The Longing Series – in the loft

May 21, 2014


An afternoon spent sharing the work so far. In the last week I’d installed the prints and furniture blocks up in the loft space at Islington mill. I’d always had this space in mind for it’s intimate scale and timelessness, the sense of wonder that climbing the stairs induces, layers of marks, dust, glimpses of construction and former use. It allies well with the implicit life and memory of the furniture, the projected dreams, the ghostly apparitions of the prints onto fabric. In this I felt that the space was half the work and without the space, the work would be less. I’ve been assured otherwise. It was useful to see and hear how others responded to the work, the space, the work in the space.

A brief tour of the loft installation below. Photos of the individual pieces will go up on my website in a week or two.

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Some comments, all anonymous, left in exchange for an -in between- book (more of an exchange than a bribe):

tastes like burnt toast, bittersweet, peat, wood, sulphur, tea

smells like a story, a forest, linseed and memory, woodsmoke, water,

sounds like yesteryear, ambient, ‘whispers, laughing, eavesdropping, the stories you would tell the furniture’, the low drone of a road and moving air,  sanctuary from the world, normal life

feels like ‘somebody’s sadness, loneliness, just beyond the veils – but utterly peaceful’, haunting, damp wool, wondering and wandering, another world, mirrors

I would like to see it in a forest, more, in a national trust property, with spiders and butterflies, no one else,


in the loft

I had a wonderful time cutting the wood, making the prints, sweeping the floor, rescuing butterflies, following the flow of the soundtracks coming from the floor below, installing myself and my work in the loft and sharing it with those who came to see. My thanks to Islington Mill  and all who helped, saw and shared.

I hope to move the work on to another space where it can grow and be shared some more.



2 Responses to “The Longing Series – in the loft”

  1. sueeshaw said

    I was too late responding at the time but would like to contribute here. Tastes like dust? Seems too pejorative a word and that’s not what I mean. Smells like linseed, a pigment binder and polish, so apt for both the process and the furniture. Sounds like silence, the climb up the stairs is similar to the opening of a theatre curtain preparing the audience to suspend disbelief and to stop the chatter. Feels like a journey on many levels; depicted, implied, process and placement. I would like to see the “plates” and the prints juxtaposed across from each other so a journey could be taken between the solid and the suggested.

    • gemmalacey said

      thank you Sue for the lovely words. That climb up the stairs really does have a magical effect, it builds anticipation for the climber and for anything already in the loft it serves as a countdown warning to scram or prepare for a visitor.

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