After what seems a very long time at last our new exhibition opened.
A joint exhibition by the sculptor Sandra Courlivant and photographer Asher Svidensky.
The exhibition was focused upon their individual journey's to
The common link between their individual art is the children and Eagles.
Sometime ago Asher's photograph had become a worldwide sensation after he released
a series of photographs of a young girl, Ashol Pan.
She had become the first female to hunt with an eagle, a girl of thirteen.
The full story is better told in Asher's own words.
There is a book in the "pipeline" so soon we will all be able to read the full story.
Sandra Courlivant had exhibited with us last year and her sculptures received such a good response
that I have been desperate to think of an excuse to invite her back again.
Her work centres around the relationship between the Mongolian children and their animals.
With their nomadic way of life the bond forged between human and animals is like none found elsewhere on our planet.
The animals really are their friends.
It is this gentle portrayal of their relationship that makes Sandra's sculptures so very special.
They really are very gentle pieces of art.
With his photograph's Asher had also captured the same bond.
His photograph of Ashol Pan caressing and cuddling this giant and dangerous bird says it all.
So I had asked would they collaborate for this exhibition, to my delight they agreed.
What was an even nicer surprise is that Sandra travelled from France for the "vernissage".
Her visit here for the opening was as enjoyable as her last.
Many old friends came to greet and meet her again, and a lot of her time was spent
She had asked me before the opening "how should I greet people"?
"hello it is good to see you again", I told her.
"But what if I don't remember them"?
But of course she did.
In fact she spent more time talking to people than I did, and that doesn't happen very often.
The fact that she did remember people and took the time to talk with them in English
[she did not need my translation skills fortunately].
was really appreciated and it was obvious that she was building is a loyal group of collectors
here at our gallery.
It is almost impossible to believe that not very long ago I had never heard of her,
now one year later I would be horrified if I was never to see her or her sculptures again.
But I don't think that is going to happen as we are now mates and are planning
The two Reindeer sculptures were the last to be made for the exhibition.
In fact they almost never came into "being".
It was only because a lady came into the gallery asking to be sent an invitation that they happened.
"Will you have sculptures of the Mongolians with Reindeer"?
My initial thoughts were
"what an idiot she is thinking of Eskimo's"
The idiot of course is me as there is a region where the deer are treated in the same way as horses.
I mentioned it to Sandra,
who of course knew all about them and exactly where they live, it helped me understand what a vast
country it is with landscapes changing from deserts to Icelandic mountain wilderness.
Perhaps the last great wilderness,
occupied by a population as beautiful as their landscape.
The evening before Sandra's departure we all ate a meal together in the gallery.
So talking about the common language of food she exploded the myth that in France they do not eat a great deal of onions and garlic.
I would have none of this.
I explained to her the image of the French riding bicycle's laden down with strings of onion and garlic.
She wasn't convinced.
The poor woman must live in a very remote region where they only eat snails.
So the next day before returning her to the airport I took her to visit a "real"
French market here in an English town.
For some unknown reason she did not seem that impressed.
"I see that you have Chinese French", she said after passing the noodle stall.
"Oh! Moroccan French, and the Mexican French".
She exclaimed after passing the various food stands all purporting to be from France.
Then I turned around to see her happy.
"home at last", she told me as she caressed a string of garlic.
I knew it.
They eat garlic and onion all day long.
Now all I had to do was find her a stand selling "berets".