Virginia Woolf- An exhibition inspired by her writings.

I have to admit, I’ve not read any of Virginia Woolf’s work (but I plan to now). Perhaps she is one of those writers, who is surrounded by depression and darkness, that it made me nervous to read her work. All I could conjure in my head of who she was, is Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of her, scowling and smoking black cigarettes in film The Hours, a film I love. The costume, music and setting with the slow un-ravelling of all the characters.

My friend Emma (who is also an amazing painter) invited me this month to meet her at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, as there was an exhibition there, inspired by her writing. On arrival, you entered the room with a quote from her book, which summed up the feeling of the show:

“These selves of which we are made up, one on top of another, as plates are piled on a waiter’s hand,have attachments elsewhere, sympathies, little constitutions and rights of their own, call them what you will (and for many of these things there is no name) so that one will only come if it is raining, another in a room with green curtains…, another if you can promise it a glass of wine – and so on; for everybody can multiply from her own experience the different terms which her different selves have made with her – and some are too wildly ridiculous to be mentioned in print at all. “

- Virginia Woolf, Orlando, 1928

To be honest, I did not expect to be so moved by the exhibition, but the collection of work, paintings, textiles, letters and female orientated viewpoints felt fresh and poignant to our times. It did not feel limited one outlook such as femininty, but had a deeper resonance to spirituality, and the power of landscape, colour and space.

Stephanie Le Cocq