Interview for North Wales TV at Mostyn Gallery, LlandudnoMonday, 12 November 2018 20:25
Many thanks to North Wales TV and interviewer Alice Oliver for kindly featuring my exhibition at Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, in the North Wales Live news programme. I’m very pleased to be showing work at Mostyn, a beautiful Victorian gallery known for its contemporary art programme as well as the high quality of art and craft shown in the retail gallery. The exhibition, which is called ‘Last Words’ is in Gallery 6 and is open to the public until 27th January 2019. Admission free.
My statement displayed alongside the work in the gallery:
My brothers and I scattered our mother’s ashes in May 2012. We stood looking out over the rape fields of Lincolnshire, having walked up the lane towards the ‘Cliff’. It was a place that meant a great deal to our mother and she had written about it on many occasions. Throughout 2003, she had used her daily walk with the dog as a way of focusing her concentration, as a walking meditation. Every day she would walk at the same time of day, on the same route and try to absorb everything she saw around her until she got home, when it would all be written down in minute handwriting… in order to fit it all on one page, she said. She wrote about the passing of the seasons, the sky, the weather, plants, trees, fields, crops and all the birds she saw, including rooks, swallows and gulls.
Nine years later, she was terminally ill and had still not finished transferring her notes to the laptop in order to edit them, and so I persuaded her to let me help. The task of transcribing the tiny handwritten words was extremely difficult and we agreed that she should read the notes while I typed. In this way she relived the walks and our time together during her last months had an added purpose.
In some of the pieces on display here I have used a fragment of my mother’s tiny writing blown up very large to produce an abstract gesture. In many of the pieces I have borrowed phrases from her writing for titles.
Other works, the pieces involving envelopes, were inspired by hearing that some people believe that a white feather is a message from a loved one who has passed away. While I remain somewhat sceptical, this idea provided a starting point for new images.
All of the work here has been created using printmaking techniques, including relief printing, stencil and collagraph. I have long been working with found natural objects and in these pieces I have used feathers and grass. The latest pieces of birds are made up of around five layers of printing on fine Japanese paper. They mark a move towards combining drawn image with direct impression.