Marguerite Horner: Keep Me Safe

Marguerite Horner

What is out greatest need when we are faced with trauma?

Marguerite Horner pondered this when, with a group gathered together by the Comboni Missionary Sisters, she visited the first Calais Jungle around Christmas 2014. They were going there on a humanitarian basis, bringing donated clothes and food.

At the time, the Jungle was hardly known and few people were daring to visit. The group went in wearing two coats so that they were able take one off and give it away to anyone looking cold. Marguerite gave hers to a young boy hiding his face under a red scarf; it was a girls’ Primark coat, it was too small but it managed to keep him warmer.

Over the next few visits, the group went back to the Jungle and took more clothes, shoes, trainers and food. Within a year the refugees were moved to another site, the world took notice and a small town grew. But now that camp is demolished and refugees are reported to be camping out again in the woods, just as they did in the first jungle camp.

At times of trauma, it helps to stop the mind being consumed by fear of the future and dwelling on the past. Both aspects of time we cannot change or affect, as we can only deal and act on the present
moment. Sometimes, as an aid to bringing the mind back into the present, there is a need to focus on what is around us and experience the current moment. Similar to the way extreme beauty can arrest our attention and silence our thoughts.

These moments of beauty we often see in natural phenomena; they seem to break through the stream of time and lift us into something outside it, providing temporary respite from trauma and helping us to recover ourselves.

For this solo show ‘Keep me safe’, Horner has painted images of her experience of going to the first Calais Jungle, alongside small paintings of perceived moments that arrested her own internal dialogue, freezing it in time and mirroring it into a metaphorical visual shape.

Duration 02 May 2017 - 10 May 2017
Venue Westminster Reference Library
Address 35 St Martin’s Street WC2H 7HP, ,
Contact 020 7641 5250 / /