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Pins and prickles. Tuesday July 30, 2013

A short bus ride from Piccadilly Station in Manchester, up past the colourful curry mile, lies a gem of a museum. It is the Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall.

Housed within is a poignant, unexpected exhibit by Manchester born artist, Susie MacMurray. On first glance it's easy to think you are seeing a beautiful silver evening gown, with shimmering fabric that dances in the light.

There is a sharp intake of breath when you realise that you are in fact looking at a sculpture made up of over one hundred thousand long pins. It's both stunning and startling in equal measure.

My first thought was: 'Crumbs, that looks how I sometimes feel!' It was moving to read then, that this "dress" is actually entitled 'Widow' and it represents Susie's grief on being widowed.

Sometimes we may feel that if we could see our feelings they would look akin to a cactus or something equally as prickly and untouchable. We may feel that the feelings are so angry, sore, difficult and messy we could not even touch our feelings let alone cherish, nurture or embrace them.

Pondering on it though, a cactus, or that "dress" could be touched, or even held, if handled with great care. When it comes to our feelings then, if we can learn to take care of them, treating them gently instead of berating them or speaking kindly to the feelings rather than becoming impatient with how we feel, the feelings may just lose some of their prickliness.

Our "cacti" may even sprout a delicate flower or two.

'Widow' by Susie MacMurray:

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Tue, Jul 30th 2013 @ 10:28am

Amazing dress / sculpture! Thanks for sharing this.

Julia Tue, Jul 30th 2013 @ 11:10am

Hi Suzy. I haven't read all of your blog today. I will later,
I am still thinking about your blog yesterday and can't get this Animals' song out of my head!
"But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good:
Oh Lord! Please don't let me be misunderstood ..".

enig nes Tue, Jul 30th 2013 @ 11:40am

amazing post, thank you ! really touched me... the beauty and the pain... juxtaposed

Julia Tue, Jul 30th 2013 @ 12:04pm

I feel that I often come across to others as prickly, irritable and moody and this bothers me. I know there are reasons for feeling like this and I took comfort from your blog Suzy but I am not sure others understand where I am coming from and so take my prickliness at face value. So of course I end up feeling guilty.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 30th 2013 @ 12:25pm

Fascinating installation! Thank you for drawing this to my attention and for your helpful insights.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 30th 2013 @ 10:01pm

Another excellent post Suzy. Keep inspiring people with thoughts like this. Like you I too believe we shouldn't be afraid of embracing even our "prickly" feelings as we can relate to others better if we do and also learn a lot more about ourselves.

Suzy Tue, Jul 30th 2013 @ 10:47pm

Ah Julia, I can relate to what you say very much indeed. I guess this is all the more reason why it's great if we can learn to take care of our own feelings. Why? Because, alas, not everyone will understand us all of the time.

It's lovely when folk do take care of our feelings isn't it? Better still though when we take care of our own. (especially as we can't take a break from ourselves!) It takes daily practice mind you.

Ban the guilt!

And hey thanks for those great lyrics above!

Julia Wed, Jul 31st 2013 @ 8:51am

Thank you Suzy. It's so lovely you replied to me! You are right, if I take care of my prickly feelings myself, then it may not matter so much if others don't. Practice and ban the guilt!! x

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