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orchard: a solo exhibition at Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries.

From 1st Sept to 6th October 2018, Maggie had a solo exhibition at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries, Scotland. Over a year in the making, this page gives more information about it.

In 2017 Maggie Ayres began a body of work whose starting point was the orchard of her childhood spent in the Lake District and which would focus on an exploration of issues that have dominated her life: body image, motherhood and mental health.

“orchard” begins with a personal story…

"...Once there was a little girl who blossomed in an enchanted land, where trees were laden with the sweetest, juiciest apples, pears and plums you have ever tasted. She wandered through this magic wood, here hopscotching across a tapestry of flowers and there tramping boldly where grass grew long and swished around her sturdy legs.
She did not hear the whispering of voices that would come to shape and possess her. The child was free in this special place and doubted neither her belonging nor her safety there.
But after the years turned season upon season, the child was forced to move away, exiled from her charmed heart home and the spell that had kept her protected, oblivious to wilful ways…"

Through counselling, Maggie realised that the notion of “orchard” could become a touchstone back to the innocence and freedom of her childhood and an onwards stepping stone to the retrieval of well-being and transformation.

She appreciates that this body of work is highly personal but also believes strongly that it connects to universal concerns as we strive to acknowledge our individuality in a society and culture that would keep us constrained in “boxes” which engender conformity and obedience.

Dumfries and Galloway Life article

In the August 2018 edition of Dumfries and Galloway Life, Maggie was featured in a lovely article by Carol Hogarth exploring the ideas and motivations behind  the "orchard" exhibition.
Photos of the exhibition below are by Euan Adamson and Kim Ayres