PREVIEW: Toni Gallagher Solo exhibition, The Gluttonous Lady That Swallowed The Fly - FAD Magazine

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PREVIEW: Toni Gallagher Solo exhibition, The Gluttonous Lady That Swallowed The Fly


9th – 22nd November 2012 at The Horse Hospital Preview on 8th November 2012 from 7.30pm
A purpose built stable (1797) in the centre of London, Bloomsbury: The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, London, WC1N 1JD www.thehorsehospital.com.

Artist Statement
A percentage of the sales from the exhibition will be donated to the charity Leuka.

Mother Teresa, I am not. In 2011, I discovered that Frank, my ex-partner and father of my two children, was diagnosed with leukemia. Surprisingly, the initial feelings of shock sent me into a proactive mode whereby I embraced this cruel twist of fate.

The past three years of my life, especially the last 10 months, has led to much soul searching and self-exploration. The work I have created is a form of escapism and has developed through my experiences in Art Directing, sculpting and photography. In 2009, performing on the closing day of Anthony Gormley’s ‘One and Other’ fourth plinth project, was one of the catalysts for giving me the confidence to embrace the personal aspect of this exhibition.

This recent work challenges the ideas and creative energy on a subject that has pre- occupied me for many years; The Seven Deadly Sins. In this first exhibition of the Sins, Gluttony is represented by The Old Lady That Swallowed a Fly.

Many of the pieces create the back-story of this lady and her curious eating habits. Why did she swallow the fly? Who was she? And how exactly do you swallow a cow whole? Putting aside our past differences, Frank and I joined forces to do all we could to fight this indiscriminating illness. Before spending so much time in a hospital environment, I used to consider x-rays dark and intimidating, but recent events have made me de- sensitized to them and what they potentially represent. For the first time in my life, I have had to face the prospect of losing someone close to me to death.
Human behavior has always fascinated me and this has now been exacerbated by the extremities of life and death. I started to document this experience photographically, consciously hiding behind the camera as I struggled to see Frank lying helpless, scared and childlike. This strong personality suddenly has little control as this disease now rules his life.

Subsequently, more than ever, I am aware of the fragility of life, as I continue to try and use art to help me look at things differently. This medium helps me find the humor and courage to carry on, enabling me to celebrate life and all its challenges.


Leukemia and Leuka
Leukemia is a disease which primarily attacks the white blood cells, part of the body’s defense against infection and disease.

It’s believed that leukemia is the model for all cancers and achieving a greater understanding of this disease will help in the fight against all other forms of cancer. One in 25 people will develop a blood cancer in their lifetime.

One in three of us will be diagnosed with some type of cancer in our lifetime.
A percentage of sales from this exhibition will go to the charity Leuka, which raises funds to support life-saving research into the causes and treatment of leukemia and other blood disorders.



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