Saturday, 29 April 2017

How Shall I Get Elephants To Stay – exhibition


Islington Arts Factory, 2 Parkhurst Road, London N7 0SF
28 April to 19 May, 2017

About the exhibition

This is an exhibition of the artwork featured in Gaynor's book of dreams,  entitled as above.

Here you will see paintings, photographs and sculptures expressing the artist's subconscious reality which guides the empathic bonds she forms with the Animal Kingdom and Mother Nature.

During sleep the body and mind repairs itself in order to thrive. It is a time for restoration where essential truths are revealed in the realm of dreams, engaging with all the senses. In dreams, perception of time and space defies scientific laws. There are no rules in these surreal vistas, only an invitation to explore, untethered, and learn the true nature of our fears and desires.

Throughout history a reverence for the power and meaning of dreams has shaped civilisations.  They provide us with a potent awareness of ourselves and our bearing in the world.

Gaynor invites you to look through her subliminal lens, to lift the veil on isolation and re-establish a strong alliance with the natural world, mirrored in oneself.

There is a display copy of the book available to view as part of the exhibition. It can be ordered here, print to order. Large format £63 / Small format £31 plus P&P.  116 pages, 120 images, 38 dreams.

Opening reception

On the opening night, Friday 28 April, there was a presentation of my audiovisual work; music composition and production, singing and songwriting. I directed and produced each of these films which feature generously talented friends and collaborators.

Still from St Anne's Well – immersive soundscape by Gaynor Perry

St Anne's Well (40 mins)

St Anne's Well is a meditative audio-visual experience designed to enhance an alliance with the natural world. This piece incorporates CymaScope imagery transcribed from the source audio.

There is little known about St Anne's Well, an ancient holy well. Originally called Wealletune after the place-name (Welton, East Yorkshire). It was adopted by Christianity and re-named St Anne's Well in c.1080. Prior to that it is believed to have been a place of pagan ritual, the well being a portal to the Otherworld. It's particularly meaningful to me as I played around the site of the well as a child. Unaware of the history beneath my feet at that time, I continue to be drawn back there in dreams.

"... the holy well stands before a long, if tiny and ill-lit, corridor of history with doors leading off into many unexpected and little-visited rooms..." James Rattue, author of 'The Living Stream'.

As the soundscape evolves, various bird calls sing out, while at the still centre is the heron. The heron is an enigmatic being richly featured in mythology and folklore. For me, herons can be the most beautiful creatures to grace our skies, and whenever I see one I instinctively feel it is a 'good omen'; somehow they chime with me.  In St Anne's Well, the heron may be both guardian and oracle, but always an enduring presence in our subconscious landscapes.

"Give the bird a gift. Open the portal to the Otherworld."

What is a CymaScope? “The CymaScope is a new type of analog scientific instrument that makes sound visible, allowing scientists to see sound's vibrations. Within the instrument the surface of pure water offers a kind of super-sensitive membrane and by imprinting sounds onto the liquid surface, unique patterns of sound energy are created for every unique sound. Just as the invention of the microscope and telescope revealed aspects of the world and Universe that we didn't even know existed, the CymaScope allows the once hidden realm of sound to become visible. And since everything in the Universe is in a state of vibration a tool that shows the structures within sound and vibration can provide important new scientific insights.” John Stuart Reid.

Estelle Riviere as The Owl.
Concept and photography – Gaynor Perry.
Venue – Islington Arts Factory

Estelle Riviere (Monsterlune)

Estelle created the owl costume and performance based on my sketch and painting 'Blue Bear'. Estelle is known for her highly creative and outlandish performances, which showcase her unique talent for costume making and painting, transporting her audience into the realms of the surreal.

ST ANNE'S WELL was described beautifully by Estelle's spellbinding improvised movement performance.

Estelle Riviere as The Owl 

Estelle Riviere as the owl in the CymaGlyph

Estelle Riviere as The Owl

Blue Bear – 40 x 40cm, oil on board

Audiovisual Programme – Opening Reception


featuring Deborah Griffin, Gaynor Perry,
Estelle Riviere, Maria Rosa Mojo


featuring Howie and Simone Austwick


featuring Evelyne Allard, Noko 440, Gaynor Perry


featuring Marnie Scarlet


featuring Gaynor Perry


featuring Gaynor Perry


featuring Francis Angol, Estelle Riviere, John Stuart Reid

Selected works

The exhibition comprises 40 works – photography, painting and sculpture. Here is an album of the complete works. Below, a selection. 

