Work by Jenny Mackay :: Poem by Gerda Stevenson

textile art


Mary Garden, born Aberdeen, 1874, died Inverurie, 1967; opera singer –  world-renowned in her time; the first to create many leading roles in new operas, including Debussy, Massenet and Prokofiev.

From Quines by Gerda Stevenson

Artist’s statement

As I read the poem “DIva” my mind was filled with the image of the singer holding her arms out letting the music flow over the audience in waves building excitement until to quote the poem “the final note floats from my soul in a rising arc, a gleam of threaded breath fading into devastating silence”.

This is how I would like to die!

Mary Garden was indeed a “Diva”. She was born in Aberdeen, the granite city, and died in Inverurie but travelled widely during her life, to Chicago, New York and to Paris where she was begged not to leave and rose petals were thrown in her path. She loved dramatic gestures and was one of the first people to cut her beautiful golden hair into a “bob”.

In my piece I have used felt trapping methods to include rose petals and create the variety of colours and strength in granite.

Mary was strong like granite and again like granite always a sparkle!