After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in June 2006 with a First Class Honours degree in Arabic, Lois Cordelia renewed her focus on visual arts, presenting a large scale solo exhibition called "Roots" in the Autumn of the same year. The show featured more than sixty individual pieces in a variety of media, including portraits in acrylics and pastels, town and cityscapes, wildlife art, as well as a number of sculptures, and a series of intricate works cut out of paper with a surgical scalpel.
In calling the title of this exhibition “Roots”, I refer to the symbolic nature of roots on many levels: roots of cultural diversity, roots of identity, the shared roots of the different faiths, humankind's spiritual roots in the Divine, the roots of the Tree of Life, and so on.
The roots of trees and plants that we find in nature provide a rich language of metaphor. As the roots of a plant anchor it in the ground and give it stability, the knowledge of one's cultural and spiritual heritage gives a sure foundation on which to build one's sense of identity. Tree roots in particular may be very ancient and gnarled, encouraging us to dig deeper in our exploration.
Roots also draw in life-giving water and nutrients from the soil. Symbolically, this may suggest how we depend on the efforts of those who have gone before and helped to shape our modern world. In learning to respect the ideas and beliefs of past generations, we may learn from them important and refreshing lessons for today.
The artwork featured in the exhibition represents a personal journey of discovery. It is my hope that others, too, will relate to its themes and find food for thought.
Lois Bülow-Osborne, September 2006