Primary Route – 80 x 80 cm, oil on board.
The subconscious landscape; my route to primary school as viewed from above. 
This geography was imprinted on my impressionable and budding subconscious; 
forming the backdrop for sensory episodes delivered in the dream state, 
and still is my prime nocturnal haunting ground. 
I know this landscape intimately. 
The red paint signifies areas of anxiety.

What Shapes Me – 28 x 23 x 10 cm, air-dried clay sculpture. Books.

The Sacred Blue Penguin Portal – Fabric, thread & paint 110 x 25 x 17 cm

The Sacred Blue Penguin Portal – Fabric, thread & paint 110 x 25 x 17 cm

The Sacred Blue Penguin Portal – Fabric, thread & paint 110 x 25 x 17 cm 

Hermit's Burrow – wooden box painted blue,
approximately 42 x 42 x 42 cm, covered in chicken wire, camouflaged with twigs. 
The opening framed with aged timber. Inside the box is a wooden bed.
The mattress is filled with earth and covered in a thin, red quilt.
Seated on the bed is an anthropomorphic bird woman sculpture made from air-dried clay.
Standing sentinel by the box is an aged timber post mounted on a blue wooden square, 40 x 10 x 10 cm. 

A Charming Fellow, Patagonian Mara – Black & white photographic print

Tim-Lay-Lav – Air-dried clay sculpture . 20 x 20 cm. Mirror disc. Glass bell cloche.

Portrait of Bert – Black & white photographic print. 101.6 x 76.2 cm

I Prick My Thumb: An introvert in the making – hand-carved alder wood thumb, 42 x 20 cm.
Rope. An outline of the artist's body in blue tailor's chalk, hand-stitched in blue thread on pale silk material, with a stitched central silver seam shaped at the throat into a tuning fork, 194 x 110 cm.

I Prick My Thumb: An introvert in the making 

The Old Ruins of Helen de Helen – 61 x 61 cm, oil on board
The subconscious landscape; a place I dreamed of,
perhaps denoting the 'self of the self', my first name being Helen.

Little Feet – Air-dried clay sculpture of child's feet. 10 x 6 cm, 13 x 7 cm. Mirror disc. Glass bell cloche.

Elephantine Beginnings – Black & white photographic print. 101.6 x 76.2 cm 

Installation Views

Guest Photos

What Shapes Me. Photo – Spacy Gracy

The Sacred Blue Penguin Portal. Photo – Stephen Crampton-Hayward

Opening night audiovisual. Photo – Deborah Griffin

Opening night audiovisual. Photo – Gloria Gigi Garcia 

Estelle Riviere, opening night. Photo – Gloria Gigi Garcia 

Opening night, We Morph #2 and The Solution.  Photo – Gloria Gigi Garcia 

The Sacred Blue Penguin Portal.  Photo – Gloria Gigi Garcia

Opening night.  Photo – Gloria Gigi Garcia

We Morph #1-2. Photo – Gloria Gigi Garcia

Little Feet. Photo – Deborah Griffin

I Prick My Thumb: An introvert in the making. Photo – Deborah Griffin 

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Photo – Deborah Griffin

Estelle Riviere as The Owl/Sacred Blue Penguin Portal. Photo – Deborah Griffin

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Photo – Zaz Arnold

The Owl – performance by Estelle Riviere for St Anne's Well

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Performance for St Anne's Well. Photo – Lou Looby Love

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Performance for St Anne's Well. Photo – Richard Kaby

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Performance for St Anne's Well. Photo – Richard Kaby

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Performance for St Anne's Well. Photo – Richard Kaby

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Performance for St Anne's Well. Photo – Richard Kaby

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Performance for St Anne's Well. Photo – Richard Kaby

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Performance for St Anne's Well. Photo – Richard Kaby

Estelle Riviere as The Owl. Performance for St Anne's Well. Photo – Richard Kaby

An exhibition doesn't happen by itself – with heartfelt thanks, for seamless and solid support, to Jen Snowball, Joe White, Estelle Riviere, Eleanor Pearce and Aleks Solinski/Ace Bros.