateful too, that it’s one where gallerists and all involved understand and respect the artist’s need to communicate.
What’s next? Joanne Proctor and I have embarked on a collaboration, sending wee parcels to and fro and responding to each other’s pieces. It started with a pair of plaits and a poem about a sybil… The work will become part of the exhibition too. Watch this space!
PS. I’ve illustrated my talk and published text&pix on issue – click here to get an impression of the work I’m showing in Lisburn. And if you’d like to hear my voice, here’s the audio-recording I made before the exhibition started.
Strands of wishful thinking: Hairlings and other things
2 – 30 May 2015
The Linen Rooms
32 Castle Street
Lisburn BT27 4XE