The Moon, the Sea & the Matriarch, July/September, 2019
Timespan, Dunrobin Street, Helmsdale, Scotland
“Timespan presents Milly Thompson’s The Moon, the Sea & the Matriarch, a celebration of the pleasures, woes, cellulite, and desires of menopausal, older and middle aged women. The Moon, the Sea & the Matriarch includes a solo exhibition of paintings, portraits of older women indulging and enjoying themselves.
Milly’s project will command the whole of the village – banners will be raised on the lamp posts; the Timespan building turned gorse yellow; our geology garden revamped in crystal and Call to the Sea posters fly-posted each week. In the harbour two painted texts FACE THE HILLS/FACE THE SEA create a microcosm of anxiety reflecting the artists conflicting feelings of being in a small village surrounded only by sea and hills.
To launch the project, an all woman local choir wearing sunset coloured outfits will sing sea shanties and fisherwomen’s lullabies on a boat procession down the Helmsdale river and out to sea at twilight. Call to the Sea, 2019.
The exhibition is soundtracked with My body temperature is feeling good (Hydra Lux MIX 1/2/3), 2017, a song in three parts – Still Same Sexy, Morning Light; Afternoon Heat and Night-Club. The songs lead the listener through a day on a beach on which an older woman holidays gorgeously alone.
Still Same Sexy is accompanied by a song-as-soundscape, My body temperature is feeling good (Hydra Lux MIX 1/2/3), 2017, with lyrics by Thompson. Music, mix, and production are by Cliff Charles. Singers are Gina Foster and Jameela Yagoub. Full soundtrack 21:15 minutes.
To accompany the show Milly has worked with herbalist and perfumer Eliza Douglas (Art of Fragrance) to produce a collection of three perfumes: SHATAVARI INVISIBLE, PROPOSITION and VOLATILE. Each utilises the herb shatavari as its base note. Shatavari is a herb known as ‘Queen with a Thousand Kings’ and has been used medicinally for thousands of years, primarily to holistically support the female reproductive system at menopause. However it can supposedly make the ovaries fertile again and must be prescribed with care by a qualified herbalist.
The perfumes are available to buy from Timespan as a set, or individually, depending on mood for solitude, seduction or power.
A newly commissioned series of A0 digital posters, ‘Mythmaking Posters’, will be installed on the foyer and corridor walls.
Jen Thatcher has written about Milly’s work for The Moon, the Sea & the Matriarch. (see ‘More’)”