It is a hot and humid evening, outside there are people in the street sitting enjoying ice cold
beers at one of the villages six pubs
[alcoholics are well catered for in Long Melford].
I just wish that I could join them but unfortunately I am still sitting in the gallery
which is not unusual, but today I would have liked to have gone home early for a change.
the reason I am here is because I am waiting for a delivery from "the printer".
He has been working on the new invitations for our sculpture exhibition which starts in July.
For once I am well ahead with preparations [that can change] and to have invitations this early is really unusual for me, but I must have at least a few hundred this evening because tomorrow I am visiting a large ceramic fair in Nottingham,
considering that the majority of the sculpture in our exhibition will be made of ceramics it seems a logical thing to drop off invitations at the fair.
One of the sculptors best known who will be showing with us is a lady named Emma Rodgers.
Her work is widely collected on many continents and although we have shown her art in the past it is still something of an achievement for us to have her here.
A while back I took out a page advertisement in a National magazine to promote the event,
after a lot of consideration I chose a picture of one of Emma's pieces to illustrate it.
Two days ago Emma called me to thank me for featuring her sculpture,
"that was really nice of you to do that".
It made me think "just how many artists as big as her would have bothered"?
Lots of them expect it as their due, so it was appreciated that she understood that it
represented a large financial commitment from us.
But of course that's OK as we hope to benefit from it also.
"I was thinking", she said. "As you have featured that sculpture you must have it in the
exhibition, you can have it instead of the Boxing Hares".
Knowing that the Hares stand about five feet high, and this was to replace them, I asked.
"How large is it".
"Oh, about eight feet tall".
I think we will be having the Hares.
The sculpture she had referred to was a bronze 'Dancer'. Emma is renowned for her
sculptures of dancers, she names them after the women who modelled for her and when they
are seen in groups it is possible [although no features are shown] to recognise the individuals
just from there different postures and movements.
But, this large 'Dancer' is like nothing I have ever seen,
at the moment it resides in a museum
and it is incredible to think that it was being offered to us.
When Irene first saw pictures of it she called me from home to say
"I think it is the most beautiful piece she has ever made".
Perhaps it is.
Not only is it massive but it is also very unusual.
It appears that a piece of dress is flowing behind the figure, but on closer inspection you
can observe that there is much more than fabric being shown.
A city skyline can be made out emerging from the fabric, it is possible to make out individual
buildings [there are even Ruby's set amongst them].
The skyline is Liverpool. Emma's home and birthplace.
The museum where it is displayed is the one she used to visit as a young girl, marvelling at
the work, and famous artists displayed there. It was one of her inspirations.
I know that she is so proud to have her work shown inside those walls.
How lovely for us, that she was offering this significant work to be shown here.
Unfortunately, I just don't think we have the space to do justice to such a sculpture,
so with reluctance and a heavy heart we will have the Boxing Hares.
I'm still trying to work out what the bad news is.
If, having a sculpture which is shown at the V&A Museum is the bad news then I want more.
Well, this brings me to a timely end, as a gentleman has just arrived with boxes of invitations.
I've checked and they are perfect, so it's time to turn the lights off close the door and to
go home and enjoy what is left of this lovely evening.
Above is the advertisement featuring the 'Dancer' [look for the skyline].
Emma at the museum putting some finishing touches to it before it was first shown, then some of the other pieces that will be on show [and for sale] at our exhibition.
One of Herman Muys [famous] 'Throne Figures', and also a Horse by him, followed by a
Paul Priest sculpture titled.
'Awaiting the Raptor's Return'.