The exhibition at the Old Fire Station in Carlisle came down on Monday 30 September. People’s responses were encouraging, so I am planning to look for other venues where it might be shown. Suggestions welcome.
Here is some of the associated reading matter, with minor additions.
Titles of mirror boxes:
‘Hope’s Eggs’ or
‘Pandora was here’
‘The Absent Gardener’ or
‘Rat Race’ or
‘The Delusion of Infinity’
‘The Obsolescence of Posterity’
Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out
It doesn’t matter much to me
‘Strawberry Fields’, John Lennon
She needed to contemplate with eyes closed the full richness of what she had lost, what she had given away, and to anticipate the new regime.
Atonement, Ian McEwan
According to Hesiod, when Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus, the king of the gods, took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus. Pandora opened a jar left in his care, containing sickness, death and many other unspecified evils which were then released into the world. Though she hastened to close the container, only one thing was left behind – usually translated as Hope, though it could also have the pessimistic meaning of ‘deceptive expectation’.
‘I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. ‘I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.’
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
‘Flotilla/ivory towers’ – belatedly I noticed the links to childhood memories of the Moomins (and even more belatedly to the Hattifatteners in their little boats):
Comet in Moominland, Tove Jansson
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
‘Ozymandias’, PB Shelley
‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –