‘… could the grass remember?’

I visited the amazing Toril Brancher photography exhibition ‘… could the grass remember?’at National Trust Dinefwr. (NT)

All the images are beautifully printed. The blacks are ‘BLACK’! Each plant is picked-out in subtle, pale hues and draws you into the scene, enveloping you with calmness and serenity. There are two large, mounted photographs, approximately 80cm square (fig #1). I felt an immediate connection with these images and I could easily see them adorning my lounge wall, adding a sensation of tranquility and stillness to my home.

Of particular significance for me is the simple method employed for displaying the smaller images with the use of rudimentary bulldog clips. The unpretentious bulldog clips are, in my view, a reflection of the bare, stark gallery environment and contrast with many mainstream galleries with high-tech lighting and facilities. Also, I am well aware of the financial implications that traditional picture framing with archival glazing can impose on a project, which has the potential of threatening the gallery presentation of a project and despite non-reflective glass still have the potential of adding unwanted reflections and hues. Without this clutter the true colours of the images may be enjoyed, a welcome bonus.

Toril produced this body of work during an Artist’s Residency with the Landmark Trust at the 15thcentury Llwyn Celyn, Abergavenny, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales.  Toril gained the opportunity to collaborate with four other artists and Peak on her art project. During the residency Toril focused her attention on plants and their association with people and memory and found inspiration from the flowers, hedgerows and access routes of the Medieval hall house. Toril is quoted as saying “I found a sense of timelessness in the hedges where plants and flowers have remained more or less the same for centuries”.

This exhibition is being held in the recently renovated Black Raven Gallery, which is situated off the courtyard. To extend the feeling of stillness, there’s also a comfortable library with a ‘trust-box’ book sale, which is also off the courtyard and adjacent to the café and NT shop. The exhibition continues until 30thMay and well worth the trip to see Toril’s images and enjoy all the facilities of National Trust Dinefwr.

Information for this blog was sourced from The Black Raven Gallery information sheet and the Landmark Trust web site.

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