This summer was not the one I had anticipated it to be, I had been hoping to take a few days off
but instead I had a long and unexpected break, and not a good one.
In the words of John Lennon,"Life happens while we are busy making other plans".
As I explained in my previous post I had been busy preparing for our next exhibition,
it had been scheduled a long time ago and although there was still a few months to go I was becoming
increasingly excited at the prospect and there was still a lot of planning to do.
However, I didn't plan on having a major stroke.
That was something that came as an unpleasant surprise,
and as a result most of my summer was spent in a hospital.
The stroke happened on what would have been a normal day in the gallery,
but now I appreciate that I will never have another "normal" day again.
I lost the use of one side of my body.
It was told by a doctor that I had had "a life changing experience".
And that is true
I had lost the use of one side of my body,
I couldn't walk, move my arm hand or fingers, but I was very lucky I could still talk.
So for a long all that I did do is talk as I started on the long road of learning how to use my body again.
Fortunately I had a fantastic team of physiotherapist's who worked with me each day,
they taught me how to stand, to move my leg and after a month how to take a step.
With each day that passed my constant goal was to be back at the gallery for the opening of the new exhibition.
While I was away the family had become a team and they were running the gallery.
In fact I think it has now become "our" gallery instead of "my" gallery,
so perhaps some good has come from my experience.
Of course the fact that I am writing this means I am "back at work",
I am still learning to use my body again and that will take time, but I am back.
I did achieve my goal of returning for the exhibition, in fact the opening day was my first full day
back at the gallery.
It was tiring but what a great day to be back.
It was to be our busiest most attended exhibition ever, with hundreds of people visiting during the course of the day.
The opening coincided with the 40th anniversary of Marc Bolan's death,
as a result the walls contained many of the artworks that George Underwood had created of him during his short lifetime.
Along with portraits the album covers were also exhibited.
The one shown below is from the 1976 album 'Futuristic Dragon'.
What made this of special interest is that George was able to give us a copy of the original concept sketch for the cover drawn and given to him by Marc Bolan.
This along with a drawing by David Bowie for the 'Space Oddity' album gave the exhibition a greater dimension. It really brought the art to life and explained some of the history of George's relationship with these two iconic musicians.
Of course they were not the only "stars" that he has painted and worked with, the exhibition covers
some 50 years of music history.
Rock and Roll'
is the title we chose for the exhibition and that explains everything.
Below is a very small sample of the art on show.
Here is a picture of the artist himself, taken just after he signed the banner outside the gallery.
In fact signing is something that George had to do for the duration of the day as it seemed that
everybody wanted to take home evidence that they had met the great man.
Here are a few pics of the day
You might be forgiven for thinking that this is a picture of George Underwood and Marc Bolan.
In fact it is Danielz the singer with the band T. Rextasy who played a live acoustic show for us at the opening.
After my long break I couldn't have had a better return to both the gallery and life itself.