SSA 123rd Annual Exhibition | To Have & To Hold

To Have & To Hold

Storyhouse | Donna Leishman

In this new body work, originally commissioned for Storyhouse in Chester, Alt-w alumni Donna Leishman has selected and responded to three pieces of local folklore which, all in different ways, remind us of past social structures and the role that wishing had for young women and their aspirations for life.

The thematic/concept of Marriage has been used as a literal device within this project i.e. the aspirational marriage of individuals, the marriage of virtual components alongside material expressions, as well as more allegorically – a set of experiences that marries past and present along with the boundaries of the real and the virtual.

Leishman has paired three physical works with browser-based augmented reality counterparts. ‘Drownt | Charlotte Lucy’ is a response to purported drowning of Charlotte Lucy Beatrix Egerton (1824-1846) in Rostherne Mere on the eve of her wedding at the age of 22. However, official records show her untimely death was due to a bronchial affliction.

‘Dip | Hobby’s Well’ is based on an ancient wishing well where if a 'love struck' girl stood with one leg in the well and one leg outside then her wish for a husband would come true. ‘Lung | Impossible Stairs’ is based on claims that if an unmarried girl ran up a set of city steps three times in one breath, then she'd have a marriage proposal within the year.

Funded by Storyhouse, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Arts Council England.

1st to 23rd November 2021, daily. £4|£3 FREE on Monday.
Royal Scottish Academy, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL

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To Have & To Hold