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Polyphony 21




QSS Studios and Gallery, Belfast

May/June 2021


QSS Belfast hosted our 1st Year MFA Exhibition in their main gallery in space in Belfast. Starting off online, we were delighted to be able to open to the public and even hold a booked by appointment opening event. 

Title 'Climacteric' 

Objects can have gendered and anthropomorphic meanings attached to them, linked to prestige, commodification, the division of labour and permission. Association can give them agency in the construction of meaning. ‘Every work of art already bears, implicitly or not, the trace of a gesture, an image, a portrait, a period, a history, an idea’ (Wood, 2000). My story is one of reframing anxiety, opening dialogue about unmentionable things. The violin acts as a metaphor on several levels, stereotypically feminine. Digging deeper reveals layers of associations and meaning. The violin rates highly as a voice of sadness and comedy. Grame suggests we define most objects in terms of their primary function, the musical instrument becomes a tool in industrialised society. (Grame, 1973) Following on from there the anthropomorphic nature of the violin has often been associated with the female form  and the steed symbolism relating to the violin draws in aspects of fertility and labour. (Grame & Tsuge, 1972) This opens a space for talking about totems.

Photography courtesy of


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