My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.


Recently when Nick and I visited the Gallery Stratford, we were entranced by the work of local artist Wendy O’Brien. She labels herself a Fibreartisit and looking at her series called Submerged, I could see why. Inside the galley O’Brien had created an undersea world. Soft, gurgling water sounds played. O’Brien used wool, string, a variety of fabrics and found objects such as salad bowls to create her ocean scenes. I was so enchanted by it that I emailed O’Brien and she graciously gave me permission to share her art with you.

Art is a great source of joy for me. When I am in the grips of depression, going to a gallery or even looking at art online can help lift my spirits. It makes me feel lighter to see the beauty and in this case, whimsy that an artist can create. I hope that as you flip through this gallery, you feel some of the joy I felt at each bright colour and unexpected creature tucked into the display.

As soon as we entered this gallery Nick and I split up and I moved excitedly from object to object, observing starfish made of wool, hand-knit seahorses and felt rocks. The large red octopus had plastic suction cups for suckers. The jellyfish were created from large bowls overturned and covered in bright plastic wrap and drapes of fabric. There were so many things to see, I just kept circling the room, enjoying new discoveries each time.

I’m a trained scuba diver and O’Brien’s art gave me the same kind of feeling I get underwater; I want to both move quickly so I can see as much as possible and slow down so I fully enjoy each aspect of the scenery. I was torn between examining the smallest details and trying to see everything in the room at once.

Yes we took pictures, but before you berate us, we asked the gallery if we could. Make sure you do the same. Plus, I’m sharing them with you because they lifted my spirits and I hope they do the same for you.


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