Danielle Lemaire, Eerie Wanda and Jason Creed

As part of the guest exhibition Now We Rise and We Are Everywhere, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art hosted a gathering in Fineshade Wood which included performances by Danielle Lemaire and Eerie Wanda, as well as a talk with Jason Creed, author of Nick Drake: The Pink Moon Files.

Danielle Lemaire in conversation with Jason Creed

The gathering began with a walk from Danielle’s exhibition at The Arches to a clearing in Fineshade Wood. Danielle and Jason discussed the life and work of Nick Drake, the inspiration for both Danielle’s new artwork and Jason’s book and fanzine. Nick Drake’s work portrayed an England as “a perfect, mystical world” to Dutch artist Danielle, while Jason shared that the first time he listened to Drake, it “made [him] feel present”.

The group was then treated to acoustic performances from Danielle, Eerie Wanda, and Jason.

Eerie Wanda performing in Fineshade Wood

Danielle’s exhibition is on view at The Arches until Monday 9 September 2019.

Now We Rise and We Are Everywhere is the result of initial research and discussion between Danielle and Director of CCA Derry~Londonderry Catherine Hemelryk. The exhibition was made possible by a grant from The Mondriaan Fund.

“I had a wonderful day in the woods this Saturday at the Fermynwoods’ art centre. The venue was playing host to Dutch artist and musician Danielle Lemaire with an exhibition of her fine drawings and paintings inspired by the life and music of Nick Drake, displayed in the Arches, a project space and studio, renovated by the Forestry Commission, in Fineshade Wood, Northamptonshire.

The four-day event, which ran from September 6-9, also featured a display of Nick Drake memorabilia, as well as musical performances by Danielle and her guest Marina Tadic, a talented young songwriter and singer who has released two albums in the Netherlands with her band Eerie Wanda.The exhibition also featured interactive media displays, with songs, poetry and interviews.

To coincide with the event, Danielle produced a beautiful book containing many of her drawings and an essay about her art and its connection to Nick Drake, as well as a 10” vinyl record featuring her Drake inspired songs and soundscapes, limited to just 200 copies.I visited the event after being invited by Danielle to take part in a “gathering in the woods” which included an informal talk/interview with myself about Nick Drake and the Pink Moon fanzine and book.

Fineshade wood is a beautiful location, remote and ancient, and a popular destination for walkers and cyclists. Ten of us had arrived for the gathering and we were guided to an out-of-the-way clearing, where we sat on logs in a circle. After the interview/talk (which was filmed by Danielle’s husband, Jan), Danielle and Marina sang a beautiful version of Nick Drake’s Know, with Marina playing guitar. Danielle then sang one of her own compositions and Marina two of her own.

Marina than handed me the guitar and asked if I wanted to play something. I’m not used to performing in public, but had been put at ease by the friendly group and I managed to play one of my own songs without too much trouble, and thoroughly enjoyed doing so too.We all relaxed and chatted for a while afterwards and then Danielle closed the gathering with a reading of a poem by William Blake.

Afterwards we headed back to the gallery space before going our separate ways. By the time you read this, the event will have finished; but if you ever get the chance to attend one of Danielle’s gatherings in the future, I would highly recommend it. Everyone present agreed they would love to be able to attend more events like this, and Danielle certainly seemed keen to do another as soon as possible. I would like to thank Danielle and everyone else present for making it such an enjoyable day.”

Jason Creed