> Artists, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions

It’s been a busy year… Elena Thomas reflects on 2023 so far!

Image of sticks wrapped in fabric

And it’s not even half way through yet!

I have just returned from a large retrospective show in America and I’m a bit tired!

View the exhibition

To be invited to show a selection of work covering 15 years, over a period of six weeks was a real privilege,  I talk about it in more detail in the interview I did with Debra Eck the curator:

Elena & Deb:  A Conversation

To see a sweep of work all together across the beautiful gallery space, to be able to walk and sit amongst it all… to see connections and themes running through those years is very informative, humbling, and of course a real confidence boost!  To be able to talk to the groups of people visiting about those connections has enabled me to articulate my thoughts, and get them straight before heading back to the studio in Stourbridge.

I now just have a short time to finish off the work in time for the installation of Five, six, pick up sticks... in May.  This will be my first solo show in  Birmingham and I can now look upon this latest work in the context of what has gone before.  I’m so glad to be able to show this work in the light of the Jamestown exhibition.  The timing is fortuitous I think.  I look forward to speaking about it at the Artist’s Talk on 13 May.  I ‘ll also be doing a workshop on 17 May.

What I am then looking forward to is the period of rest and recuperation afterwards that will enable me to reflect on what both these shows mean for my practice.  It’s not ALL about showing, but maybe more people will have seen my work this year than have seen it in the last decade.  Talking to people at these events is invaluable feedback, and there’s a lot to sift through.

At the moment I have absolutely no idea what’s going to be next.  I’m hoping there will be a long period of experimentation and play, a time to write, sing, draw and stitch… while I wait for the next idea to pull itself into focus… which I’m hoping won’t be for at least six months!