Presented by Anne Ffrench as part of FALL/OUT, curated by festival visual arts curators in residence, Pluck Projects.
To Hold Still is a sculptural installation made from briars which spills through the doll's house space of the Lord Mayor's Pavilion. The work draws on the idea of suspended time in fairytales, where brambles surround and protect a castle's sleeping inhabitants. During the first lockdown Anne Ffrench spent a lot of time in young woodland overgrown with gorse and briar, two impenetrable barriers. Briars, she reminds us, have a vital protective function, saplings need the time of the briar to establish and grow strong before the briars recede and trees take their place. During the first lockdown we heard reports of nature reclaiming space as humans stood still. To Hold Still wonders what if ‘lockdown’ could mean the briars were free to grow and encircle us until the threat had passed, much like the castle in Sleeping Beauty. Accessible to a family audience on the imaginative level of the fairytale, To Hold Still is a visually striking meditation on time, threat and care, and further, a prompt for us to be still and allow nature to grow wild around us.
In association with Sample Studios.