8 August 2015

Scorched Lands and Flying Peonies - Anna Bornholt Gallery - 1987

I had been working with the Anna Bornholt Gallery in Weighhouse St. W1 for a couple of years before the Japan residency, and on my return she offered me a solo exhibition with a year to prepare. This was a golden time of focussed work. My studio was now large enough to expand the scale of work, I had my own etching press, a 5 ft sink and a huge table to work on, and took advantage of all of those things to produce the exhibition ‘Scorched Lands and Flying Peonies’. 

The title of the exhibition was anchored in my visit to Hiroshima which affected me profoundly, particularly the origami paper cranes blowing in the wind and dissolving in the rain. A Japanese legend states that if you fold a thousand origami paper cranes a wish will come true. The wish that the atomic bomb should never be used again, and that there should be world peace (is that ever possible?) is stated with millions of cranes strung together.

The visit to Hiroshima was during the autumn with strong winds blowing. The wind catching the cranes made brought to mind leaves being blown from the trees taking messages to the sky to not hurt each other. The leaves or cranes got transmuted into peonies. There were about 30 works shown in this exhibition,  paperworks and screenprints.

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