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Parachute Files: Records from an Inner Journey
28th April - 14th July 2017
Opening reception 28th April 5pm-8pm
The Parachute Files consists of a body of work, produced over a period of nine years, which constitutes an attempt to analyse and integrate inner aspects of personality. It is also an exploration around the role of the creative process in bringing the unconscious workings of the mind into the conscious.
The material on which the work is based emerged during a long period of psychotherapy on trauma issues, during which the artist had a significant dream which revealed to her four personas representing clearly defined parts of her personality. It became possible for the therapist to communicate with the personas, and later for the artist to continue the process by means of written interviews and dialogues. Discussions among the personas followed, which led to a process of integration within the psyche as they slowly became co-operative. Narrative developed through a process of conscious dreaming into an adventure that started with a woman jumping out of an aircraft without a parachute, continuing by way of a jungle rescue and ending with a pow-wow on a beach and an invitation to join a pirate crew. The narrative is concerned with a battle of the personas to free themselves from the influence of the 'Authorities', who represent repressive and critical forces within the psyche. The story developed with reference to imagery reminiscent of influential books and films absorbed by the artist as a child.
The Parachute Files includes documents resembling reports from the authorities, texts presented as if they were the transcripts of interviews and documents from a file and a map, suggestive of a route diagram or battle plan showing the movements of the narrative. Central to the exhibition is a series of hand sewn textile panels, inspired by representations in cartoons of 'Home Sweet Home' signs and informed by research into samplers, hangings and banners at the Goldsmiths Textile Collection. Each panel announces the name of an inner persona. In making the textile panels, each persona was encouraged to become as fully present as possible and to engage in the choice of materials and style of the piece. The repetitive action of stitching is considered to be both therapeutic in itself and also to encourage a descent towards a meditative state into which each persona could fully manifest. They were literally stitched into being. The making of each piece became both an exploration of the persona and a portal for its emergence.
Talking Textiles is a once monthly lunch time get-together for anybody interested in textiles or curious to find out more. A small selection of textiles from the Goldsmiths Textile Collection is available for viewing and discussion at the Constance Howard Gallery. For those keen to be involved further, there is the opportunity to research a chosen textile and to share findings or questions at the following session. Attendees are invited to continue discussion and share their own textile projects over lunch next door to the gallery. Please bring your own lunch and any textile project you are working on. Tea and coffee are provided.
Constance Howard Gallery, Deptford Town Hall basement
1-1.30pm Viewing in the gallery
1.30-2.30pm Discussion over tea and coffee