MotherHeartThousandWounds exhibition at 35 Chapel Walk Gallery, Sheffield
This article was written by Becky Gee of Curate Sheffeld for the Sheffeld Telegraph and was
published on the 13 January 2016.
I first met Adrian Alvey at 35 Chapel Walk during the summer. He had come seeking curatorial
help for his upcoming solo exhibition at the art space in January. As an avid art enthusiast and an
active part of the community around 35, I instantly knew that I would agree to assist. My interest
was only broadened once I’d got to know the concept and motivation behind Adrian’s work.
MotherHeartThousandWounds is the culmination of a very long and emotional journey for artist
Adrian Alvey and his family, which saw them caring for his wife through her MS. During those
years Adrian started putting all his experiences down in sketchbooks, finding art as a way of
documenting and coping with his wife’s illness. He worked on two collaborative art books, which
form the backbone for much of his solo work.
Visitors to the exhibition can expect a body of work including sculpture, mixed media painting
and poetry. The largest piece in the exhibition will be a powerful audio visual installation recreating
the neurology consultant’s office where Adrian spent many occasions with his wife. Visitors
will be invited into this personal space one at a time to encounter a clinical reality that built the
now stark memories that the artist has of the place.
The work is clever in its familiarity; everyone has been in a doctor’s office at some point in their
lives, but not everyone has had reason to be in this particular place. The installation will no
doubt affect many people who visit the art space, possibly in both anticipated and unexpected
ways. I also expect it to be quite a contemplative space, for thoughts of creative and emotional
depth. The response will be interesting to say the least.
The exhibition will be an intimate visual memoir, highlighting the emotional suffering of families
living with loved ones enduring long-term illness. However, the exhibition is also an affrmative
and touching tribute to his wife and how, through adversity, the artist found a passion and
positive outlet for his grief through art.
MotherHeartThousandWounds will be open to the public from 15th – 26th January 2016 with an
opening event on Thursday 14th January, 6pm – 8pm.
During the exhibition I placed a memory book in the installation room for people to comment
on their experience. Some of the comments are featured here.