in the sun last summer, discussing the exhibition, and the fact that my
works would be concerned with the notion of liminal, I hadn’t realised
that they were going to be about a route through grief. But it seems that
they are. The works I am showing here are about sadness and loss; memory
and recollection; about the products of endeavour; about control and chaos.
The photographs are generally reflective of memory. The multiple exposure
landscapes are made on my mum’s old box-brownie camera, and consider
time spent in places, revisiting locations over a lifetime, and the re-viewing
of places in response to such revisiting and memory.
The black and white images are reflective of moments; how we reinterpret
them in light of experience, and how we colour memory with thought and
The greenhouse photographs are part of an ongoing series I have been making
for about ten years, in which I am thinking about the environments we
exist in (or are outside of), and how they impact on our growth, development
The photographs of the ferry at Salcombe are related to transitions between
places and worlds, with obvious reference to the notion of travelling
from one world to another, and the impossibility of return.
And the photograph of morning is about hope.
The drawings, paintings and embroideries are based on the same themes,
and are made in contemplation of
place, situation, endeavour and journey. Of being bound by both visible
and invisible threads.
Hours, days, weeks of non-linear time. Alone in that quiet house, with
my dying mother.
My endeavour appearing to be as much death management as caring. Focus
of concentration on
dosing, food intake and timings. Utter focus. Utter control compelled
Dying in different ways; at different rates.
I had never imagined that I would bathe my mother; big, strong willed,
wash her hair.
The unsought growth of reciprocal trauma bonding.
I wonder whether lichens, in their symbiosis, are so complicity afflicted.
An addictive purity of purpose.
A remarkable lack of need of professional help - at its most frequent
a once-a-week visit by the
palliative care nurse (great) and GP (different each time).
The rest of the time basically just us amateurs.
The increasing proximity to death resulting in ‘terminal restlessness’;
legs up, legs down.
Increasing exhaustion on all parts.
The last morning; an emergency visit by a nurse - her utterly reassuring
ability, efficiency and
calm. But then she left again, and we three, all first-timers, were left
alone there, to become two.
A traumatic and unenviable transformation; no hollywood peace, light,
reconciliation and profound
last words. Just brutal, painful, anguished biology. Struggling breath,
gasping and fear.
Life then non-life.
No longer a daughter.
And other griefs: my decision to leave my home and heritage; burglary;
unkindness; a dying cat.
Crawling away from Cornwall in January, exhausted. Broken.
To Salcombe, where the local walking map is titled Salcombe and Hope.