Wallace 100

An exhibition and Art Trail by artists, Caryl Beach, Veronica Grassi and Sally Tyrie under the group name of ‘Praesentia’
Dates: Thursday 7th Nov 2013  for approx. 2 weeks
Location: Hertford Town Centre–shop windows/inside premises.

Caryl Beach, Sally Tyrie and Veronica Grassi studied together at the University of Hertfordshire on the MA Fine Art course and are currently based at Digswell Arts Trust studios near Welwyn. Following on from a very successful show at Courtyard Arts in Hertford in 2012, which explored aspects of Hertford’s past, they have come together again to create and display work that responds to one of Hertford’s historical residents, Alfred Russell Wallace. Their exhibition titled ‘Wallace 100’ coincides with nationwide events being organised by the Natural History Museum and partner institutions around the world to ‘commemorate the life and work of Alfred Russell Wallace on the 100th anniversary of his death in 1913’.


Caryl uses photography, video, painting and printmaking to capture everyday experiences In the landscape, evolving into a visual diary and reflective journey.  Her video piece made for ‘Herford Layers’ won best video at Eastern Approaches, 2012. 
“Through my research of Wallace I have developed a close affinity with his early years spent in Hertford where he too walked possibly the same pathways and rivers edges and visited the sites of Old Mills. His love and fascination of nature are a passion I too share. The works I have developed for this project reflect my journeys and observations and, I hope, capture the essence of Wallace’s own passion and enquiring mind.”


Sally uses printmaking, collage and stitch to create drawings which explore aspects of time, transition, absence and presence. Her work is currently on show in a number of regional galleries and is held in many private and public collections around the country. Her interest in Wallace has focused on his notebooks, letters and published writings and a particular selection of quotes collected and publicised by the Natural History Museum. Using relief printing and stitch onto found book pages and book jackets her work will seek to “examine and give 'voice' to some of Wallace's ideas and views along with ideas to do with censorship and the rewriting of history,”.


Veronica Grassi uses non-traditional textile materials and stitch with soluble film and iron wire to create three dimensional drawings. Appearing fragile and ephemeral, her sculptures evoke memories, tell stories and capture a poetic quality. Her work has been awarded The Hatfield House Best Sculpture prize 2 years in a row at the Eastern Approaches exhibition 2009 and 2010. Her work for ‘Wallace 100’ focuses on the naturalist’s curiosity of the world particularly his collection of butterflies and observations of the evolution of species.  The distinctive butterfly emblem is prolific in popular culture; adorning fabric, fashion accessories and homes.  Wallace’s concerns of a changing world are reflected in Grassi’s butterflies through the use of evolving materials embracing environment and tension.

Precise locations and dates for this evolving project will be posted on www.praesentiadotorg.wordpress.com