The installation consists of hundreds of painted sticks placed side by side weaving their way through the landscape. Each has its unique pattern and its positioning on the ground influenced by the one placed before it.
Symbolic of the passing days of a life and the influence that particular encounters with people and circumstances can have, these influences manifest themselves differently on different days, having become absorbed into who we are. Even a single word (that may have been spoken many times before) can on a specific moment, impact such that one’s thinking and behaviour from then on is changed, coloured in a new way.
Encounters also carries with it an expression of gratitude for those who have positively impacted the artist’s life and also of a desire to live life in the fullness of each new day with its own unrepeatable uniqueness.
Her first work as Artist in Residence at the Bradfield Club in Peckham, London Ally wanted to create an artwork that would enable her to make direct connection with the Club – its origins, history and current contributors. In addition, as an expression of her belief that the Club is a special place and has a particular part to play in the vibrant hope for the community of Peckham.
Everyone involved in the Club, be that as a youth club member, parent, employee or Trustee, was invited to contribute a stone for the artwork as a symbol of their participation and connection to it. It was a real joy for Ally to receive each individually selected stone, often handed over with a tale of its history and significance to that person. The thoughtfulness and generosity of the participants left a deep impression.
The installation consisted of the placing of the stones on the floor and attached to ‘invisible’ strands, rising up above head-height. The stones at the base were ones from the Bradfield College where the Club has its foundation and ongoing essential support. These link with other stones in the strands, an invisible connectedness, hinting at the unseen yet precious orchestration of individuals in an extended community.
The Agony of Hope
Ally Ashworth and Heather Gani worked together for a number of months creating an installation on the theme of hope. Both artists experienced hope as something complex – costly, burdensome, invigorating, inspirational …. the installation intends to express these contrasts.
The work intentionally began in a light-hearted way with tree climbing and launching paper planes from within the branches of the tree. The tree symbolising life and the throwing of the planes, a releasing of hopes.
The complete installation occupies four adjoining rooms and corridor space and progressively charts phases of hope through film and installed elements.