To Be What I Seem, 2022 (screen printed chiffon, found objects, watercolour paintings)

Three women, three lives, three names. Alexia Wilson, Marjorie Godfrey and Helena Romanes were three remarkable women who made a huge contribution to their town of Dunmow and it's people. I wanted to bring these women into the museum, into the gallery to give them an audience as part of the exhibition that ran alongside 'What I learnt from my Grandmother, a Highstile Projects collaboration of events, workshops and commissions. The three women's portraits were printed onto chiffon creating beautiful scarfs, perhaps only Alexia would have worn her scarf but I hope all three would enjoy the idea. Similar versions of their adornments on each photograph were sourced from local charity shops and painted in watercolour on the plinth, a set of pearls, a pair of glasses and a brooch. Whilst searching for these object and looking through old spectacles, I was reminded of my own grandmother, a pair for everything and a hearing aid. She was deaf from the age of 22, something I never really thought about until after her daughter, my mother died. My grandmother taught me how to play whist, how to shell peas, how to knit clothes for my Tiny Tears, and how to just be. She had no expectations, she was grateful to be here. 'To Be What I Seem' is not only about three women who shaped the landscape of Dunmow, but about so many more women who have made a difference to the lives of others. 
NB 'To Be What I Seem' is the translation of 'Esse Quam Viden' the motto chosen by Majorie for Berbice House the school she founded'

The Lipstick Effect : A homage to my Mother, 2020 (Lipstick, glue and paint)

“As we jogged over to the start Tom said ‘God, you’re wearing lipstick!’ I always wear lipstick, what’s wrong with that? ‘Somebody might see you are a girl and not let you run, take it off’I will not take off my lipstick!” In 1967 Katherine Switzer went on to be the first woman to run a marathon despite being grabbed on route by the race official, Jock Semple, who tried to stop her. It was not until 1972 that women were allowed to run the Boston Marathon officially. Lipstick has made an impact across the centuries, Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I and Marilyn Monroe were all massive fans of red lipstick, using it as a symbol of power, affluence, femininity and glamour as well as rebellion as the suffragettes proved when they marched for the rights of women wearing red lipstick. Only recently American politician and activist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was quoted … “any attempt to make femininity trivial or unimportant is an attempt to take away my power, so I’m going to wear the red lipstick” Fashioned in the style of the rosettes adorned by the lipstick wearing suffragettes, The Lipstick Effect' is a celebration of lipstick and all lipstick wearing females around the world, from the vibrant reds (the largest of the trio) to the purples and pinks and a few shades in-between.


* The Lipstick Effect is often attributed to the act of seeking and purchasing inexpensive beauty products in a time of economic uncertainty.

On Reflection : Geodesic Geodome, 2018 (acrylic mirror, wooden plinth)

Created for Chelmsford Cathedral to reflect the stunning ceiling and surrounding space, drawing the visitors attention to the architecture and internal decor.

Peace Cups, 2018 (shot glasses, water, cochineal food colouring, wooden plinth)

Created for Chelmsford Museum for the 100th anniversary of World War One. To celebrate the end of World War One the people of Chelmsford were each given a specially made commemorative metal beaker with the shield of the borough and it’s motto ‘Many Minds One Heart emblazoned on one side and on the other the words ‘PEACE 1919’. Taking the idea of the souvenir peace cup and current statistics, ‘Peace Cups’ represented the 163 countries and regions listed in the Global Peace Index by using ‘shot‘ glasses to draw a choropleth map of the world identifying the most violent area with a deep red through to a very light link to denote peacefulness.

Ghost Books, 2016 (box frames, books, paint)

Created for a group exhibition at the new Beecroft Gallery in Southend, 'Ghost Books' pays homage to the recent history of the building as the town's public library.

Untitled, 2015 (illustrations)

A response to a residency at TAP in Southend created for a publication which looks at the 'exhibiiton' and it's visitors.

'Glory' (the shelf life of a trophy), 2014 (found images and old trophies)

'Glory' seeks to celebrate the pure indulgence of ones achievements. From winning the local pram race to winning Wimbledon, it's that moment when the trophy is passed into your hands when you can truely say 'I did that' here is the proof, and you turn and smile at the camera clutching your prize. This selection of found images captures that moment of Glory between person, trophy and audience, a snapshot of fame.

#southendairshow2013, 2013 (cut vinyl)

Created for the Beecroft Gallery in Southend the installation was a tongue in cheek response to the council's decision to withdraw support for the annual airshow. The walls were filled with cut vinyl sillouettes of birds found on nearby 'Two Tree island'.

The Chelmsford Bead, 2012 (perspex sphere, cut vinyl, ball bearing, valve)

Created to celebrate the histories of Chelmsford in conjunction with Essex County Council's olympic themed events performed across the summer of 2012. Imagery on the bead includes references to Marconi, Grayson Perry, Hoffman and Crompton.

Mesopotamia: the land between two rivers, 2011 (cut vinyl on card)

A series of cut vinyl paintings (30 in total) which capture an area of the local town often used as the scene of mock elections during the nineteenth century. ‘Mesopotamia’ (the land between two rivers) was the name given to the small island which formed where the River Chelmer branched before reuniting at the junction with the Can. Matching maps from the nineteenth century to the existing landscape the old island area encompassed land both sides of Springfield Road east of the river as it crosses near the town, an area now filled with shops and car parks.

Gallery

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© elaine tribley