Milly Thompson: The Moon, The Sea & The Matriarch
6 July - 22 September 2019
Timespan Gallery, Helmsdale, Scotland
Timespan presents Milly Thompson’s The Moon, The Sea & The Matriarch, a celebration of the pleasures, woes, cellulite, and desires of older and middle aged women.
Lavish in orange blossom, salty hair, moist thighs, disco skies, heavy lashes and hot breezes; shrug off the manufactured drug of youth and beauty and laugh with collective sisterly joy at the neuroses and anxieties fabricated to sell you a lifestyle which gives you migraines. Glow up and spurn the role of the neutered, invisible older woman and embrace that liberation comes from a transformative and unified women’s joy, not playing a constrained, soporific Stepford Wife.
The Moon, The Sea & The Matriarch includes a solo exhibition of Milly’s Cougar paintings, luscious portraits of older women indulging and enjoying themselves, soundtracked by My body temperature is feeling good, a song in three parts tracing an older woman on a solo beach holiday, solitary, gregarious and rampant; Still Same Sexy, Morning Light; Still Same Sexy, Afternoon Heat and Still Same Sexy, Night-Club.
The Moon, The Sea & The Matriarch will command the whole of the village – banners will be raised on the lamposts; the Timespan building turned luminous gorse yellow; our geology garden revamped in crystal and Call to the Sea posters flyposted each week. FACE THE HILLS will be painted onto the harbour with a view looking out to sea, and directly opposite this FACE THE SEA towards the hills, forming a psychological trap, echoing a sometimes dark and imprisoning anguish of a woman’s enclosure.
Milly has worked with herbalists and perfumer Eliza Douglas to produce a collection of three perfumes: SHATAVARI: INVISIBLE; PROPOSITION and VOLATILE. Each has Shatavari as its base note*, a herb known as Queen with a Thousand Kings which has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine, refreshing parts of the female body that other medicines haven’t reached. The perfumes will be available to buy from Timespan as a set, or individually depending on which mood you’d like to evoke – solitude, seduction or power.
INVISIBLE: giving you a sense of privacy and centred solitude as you move through the world, soft, velvety and comforting. Hedione produces trust in oneself whilst ISO E Super provides a mirroring glow. Floral ozone is a feeling of expansiveness and the rare natural green note of Violet Leaf Absolute urges tranquility.
PROPOSITION: is feeling tough! A powerful aura surrounds you, promoting purpose and presence. PROPOSITION contains Buddha wood, an unusual woody note that grounds with elements of rose and smoke. Peru Balsam provides warmth and openness with notes of vanilla, cinnamon and clove, whilst an amber base keeps you in your groove.
VOLATILE: Jasmine beguiles, with an undertow of animal attraction. It celebrates lunar swings and primal bodies. Sandalwood is present for sensuality and softness whilst Beeswax Absolute does what it says on the tin; it’s enticing, floral and honey sweet.
During the project, Timespan will be running an alternative wellbeing and pampering clinic. We’re swerving the lucrative industry of wellness, so NO to feelgood individualism, yoga face exercises and spiralised courgettes, these will be colourful, beautiful and funny – donut making, cocktails and karaoke, a Barbara Cartland pop-up restaurant, an artist-spoof wellbeing workshop, chicklit writing, perfume making, herbalist teachings and pampering sessions. The battleground of anxiety, stress, unhappiness and sickness is a societal not a personal problem, and donuts, herbal healing and cocktails are the language of this rebellion.
To launch Milly’s project, an all woman local choir wearing the colours of a sunset will sing sea shanties and fisherwomen lullabies on a boat procession down the Helmsdale river and out to sea into twilight.
* none of the perfumes contain a medical dose of shatavari.
For more information click here.