Gracefield Welcomes New Exhibition

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Gracefield is delighted to be able to show the touring exhibition from the Hayward Gallery in London of the work of Claude Cahun. ‘Beneath This Mask’ features 42 exquisite black and white prints from this important French photographer on show in Gallery 2 until 1 October.

Born in 1984, she began life as Lucy Schwob, before adopting the persona Claude Cahun in 1914 to explore ideas around identity and gender. In her 30s, she lived in Jersey during the war time occupation and was held on a death sentence for her work with the resistance. She did make it through and lived until 1954 and fortunately a collection of her negatives survived, preserving her creative body of work, a fascinating story, and taking the idea of the selfie back to its origins. If you have your camera or mobile phone you can do a bit of self-portraiture in the dress up photo booth within the exhibition hall and share them on Instagram.

Also on display in the Café Gallery is a memorial exhibition of the work of local artist, Jane Howe (1951–December 2020). Jane was a talented artist, loving wife and mother, and very enthusiastic tennis player. She poured energy and dedication into everything; driven by a strong will to succeed, she always made the most of every opportunity and experience available.

Jane died suddenly from Cancer in December 2020, a devastating shock for everyone who knew and loved her. Her absence has been greatly felt amongst not only her family but with those she collaborated and worked with locally. Jane left behind a great body of work, which will be available to view and purchase on the 17 September with proceeds being donated to Marie Curie. Although care from Marie Curie was offered, Jane sadly deteriorated too quickly to experience the wonderful services they provide, however she always commented on the vital importance of the charity and their work.

The exhibition will be held in the cafe gallery at Gracefield from 23 August – 17 September, with a special invitation only event 5-8pm on the final Saturday evening.

Councillor John Campbell, Vice Chair of Communities Committee added:

“As with many people lost during Covid lockdowns, normal ritual and gatherings have been on hold, or not occurred and this show gives us all a chance to mark the passing of one from our artistic community and contribute to the ongoing fight against cancer.”
Continuing in Gallery 1 is ‘Recipe for Miracle’. Kirsty Lorenz is a Fife-based artist who have shown her widely and had successful shows of her work at leading galleries including the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. This brand-new body of work will debut at Gracefield and the artist says:
“Many of these paintings have been inspired by old plant recipes and remedies, some quite unlikely sounding. The healing plant recipes give a conceptual frame to the artworks that touch on themes like spirituality, the natural world and health/wellbeing/mindfulness.”

The title painting for the exhibition is ‘Recipe for a Miracle’, (acrylic on birch wood panel, 100x100cm), inspired by a 17th century panacea called ‘Aqua Mirablis’ said to restore vigour and refresh the spirit. It depicts all the ingredients: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, galangal, rosemary and thyme. Kirsty has a studio at Platform 2 at Ladybank Railway Station in Fife and has been painting plants and flowers since 2003. In this exhibition you can also see examples from ‘Votive Offerings’ (a series of paintings of flower posies made (and left) around Scotland and beyond and ‘The Flowering Sun’ and ‘Phases of the Moon in Bindweed’ series.

Communities Committee Chair, Councillor Archie Dryburgh says:
“These painting offer something very different and inspirational and Kirsty’s detailed technique in her painting is absolutely fascinating, a truly original talent.”

The exhibitions are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, admission free, at 28 Edinburgh Road Dumfries. For younger visitors, Gracefield Kids Clubs are £5.50 per child or £8 when you book 2 kids together, so bring a friend and enjoy a 2 hour session on a Saturdays during term time and Wednesday morning during school holidays. For more information on what’s on at Gracefield and all the Councils other arts and museums visit www.DGCulture.co.uk