Hamilton Gallery countdown to our St Brigid’s Day exhibition at 12 Star Gallery, Europe House London, is underway.
The exhibition will open to the public from January 23rd and run until February 1st, St Brigid’s Day, and it is part of the Irish Embassy in London’s St Brigid’s Day Celebration of Women and creativity.
In the run up to our opening night in London we bring you the very last daily blog with a selection of the 90 works by Irish women artists that will be shown at the exhibition.
Today our featured artists are Liz Sheridan, Jacqueline Stanley, Emma Stroude, Marion Thomson, Mavis Thomson, Sydney Thomson, Lorna Watkins and Heidi Wickham.
We also include the poem “The Knowledge of Beezie McGowan” by Leland Bardwell. Leland’s poem “St Brigid’s Day 1989” was circulated to all participating artists as the thematic inspiration for the exhibition.
Liz Sheridan is a textile artist from Dublin but living in Sligo for over twenty years. Her medium is surface design, making negatives from old photos and printing them onto fabric using solar reactive dyes and using stitch to embellish the piece.
“In my piece 'Brocca' I highlight the work of women in the early days of the Irish state. In particular Dr. Kathleen Lynn, who strived to improve the lives of women and children from the Dublin tenements through innovative health and educational initiatives. Much of this work was impeded by the interference of the Catholic Church with the support of the government of the day. In this momentous year for Irish women we are developing type of access to health care which Dr. Lynn envisaged almost century ago.“
Jacqueline Stanley: Born in 1928, Camberwell, London. Studied at Beckenham College of Art and Royal College of Art, London 1949-52. A prolific painter and print-maker, her early work documented a rapidly changing London, before becoming primarily concerned with landscape. She has been living and working in Ireland since 1975. Jacqueline has exhibited widely and much of her work is in major public and private collections.
“Where we lived in West Cork we were surrounded by beautiful reed beds, mainly cut for basket making, but it made a perfect setting for the St Brigid’s subject.”
Emma Stroude was born in Berlin and raised in Cheshire, England. She studied in London and Dublin before finding her home on the coast of North Sligo.
'Follow' centres on the notion of womanhood and the sisterhood women share regardless of nationality, culture or creed. Brigid is found in many cultures. For me she signifies intelligence, courage, determination, nature and creativity. My choice of model for the portrait embodies all these qualities communicating them to us via her gaze. She is old enough to be a mother but young enough to be a daughter subtly suggesting the passing on of these strengths through the generations.
Marion Thomson: Born Enniskillen Co Fermanagh, now living in Lincolnshire. B A Hons Fine Art, University of Newcastle upon Tyne 1979 -1983. Postgraduate diploma in Painting, Royal Academy Schools, London 1988 - 1991. University lecturer/ tutor 1994 -2013 (Sheffield College and University of Nottingham).
‘Pink Staccato voices weave’ explores the geometric rhythm created over decades of making as inspired from the poem St Brigid’s Day 1989 by Leland Bardwell. Sound, movement, repetition, rotation - on a logical grid
Mavis Thomson: Born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. (born 1935) Moved to live in Co. Fermanagh, after marriage. (1959) Place of residence: ‘Minas Tirith’, 6 Hollyhill Crescent, ENNISKILLEN BT74 6DB, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland.
“Immediately impressed with the poem ‘ST BRIGID’S DAY 1989 BY LELAND BARDWELL, I decided to focus on the first five lines with the addition of words relating to my title ‘CELEBRATION ST. BRIGID’ by making a cross symbolic of her strength of fruitfulness and learning. I sensed the sounds of women calling – musical staccato notation – manuscript paper and torn collaged cross, with crayon rubbings on fine Japanese papers representing reeds. The colours were chosen to complement the verse - greens producing the reed-hushed margin impression surrounded by the blues of the lake.”
Sydney, Thomson: Sydney Thomson ACR, is a conservator of Japanese Paintings at the Restorient Studio, located in the old University city of Leiden, The Netherlands. Sydney was born in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
“I gathered tiny reeds on a Dutch Polder for a St Brigid’s Cross. From Bardwell’s words 'anxious to garner reeds for Brigid's Cross, bending' I created the image 'The Gatherers'.”
Lorna Watkins: Originally from Straffan, Co. Kildare, I studied art in Thomastown, Edinburgh and Dublin. Moved to North Sligo 19 years ago where I love to live and work.
A dear friend asked me to document and honour her journey dealing with breast cancer through painting. I drew a parallel between her and Brigid, who were both strong in the face of adversity.
Heidi Wickham: Born in The Black Mountains of South Wales in 1966, Heidi moved to England and grew up in Surrey. First attending West Surrey College of Art and Design for her foundation year followed by BA(Hons) in FA. Heidi has lived in Sligo for 26 years.
“As a predominately animal artist, I was keen to find a connection between Brigid and an animal. Researching, I found a story of her and a fox she trained. My close connection with all animals and the empowerment they bring, led me to make Brigid’s Fox.”