Vi: “When did we 3 last meet?”
Ru: “Let us not speak.”
From the play, Come and Go by Samuel Beckett.
This August sees the return of Eleanor Carlingford to the gallery for her first show of 2020. Easily the most intriguing and impressive expressive artist to be painting in Scotland at the moment. During lock down we discussed the idea of holding a virtual show with some of Eleanor’s distinctive drawings. But it quickly became clear that this would not work. Her drawings inform her painting; Eleanor instinctively moves from sketch book to canvas. There was no way we could expect her to halt at this stage of the process. And so ‘Boil A Magic Potion’ was born. It is with incredible joy and continued honour, we open this show with a collection of 7 assertively enigmatic and beautiful figurative oils alongside drawings, illustrations and paper collages.
“I, just like the rest of us have been cooped up and cut off, and frankly it’s been a time special enough to feed me. Among other things I adapted a hat with paint, tiny mirrors, tags and tangles, welding goggles and other trappings – personalising it. Online I watched a staged version of Samuel Beckett’s 2 minute long play ‘Come and Go’. The three characters wear hats. They happen to be women. I stumbled upon this by accident.
To be honest, I didn’t really understand wholly what the play was, but I was blown away by the literature critic Pia Brinzeu’s assessment of the women in this play. She refers to them as postmodern witches, and says: “The witchcraft…can ultimately be reduced to creative story-telling, to boiling a magic potion in the cauldron of intertextuality. The spell they cast is an occult force which encourages postmodern readers and writers to continue their stories.”
So I picked up my drawings of the three Sibyls (female story tellers) that I first saw in Italy, and worked from these. Michelle Obama also talks about our stories, telling youngsters to think about and write their own story. It fleshes out our sense of ourselves. We may believe our lives are thin in a place like lock down…our lives are never thin”.