Reading the Reviews


I’ve just got a few days left of my solo exhibition “Cause and Effect”. Over the last couple of days there has been a couple of reviews… it’s so gratifying to hear what people say… that they “get” the work… that they appreciate it, and most of all that they are moved by it. 

It’s been a great experience to put up this new work and have the opportunity to talk about it with visitors to the gallery. I was full of trepidation… my first show without textiles…

But actually what I have found is that people who knew my textiles work have looked at this and said “Yes, that makes sense…” It fits. I know that I should know that, that I should be confident in it… but it is new and exploratory still. It’s good to know that what I’m trying to do is being understood.

And I must confess, reading these two reviews, as well as comments in the Visitors Book, and on social media… I have been a bit overwhelmed and emotional.

The path ahead is clear for a while. I feel I know what I am doing… for a while…

Catherine Jones, a relatively new friend and fellow artist, a writer, and musician (and other things) wrote on Facebook:

Went to see Elena Thomas’s fabulous exhibition today at General Office in Stourbridge.

What a wonderful selection of, on the surface, calm and mainly pastel toned watercolour and pencil works with collaged words, but look more carefully and see the visceral, twisted angst and pain, read the fragments of phrases and sentences and hear the suffering, the loss, the undoing.

The works remind me of skeletons and stretched muscles and tendons, underwater worlds where fish eat fish and plankton swallow plankton… Strangled seaweeds and broken bones. Wonderful.

Elena, you should be very proud of this body of work. It’s a privilege to see how these have developed, and know you as a friend and fellow artist. I am so inspired!

There is a General Office review also on the a-n Reviews page, written by Sarah Goudie:

This Sunday 18th August from 3-4pm Sarah will also be interviewing me and chairing a sort of Q&A session in the gallery. Please let me know or book through Eventbrite (it’s free) if you’d like to come, so I know how much cake to make!

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