Below is the very moving speech that Katherine Wood made at the opening of her exhibition “Connection” at Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill Brisbane, on Friday 6 September 2019.
Good evening everyone – so because I struggle with short term memory (which is probably due to turps frying my brain over the last 28 years) I’ve decided to rather read a few words this evening and surrender to trying to pretend I’m great at speeches.
This body of work is about finding a connection – a connection with ourselves and at the same time with others and if we let it, it can be an anchor of self-expression in our spaces and in our lives. The theme of my art has always been based on our relative insignificance in relation to the bigger scheme of life. The parody that we are also all capable of more than we think and ultimately to persevere in the face of adversity. Although the tree/figure may stand alone we are all intrinsically connected. This isn’t just my story – it’s also yours. The underlying message in this is our oneness. We are all connected.
I love this following story by Neale Donald Walsch from the book “conversations with god” and would love to take this opportunity to share it with you.
Once upon a time there was a snowflake. It’s name was Sara. Sara the Snowflake had a brother named Sam. Sam the Snowflake.
Sara and Sam both lived a good life—but they feared for the day that they would die, melting away into the nothingness. Then one day the Snow Angel appeared to both of them. “A snowflake is eternal. Did you know that?” the Angel said, and then the Angel explained:
“The very first snowflakes in the history of the world are the snowflakes that are falling today. They fall from the sky as highly individualized physicalisations. There are no two snowflakes alike. There never have been, in all the history of snowflakes.
“The flakes are awesomely beautiful in their individual design. No one who watches them falling from the heavens can fail to see their exquisite splendour. People run outside when snowflakes fall, beholding their breathtaking magnificence.
“As they land, they merge with one another. People call a huge collection of them on the ground simply ‘snow.’ They don’t say, ‘Look at that big pile of snowflakes.’ They say, ‘Look at that mountain of snow.’
They see all the individual snowflakes as One. And indeed, the snowflakes are One with One Another.” The Angel went on…
“Soon the sun comes out and the snow melts, each flake disappearing, one by one. They don’t, of course, disappear at all. They simply change form. Now they are water, rippling together in a sparkling puddle or flowing together in a little stream.
“The sun continues to work its magic, and soon the water itself disappears. Or seems to. Actually, it, too, simply changes form. It evaporates, rising into the air as invisible vapours and gathering there in such concentration that they are visible again—as clouds.
“As more and more vapours gather, the clouds become heavy with their moisture. Soon, once again, the moisture falls, raining down upon the earth. And if the temperature is just right, the falling rain turns into snowflakes again—no two snowflakes alike. Ever. In the history of snowflakes.”
Sara and Sam were never so happy in their entire lives. Suddenly, everything was what you might call . . . crystal clear.
And so, in the snow we see the Cycle of Life and the Story of You.
I hope that through this body of work you are inspired to go deeper. Inspired to look into yourself, express yourself….and connect with yourself. Through finding connection these pieces bring comfort and consolation in knowing although we appear alone we are not. Relief, support, compassion is within all of us.
I believe that we should surround ourselves only with things that are immensely useful or beautiful. There is so much beauty in this life, we should embrace it completely — including the lessons that can sometimes be very painful.
Clear your energy – live in only constructive energy….. powerful, stirring, contemplative, calming and passionate energy.
Make your living space inspire you, reflect you and uplift you. Connect.
Thank you Margaret and everyone from Red Hill Gallery for giving me the opportunity to exhibit with you – can’t believe we have been with you for 12 years – so honoured to be among so many amazing artists and for everyone taking the time to be here tonight.
I hope “Connection” creates portals of solitude for the viewer to escape from life’s chaos and give relief and calmness to a ever increasing turbulent world. Enjoy and thank you.
~ Katherine Wood ~
The Katherine Wood exhibition “Connection” is featured at Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road, Red Hill Brisbane from Friday 6 September 2019 and continues until Sunday 22 September 2019.
© Red Hill Gallery