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A Portrait of a Lady's Dress by Kerstin Walsh Dress Portraits

Written By Château de Gudanes


Posted on November 14 2020

This week on Shop The Château we are delighted to share with you a blog post written by Kerstin Walsh Dress Portraits, sharing the journey of how she stumbled across the Château, what it means to her to be a dreamer and a woman, and her beautiful art that reflects this.

At the Château we are an all female team that works and dreams together. And so, we feel that what Kerstin has written is very close to our heart on many levels and are sincerely so grateful that she is part of the Shop The Château marketplace. 

We are wishing you happy reading and a bon weekend, 

The Château Team x


"I began following the Château on Instagram, as one does, though I can't remember how. Which image pulled me in? Which of my connections linked me into the web? I don't know. There is a very strong attraction in me to old things. Crumbling walls, dusty windows, wild gardens, drawing you in with a fierce curiosity about who lived there, which lives and destinies played out in those places. Old things make me feel in a way which new things do not and I know that this is probably true for many likeminded people who follow the Château and may read this. 

I like to believe that our souls have been reincarnated and the whispering of times past which we sense so profoundly, are actually memory, shadows of our own life, lived under completely different circumstances. What can I say, I am a dreamer, which is why I am an artist. 

During the lockdown, when the noise of life was blissfully dimmed, I had many dreams and flights of fancy about castles. I'm sure many of the readers here will relate to what I mean. A few weeks ago, when I was awake in the night, I started looking at Instagram, something I would usually never taint the darkness of the night with. This is when I read the Château was opening a marketplace for what is turning out to be a gorgeous collection of makers and appreciators of beauty, of those things made by human hands and passed on through generations.

So that is how I got here. The deep curiosity and excitement which stirs in me in relation to stories of human life provide the current for my work. I love people. I used to want to save them and make them happy and so I became a charity and social worker. But I became weary of tired systems and followed my belief that truth and connection can be found anywhere. So I chose freedom and creativity and made that my vehicle.

Now I try to take the depths of my love of life and bring it into the form of an image. I take photographs of people's dresses and use this image as my canvas.

To me the dress has a beautiful shape, but it is also a symbol of the shape of a woman. The dress becomes the symbol for the woman who wears it and in conversation with her, the dress and the pencil, I bring her innate beauty into an outward manifestation. A slightly secret manifestation, because really, we like to keep our secret chambers slightly veiled. 

I feel as women, that it is the most important thing, to know ourselves. To understand and inhabit our inner selves with absolute care, devotion and clarity. We are powerful, but only when we sit deeply, truthfully and with all of ourselves, on our own thrones. We rule with strength and care and grace, and to be a ruler takes self knowledge and mastery over one's own kingdom. Your body, your home, your family, relationships and immediate environment, your work, your spirituality, your mind, your heart. We have everything we need to be free and that everything is inside of us. 

Therefore my Dress Portraits describe and make visual the mystery. Isn't that what art does? I make portraits for children, of their beautiful inner worlds, and of families with their webs of stories and history and connection. But mostly I show the story of women, so that they can see themselves more clearly and know in one glance that they are powerful, beautiful and courageous. A reminder of sorts. As we know now, many of us are visual learners and those of us who appreciate the Château and its wares also know that objects, buildings and Art contain the spirit of the people they come in contact with.

That is a dramatic account of what I do. It is both simple and dramatic. I draw pictures with the hope of taking something which is alight in me and using it to light a flame in you."

Love and warmth,