Gill Allderman

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition

and BEAUTIFUL SCARS ‘That which leaves a trace, leaves a wound’ 1

‘But ‘out of a wound beauty is born‘ 2

In my art practice I glue, slice, make cross sections through time and life and sew together the shattered pieces. I paint, mould and weave materials together loosely and try to find the threads that stitch and hold them as an anchor to my experience. I work intuitively and play with the juxtaposition of destroying and healing, opening and suturing, damage and repair. Scars become stronger, pliable, more beautiful and the thread, often golden, holds everything together. A woven tapestry, an emotive thread, chaotic groupings, different thoughts, a variety of materials, sometimes framed to contain and secure a sense of meaning and sometimes not, to allow for spillage and growth and new ways.

By paying attention to the scars of my life, the wounds I have cared for, I peel away these intricate layers, that I spent years accumulating and nurturing, opening the delicate armour that I wrapped myself in, and softening my thickened skin, which exposed a fragility. Confronting each layer, through the exploration of diverse materials in my art practice, a slow knowing and realisation emerges of just how strong, how vulnerable, how delicate, how unpredictable we are in a time of personal trauma when the body excavates so deep it unravels in silence and aloneness. By acknowledging the wounds, I am able to find a resting place for these scars, and wear them, with no shame.

I find the visual and tactile quality of the materials I use in my art practice absorbing in that I attempt to elevate them from their devalued functional domestic realm into a position or place of value. The combination and the juxtaposition of domestic materials, with traditional high art materials has a quality that begs to find a space, to valorise the mundane, the overlooked and discarded. These mundane domestic materials - the cloths, mats, used fabrics and doilies, are also trying to reveal their lost history of usefulness.