Longing for the Lightness of Spring

When Jules Wright from the Wapping Project asked me to write about the work of artist Elina Brotherus, I found myself turning to three short texts I had written concerning architecture, memory and colour. Brotherus’ photographic images spoke to me of nostalgia and anticipation and these pieces provided emotional positions from which to consider her work. I wove an account drawn from the ‘The Welsh Dresser’, along with two other personal reflections, into a critical essay on Brotherus’ autobiographic and landscape photography, called ‘Longing for the Lightness of Spring’. ‘Moss Green’ describes the derelict house of an architect, in which, on a Sunday in March, I found photographs of a brave new world of high rise housing blocks. ‘Bittersweet’ is the account of a visit made to a disused cork factory in Palafrugell in Catalunya in April, where the floor was scattered with the names of colours. Later that year, in November, I dreamt about a childhood home that had just been sold. ‘White Linen’ remembers this dream.

This essay was published as ‘Longing for the Lightness of Spring’, in Elina Brotherus, (London: The Wapping Project, 2001).

Images: 1—13 (courtesy Elina Brotherus) 14, 15 (gb agency Paris) 16—22 (Jane Rendell)
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