There is some news regarding the show at the South Street gallery.
Firstly there is a chance that’s the gallery will extend the exhibition by a further six weeks, apparently the artist following me has had to pull out and I have been asked whether I would mind having my work held-over. I should know very shortly whether it will be or not.
More interestingly I have had some feedback to the work which I have found interesting. Someone from the Echoes Group was in the hospital a while back and has taken the time to write to me regarding the work. I hadn’t invited him to the show as I had no way to contact him – the contact details at the Group are kept confidential, but I have left mine in the gallery space – so it was a real surprise to hear from John.
“You ask for feedback. My idea of Purgatory in its traditional sense is that it is a place of suffering, a purging location. I did not recognise this element in your pictures. There is a warmth in your vision which, for me at least, conveys a sense of isolation, rather than desolation. The only unsettling photograph in your exhibition was the one of the strange pieces of detritus, which could serve as an illustration to some verses of Dante. I am wincing as I write this : it sounds so pretentious. What I am trying to say is that the effect of your view of an empty landscape or close-up is to show the beauty of it, not the horror.”
One of the first references I have used is Dante, it came from a suggestion by Sharon to ‘locate’ the work and then specifically to Dante by the Chair of Trustees of the OCA. This connection pleased me greatly as did John’s reading of a sense of isolation. This emotion was something that I wanted to weave into the visual narrative but I felt that I hadn’t managed it, and certainly no-one had mentioned it to me before.
“On the subject of literary sources, I always assumed that Waiting for Godot was a version of the purgatorial myth and it did occur to me when I saw your picture of the frosty grass with a misty background that it would serve as an excellent backdrop to that play, assuming that the solitary tree called for in the stage directions would be on the stage itself.” Of course I know of Beckett’s drama, but don’t know the text and would never have thought to have made the connection – something I shall try and make time for.
I’m really pleased to have entered into this conversation and will try and meet up with John, though his Care duties keep him very busy.