WHAT IF… – SOLAR GALLERY Ilkley 9-31 October 2021
October 3, 2021

Every weekend 11am – 4pm



You will each receive a wrapped present

You will, if you wish to participate, create a work of art
using this object as your starting point.

You may love it…

You may not…

The object, and/or its wrapping can be used in any way at all

*in its entirety
*as a tool
*as inspiration
*incorporated physically
*as a trigger for a related idea
*as a precious thing
*if you dislike the contents of your ‘present’ or the wrapping you can work with that and respond accordingly
*other – you choose


We will be photographing each object to display alongside your creative response to this fun and interesting challenge


I receive a mermaid’s purse as my present?

Responding to the mermaid’s purse I have used symbols to create a very personal painting about my instinctive love for, and desire to protect and nurture, my family.

A mermaid’s purse is a tough leathery pouch, an egg capsule, which is home to a developing shark or skate and a yoke sac for nutrition. I am tough but as soft as an egg yolk too! Encompassing those whom I love arranged within the shape of a flower, a symbol of creation, these protective egg-shaped capsules are encircled in gold symbolising eternal love. In the centre, I hold us all together, unlike mother sharks and skates whose offspring must forever fend for themselves.

Mermaid’s purses are sometimes called Devil’s purses due to their pointed horn like protrusions. The gold encompassing each family member counters this, suggesting halos.

The circle represents the power of the female, a happy life, protection, a group of people and infinity.

The pink and white colours surrounding the ‘flower’ represent daisies which symbolise motherhood, maternal strength, motherly love, childbirth, purity and innocence, loyal love, sincerity, romance, positive energy, hope and new beginnings.

This world we live in is chaotic and daisies stand for balance and harmony and beauty in the world should we choose to look hard enough to see it.

Found washed up on the shore mermaid’s purses are nearly always empty as they have become detached from the seabed by storms ripping the egg cases from the seaweed they attach to in deeper waters. Each of my egg shapes contains a very human being to be protected by me always, no matter what storms attempt to rip us apart.

Despite being constantly challenged we are all still standing remaining strong and steady, despite a few wobbles along the way, fiercely supporting each other to blossom in this ever-changing world.

Kerry J Stoker

The painting is entitled HEADS

And….. as time has passed this image has become even more pertinent to my thoughts about my family – seeing the tops of their heads I wonder what is going on in there and think about the things we have shared, about when we have been physically, or felt apart, or separate, and when we are a tightly supportive unit in challenging moments. The shared love within a family is like no other, constant for me and so deep it can hurt but which sometimes soars with unfettered happiness higher and stronger than any other emotional state of mind. We laugh, we cry, we are there, always.




If you are interested in any of my paintings and would like to discuss possible exhibitions or commissions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Telephone 07904 656 850
Email kerryjstoker@yahoo.com


Acrylic on Canvas 91 x 76cm . . Presenting this painting ...

Acrylic on Canvas 91 x 76cm . . Commissioned for a specia...

Acrylic on Canvas 91 x 76cm . . Commissioned for a specia...

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