Wellbeing: Nature, Space and the Feminine
at Hearth Gallery, Llandough Hospital
April 10th -May 5th
Catherine is one of three artists, showing some outcomes from her recent residency +wellspace+ at the Made in Roath artspace: 1a Inverness Place. Her time there allowed a space for creative recovery during her treatment for breast cancer here at Llandough Breast Centre and at Velindre cancer centre. She began to consider her clothing options/limitations and surfacing emotions relating to her body’s alteration following a single mastectomy. The garments on show were handworked during treatment – the only practical making task she felt able to do. They reference her treatments and also relevant traditional herbal medicines.
The space at 1a also housed her urban ink making lab, where she used local healing well water and materials found and gifted whilst working and walking between the well sites and the space. She collected water and tree branches from the Ffynnon Bren and St. Dene’s Well. This warm spring at Roath Park was one of a number of wells in Cardiff which were considered to be holy and endowed with powers of healing.
Within the northernmost area of Roath Park is a beautiful well. It rises out of the soil with great force, and immediately forms a pool of considerable size, which is overhung with trees, and teems with aquatic growths of various kinds. The scene is one of wild and romantic beauty… (John Hobson Mathews, 19C city archivist).
These inks became the samples shown.
This work has been about making a sanctuary, a safe space, making sense of the cancer and the treatment, understanding my new reality, making myself a community of wellness, a place of growth, inspiration and transformation. In making a well-space I developed a personal therapeutic process, improving my mental and physical well-being, through the combination of meaningful, mindful activities and of re-connecting with a place and people.
Nature always offers a place to gather, grow, gain a new connection to life, to work in harmony with it, slowly.