Terrain de roses, Shetland, 1996 and 1997
Echolalia created two Rose Gardens in Shetland, and she invited guests to attend a party in each one. The first was in Norbister (East Burra) in 1996, and the second was in the gallery at the old Shetland Museum in 1997. The latter involved an installation as well as tea parties. Guests received a personal invitation from Echolalia through the post to a Saturday afternoon tea party. I employed a young woman to serve guests and watched the whole event on the CCTV camera in the Museum office. Echolalia's signature sound was installed underneath the table, and as Mike Grundon wrote in his review in The Shetland Times, it created a "slightly unnerving sound". Watercolours of roses were hung on two walls, a floor to celing curtain of pink fabric lined the long main wall and selections from Echolalia's Archive were displayed in the glass cases along the far end of the gallery. The glass windows in the doors to the gallery were blocked out in order to provide a sense of surprise and mystery for visitors on entering the space. The exhibition seemed popular, at least among certain audiences. On the last day, when I went to take the work down, I spoke with a father who was visiting with his young daughter. While they were looking at the selections from Echolalia's Archive, he told me his daughter had insisted he come see the show with her.