Exhibition: Colette Banaigs -The journey of a painter
Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November 2018 – 11am to 4pm
The Oyster Bay House, Chambers Wharf, Faversham, ME13 7BT
Arcelia performed at the preview on Friday 23rd November.
It was amazing. Seeing so many people attending, so many friends, hearing so many positive comments, feeling so many emotions in the room… was simply wonderful. And it was such an interesting show to have curated.
I am totally overwhelmed by the response to the show. It has been remarkably strong in emotions, something quite unique. I am utterly exhausted emotionally by the experience and also physically with the constant flow of people coming through during the entire week-end. My heart goes to everyone who visited. I am ever so grateful.
Like I said in my presentation during the preview, as I was looking through my parents’ house whilst in the process of clearing it up, I found many family treasures. A number of them related to my mother, her life and her work. A deeper and more complex person started to emerge. I discovered things about her I never knew through notes, documents, letters and photographs that she has kept but never mentioned to me. I learnt about her relationships, her career, her depression, her poetry, her novel (an autobiography?), her early drawings and paintings… I started putting all this together and, gradually, I was making connections between her life and her work as an artist… I understood better what she was trying to communicate. I understood what that fake writing was about… What the small windows with landscapes meant… I understood many of the frequent themes that appear in her work such as characters that are cut off, disappearing, escaping,walking away, falling…. dark shadows, roses, skies, trees… Her concerns about the wars in the Middle East… When all this was revealed to me, it started to make much more sense.
I also realised what a rich intellectual and cultural life she led. She studied and taught literature and history of art, writing massive amount about it. She curated major exhibitions in her position as head curator of Musee de Saint-Denis, meeting and be-friending fascinating people. She developed and designed a unique method to support teachers using art at school where children engage with art in an active way so they understand it better, so they ‘live’ it. I still think it was quite revolutionary and it certainly was very successful amongst teachers. She wrote two books about it, as well as many activity books as part of this practice. Amongst other things.
I am very impressed and proud by how much she has created, written, achieved and accomplished.
Her painting work was part of a bigger picture. I believe stories are crucial to make an emotional connection with artworks, going beyond their visual aspect. I think I made my point with this show. What a piece of work looks like is just the tip of the iceberg.
Setting up on Wednesday 21st November 2018
Kent Creative Show – A discussion with Nathalie Banaigs and Tracie Peisley
It was just so good Nathalie. A really AMAZING show, one of the best ever I’ve seen. Cohesive, dramatic and touching. I feel honoured to have seen it.
Thank you so much for sharing this Nathalie. I have just forwarded to a few friends who are caring for their parents with Alzheimers. Do tell your mother that now her work will reach even more people than were at the exhibition, as well as those people who will see her work in new homes.
Nathalie, I am sure you have more than enough on your plate at the moment, not least the emotional impact of what you have been doing. You have been so totally committed to it, it is a love story, of course. I am sorry I didn’t write in the visitors’ book – actually I couldn’t put into words what I felt, it was so much. Even I, as an onlooker, feel overwhelmed by it all…. so many little details, so many atmospheres and moods. How it was on Friday night, walking there, the heat and noise in the room. How different it was, and yet the same, coming back on Sunday afternoon when it was not so full, and there was that darkish wettish sky outside, and cold – but the same warmth and air of concentration from the visitors, and sense of amazement, and discovery and revelation. And then the walk home, returning to the ‘here and now’, feeling enriched and thoughtful. So much of this project is about the responses we can give to our loved-ones if they suffer from Alzheimers…. I think it would be a direct inspiration to people.
Amazing works and story! Your mother is a very special lady.