“Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting…”
– Virginia Woolf, Orlando
When putting together this show, my sister Sheila Norgate invited a number of fellow artists to create a new work inspired by a woman writer. Not for the first time, Sheila offered me a challenge to find a new approach to my work.
The themes of memory and needlework also invoke thoughts of our mother, our childhood seamstress. A poem I began years ago after attending a Remembrance Day service wearing Mom’s coat came to mind. This garment is extremely significant as a personal memento of both our parents, he a Canadian WWII vet and she a British war bride. It was literally something they both touched and wore, and it has outlived them both.
From these threads, My Mother’s Coat.
Hodden Grey Standing silent on the freezing pavement as the bell strikes eleven Breathing inside the buttoned enclosure of my mother’s old coat The coat she sewed for herself after the war from my father’s regimental kilt - Leslie Norgate My Mother’s Coat. Oil on panel, 12” x12”, 2022
HERsay at the Gabriola Library
575 North Rd, Gabriola BC
Nov 2, 2022 to Jan 3, 2023
Thursday November 3, 2022 – 5 to 7pm
With works by