Hide & Seek

An exhibition of two artists' response to illness

April - June 2009


Concealment #3 
by Gypsy Ray

Chillblain by Laura Gladney


Hide and Seek is an exhibition of artworks by Gypsy Ray and Laura Gladney on display in University Hospital Waterford and the WHAT Centre for Arts and Health. Both artists are outpatients at University Hospital Waterford; Gypsy is a Breast Cancer survivor and Laura suffers from the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythemathosus (SLE).  The exhibition was officially launched at 5pm on Thursday 23rd April in the WHAT Centre for Arts and Health by the writer, Kerry Hardie, and will remain on display until 18th June 2009.

In her speech, Kerry Hardie spoke beautifully about how a life threatening or long term illness can arrest us in mid stride. “For Laura Gladney, the arrest came early in her life and has undermined her physical well-being on the most basic level. Her paintings are filled with quietly startling images of this undermining. Over and over something is trying to erupt from a long way down, to spread out and regroup; capture new territory and make it its own.”

“For Gypsy Ray the internal chaos must have been even more severe because of the fear provoked by a diagnosis of cancer. Yet the drawings are – at least on a first appraisal – detached and almost distant. Abstracted images of medical dressings draw the eye and you have to make a conscious effort to seek out the figures that lurk in the graphite backgrounds.”

Gypsy and Laura make images as a means of understanding, expressing and processing their own illnesses. While their artworks are visually very different, Gypsy draws with graphite and colouring pencils and Laura uses oil paint, their shared purpose exists in the exposing and covering up of illness. The title of this exhibition, Hide and Seek, derives from this dichotomy.

The Waterford Healing Arts Trust acknowledges the financial support of The Arts Council, the HSE, the Marie Keating Foundation and the Lupus Support Group in making this exhibition possible.


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