The Writing Desk


As a consequence of my dad and step-mum visiting last week we have a new additional piece of furniture in our front room. This writing desk belonged to my grandmother and I remember it from my childhood. My grandmother is the only person in my immediate family that I know lived with breast cancer (she was my paternal grandmother) and I just discovered last week that she was also young when it was diagnosed – we think about 40 years old. Unfortunately I was only 11 when she passed away but she was a wonderful person and I have very fond memories of her – the sweet peas that I pick every day to fragrance my home in old glass bottles and small jugs remind me of holidays in Scotland where I would pick the same flowers from her garden and scatter wee vessels of them around her home. Our front room is tiny (this is probably about a third of it that you see in this photograph!) but I was determined that we would find a place for this beautiful piece of furniture – and it means even more to me now – especially with my sweet peas to adorn it.

The last couple of days I have felt a wee bit up and down and it is fair to say I have had occasions of wallowing (self-pity) in particular about the wedding. It was tempting to let yesterdays pyjama and tv day stretch into today too. But I have practical things to sort (upcoming shows; a wee plan that I am hatching; my part-time job to organise and also I need to get back to creating) so it is time to get back to some semblance of normality! Also I need to think that for every cloud that hangs over my head there is a silver lining.

I am making a list…………..


About gillianleesmith

A lifetime fascination with storytelling, history, fairytales and folklore, has led me to create imagery based on the everyday whirling mind of a person who does not always wish to be rooted in the realistic present. Themes of times gone by and reminiscence are especially evident in my designs and my work often delves into the expression and characterisation of our human nature, which we may hide away and only ever glimpse at when prompted by a reflection of our inner selves. My character sculptures in particular are a nod towards my own imaginations, avid reading and childhood dreams. They are a way of seeking the perfect representation of our character. Each tells an original tale, with a single image that endeavors to embody a whole life story in an uncomplicated way. My most recent work begins to explore ‘dwelling places’, a place where we can truly be content and again the setting that truly represents our character and history. Each material used is carefully chosen to create layers of texture incorporating textiles, paper, paint, hand painted imagery and meticulously detailed hand embroidery. The combinations of varying media help me to create many layers and textures, which are evocative of the memories and history that is integral to my work. Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in Performance Costume in 2005, I have since been working on my own creations as well as teaching workshops with community groups. More recently, I have been coordinating a project involving reminiscence work with older people. This has been a huge source of inspiration to my latest artwork and themes of memories, dreams and childhood.
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3 Responses to The Writing Desk

  1. manda says:

    Gorgeous writing desk. And good for you! Even though I know it’s tough. xxx

  2. michala says:

    Hi Gillian,
    I’m so sorry to hear what your going through.
    I have a friend who has gone through the same and has recovered because of the excellent treament she received.
    Thinking of you.
    M xx

  3. SallyF says:

    When you have a few mins you might like to ponder this, partly to help write your list of silver linings, partly to help keep PJ days to a minimum (though I think you should allow yourself some sometimes, a girl needs to let it all out sometimes x) it might even be useful for you at work – but am really thinking about you –

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