The Gateway Gallery presents ‘Hiding’ a thought-provoking new exhibition from local emerging artist Grace Currie - until December 21st.
A catastrophic car accident in 2010, when Grace Currie was just 17-years-old, resulted in a severe brain injury which left her with interrelating disabilities and her own unique and neurodivergent view of the world.
The Shropshire artist shares this view through her practice, working in the medium of paint, clay, collage, video, and performance; she is delighted to present her solo exhibition ‘Hiding’ at Shrewsbury’s Gateway Gallery this winter.
It’s an exciting year for Grace, who had been studying Psychology before her accident - but switched to Art and and finished her degree with First Class Honours during the first lockdown. Alongside her solo exhibition, she’s also exhibiting in January at The LEVEL Centre in Derbyshire and has been awarded the Spotlight Award (an annual award to support disabled artists to develop their creative practice). She’s also received ACE funding for a project working with social workers, which will look at issues around training and working with people with acquired brain injuries.
Grace’s work explores her own self, her identity, and her life, from seemingly mundane everyday tasks such as caring for her cat to the frustrations her disabilities cause her. She opens this up to consider the prejudices and sometimes suffocating care experienced by others living with disabilities.
"When My Right Side Won't Listen" - Grace Currie, triptych
Grace has forged important changes in her own life by communicating her experience and needs through her artwork and is a passionate believer in the power of art to connect people, to inform, and communicate complex messages which can be difficult to express verbally for someone experiencing language difficulties. Self-portraits are an important aspect of her practice, her work makes visible aspects of living and thriving with an acquired brain injury.
Watch this fabulous video of Grace explaining her own story, created by Painted Life Productions via the link below:
"My brain is magical it is" - Grace Currie, The Magic Artist
Grace said: “I was hiding, I still hide, but I am hiding a bit less. I am outgoing but I still worry about what people think, especially when I have shorts on, and my splints are visible. The splints are a necessary evil. I have often felt I needed to hide and mask certain aspects of myself. Mostly now I don’t care, and I am more open about things such as my short-term memory loss. I think a lot of people would like people with disabilities to hide away so that they don’t have to deal with them.
“As an artist my work reflects my own unique view of the world. As a person with a disability, I am underrepresented in the art world, whether as an artist or those who make art visible- curators, galleries, critics. Work by disabled or neurodivergent artists is often not documented, recorded, or seen in galleries and therefore is lost to history.”
"Hidden Women" by Grace Currie
Grace’s work often uses these challenges to confront viewers, to reflect her resistance to the reductive label ‘disabled’ or the disorientating sense of fractured self 24/7 care engenders. She is inspired by artists who express inner feelings through portraiture. Grace’s work uses the powerful tension that childlike form in painting can create when themes are adult, sometimes sexualised.
‘Hiding’ is a unique and fascinating exhibition giving insights into Grace’s life through portraiture, mixed-media, ceramics and 3D work from past performance pieces.
'Hiding' an exhibition by Grace Currie runs from 10th November until 21st December 2023 at the Gateway Gallery, Gateway Centre, Chester Street, Shrewsbury SY1 1NB. The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm.