South pavilion, ‘Hortus Conclusus I’ (plate lithograph and mixed media on paper)
Museum room, ‘Hortus Conclusus II’ (as above)
Traquair House is rich in hidden symbols, manifested in much of the design of the house and gardens, and incorporated into domestic items. The starting point for these pieces was the ‘Hortus Conclusus’ (enclosed garden), which was both an emblematic attribute and a title of the Virgin Mary in medieval and renaissance poetry, and also relates to the walled garden at Traquair.
The motif of the walled garden in the works was a direct reproduction of the embossed design on one of the books in the ‘Fine Bindings’ case in the Museum Room. The rudimentary ‘compass’, quartering the world, also related to garden design, and to one of the secret Jacobite symbols. The paint effects suggested water, central to the garden designs of this period, manifested as a fountain, but also related to the ‘Curved Stream’ of the exhibition title, and the flow of time.
Mary Morrison's work investigates the relationship between the individual and the landscape that has shaped them – a ‘geography of the mind’. Her practice is largely informed by the Atlantic archipelago and combines a sense of place with layers of meaning suggested by annotation – of music, mapping and measuring. Grids, staves, shipping charts and tide tables recur in the work. Born in Harris, trained at Edinburgh College of Art/University of Edinburgh, and now based in the Borders, she has exhibited across Scotland with a major solo exhibition at An Lanntair, Stornoway, in 2014. Most recently she has shown at the Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis in 2015.