Dorrie’s Spirit Paintings

I went to Glastonbury this weekend to see my friend Dorrie’s exhibition. Dorrie has been my friend since I was 11; you can see her here talking to Mark.

This is an exhibition of her Spirit paintings. These are two of my favourite images:


…and Saronaya Mironishka.

I love the way Dorrie totally ignores the ‘rules’ of having a white-box exhibition. In the midst of her artwork is a massive pile of comfy cushions. Incense and oils burn in the room. Relaxing music from Tina Bridgman plays on the stereo and tables covered in rose-petals, candles and hand-made rattles and pouches fill the space.

Stuck up on the wall with blu-tack are handwritten notes about the work, about how it was made and about what it signifies. She’s been working for the past two years on becoming fully self-employed by selling these kinds of paintings and her favourite way of working is to spend a lot of time with a client, to develop an image that will be significant to that client and then to paint it for them.

Our conversations about Art are always a little bit uncomfortable; Dorrie’s approach to making art is more traditional than mine and her self-taught way of working differs greatly from my more academic approach. But whatever about concepts, contexts, traditionalism etc. I like that she can just put a show together, make work, do it in her own style, and get paid for it.

Her images seem slightly familiar; a little like the paintings of Susan Seddon Boulet or Carolyn Hillyer, but for me they hold a special, more personal resonance.

I remember the schoolbooks that Dorrie had and the doodles that adorned them; the swirls and the eyes and the spirals and the feathers. Dorrie taught me to make a dreamcatcher when we were 15 and staying in Tipi Valley in her sister’s Tipi. We hitchhiked all over Wales and Ireland together when we were 16. I’ve known Dorrie for over two thirds of my life now, and her daughter is now the age we were when we first became friends. Rites of passage, firelight, and adventures were shared between us as girls and young women and my life will always be filled with a certain amount of Dorrie-ness. Her paintings just remind me of all of that; of all the precious dreaming, girlish, romantic, growing-up stuff we did together.

I will always love my Dorrie.

2 Responses to Dorrie’s Spirit Paintings

  1. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » Sound list for Dorrie

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