Self-Help

Gwenna & Ruby Green

3 Sep 2015 to 13 Sep 2015

An exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Ruby and Gwenna Green


In 2013 Gwenna and Ruby, saw Netherlandishe Proverbs painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1559. The painting is of a village scene, in which people and animals represent over 100 Dutch language proverbs describing the foibles of humanity. The work generated a discussion around the idea of proverbs and sayings; the ones we have grown up with that reflect our culture and values and others picked up and adhered to as we navigate through our lives; they constitute a shared foundation, a communal pathway to self-enlightenment. As a mother and daughter we continued to think about the ways in which proverbs and other forms of shared knowledge come to bear on our lives, and the idea for a joint exhibition slowly manifested, each of us approaching this more broadly. Gwenna went back to Breugel’s Netherlandishe proverbs, absorbing their folkloric logic, honoring their tradition of re-telling. Ruby took a different approach, looking to the ways in which she and four of her friends seek or take part in forms of communal knowledge.

Image: Gwenna Green, Grabs by the fish by the tail, earthenware underglaze brushwork; 35 x 35 cm