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“Sacred Vessels” exhibition at Kendal Museum

Jan Huntley Peace and Eileen Gledhill Summer Clouds

[G]reen Door, the popular artists’ collective, have a new exhibition at Kendal Museum which sees members creating work based on the intriguing theme of “Sacred Vessels”. As well as the 3D vessels you might expect to see, the exhibition includes paintings, prints and textiles.

”In these small paintings of summer clouds I’d like to convey the ideas of preciousness and containment inherent in the phrase ‘Sacred Vessels’,” said Eileen Gledhill. “We are ourselves about 60% water and we need water to live. A cloud may hold or release this priceless commodity regardless of our will, reminding us that we are, after all, just a small and grateful part of this remarkable, complex and magnificent world.”

Since graduating from Lancaster University with a degree in Fine Art and Creative Writing, Jessica Elleray has continued her research into antiquities smuggling and sites of cultural significance.  In Jessica’s practice, the artist becomes archaeologist, uncovering untold stories and bringing them to light. Reflecting on the relationships between people, places and objects, she works in a variety of media, dependant on the conceptual needs of the project.

“The busts on display explore a raw, unhealed wound in China’s history – the destruction of Yuanming Yuan (the Old Summer Palace),” said Jessica. “This event still influences twenty-first century politics and relationships between Britain and China. The sculptures represent the iconic Zodiac Busts looted during the Second Opium War by British and French troops. Some have since been returned, but many are still missing.  Appropriating the Wabi-Sabi philosophy of transience and embracing damage, as well as the motifs of the museum, the sculptures invite contemplation and attempt to open a dialogue about the events and stories which surround these objects.”

In Averyl Bradbrook’s ‘The Conservatory’, hieroglyphs from the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’ appear against a background of newsprint, with the pose of the figure suggestive of an Egyptian mummy – mummification being the conservation of the sacred vessel of the human body. In addition, the word ‘conservatory’ is seen across that part of the body above the womb – the womb itself being perhaps the most sacred vessel of all, the place where new life is nurtured and developed until the moment of birth.

Exhibiting artists include: Mike Barlow, Roger Bell, Averyl Bradbrook, John Davenport, Jessica Elleray, Eileen Gledhill, Janet Graves, Ray Green, Kath Lockhart, Emma Low, Liz Lyon, Jane Mallinson, Angie Mitchell, Sam Mould, Helen Seth, Sonja Vietoris, Geraldine Walkington and Frances Winder.

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