I've always admired looking at the extent of art in people's collections. This fascination started when I saw the collection of Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, where she had a collection of works by Francis Bacon in a dream-like location on the canal and you could see not only what interested her but the growth and thought put into everything she acquired.
I visited the Hauser and Wirth in Somerset, rather random location I thought for a gallery which is also in New York and London, and there I saw Ursula Hauser's exhibition,'Unconscious Landscape', which includes works from her personal collection. The aspect which particularly drew me to this exhibition was the fact that all the works in the exhibition were by female artists. I do love embracing the works of female artists and celebrating this newly acquired power and recognition that some females now obtain. What also fascinated me was the duration period of the works. I have become very interested in the more contemporary and modern style of art due to the limitless amount of methods and techniques which completely batter the original rules of conventional painting. This exhibition embodies the modern idea of experimentation and 'the skies your limits'. The subject of motherhood, maternity and feminity were all captured, especially, for me, by the artist Louise Bourgeois. Her famous spiders have always caught my attention but I never thought that the first time I would see these incredible masterpieces was in Somerset...
Her haunting pieces bring to life her childhood traumas which are replicated in these disturbing and torturous installations. She brings her darkness to life. The exhibition begins with the display of her Cells series which explains her traumas more vividly than the anthropomorphic spider installation. It highlights abandonment, fear and the general idea of being lonely. I felt extremely connected with this series, and these ideas hit, on a personal level. I could not only see her pain but I could feel it and I can relate to it. This pieces and Ursula Hauser and so beyond their time as they tackled and responded to issues behind and surrounding womanhood which has only just been reflected on. Only now do we recognise and discuss maternal tragedies such as stillbirth and childhood traumas which are linking to the global issue of mental health. This was not just admiration of women's work and the abstract movement but rather this exhibition embodied how long it has taken us to tackle the issues shown.
Finally, the spider... what makes it feminine and how does an insect which scares a majority of the human race link to such humanly emotions? I am going to leave you with this quote by Louise Bourgeois:
“The spider is a repairer. If you bash into the web of a spider, she doesn’t get mad. She weaves and repairs it.”