Although I intend to I never get to write anything before an exhibition as it seems
that the last weeks and days disappear in a blur.
A blur of travel and worry.
Travel, because some of the promised work still isn't finished and it means that it wouldn't be
here for the opening unless collected at the last minute.
Worry, because I am never sure if everything will be here and also because you never know
how the opening will go, and the most important priority is that I don't want
to let the artist or artists down.
So as usual thirty minutes before the door was opened I was cleaning, arranging, printing prices, panicking and getting in a sweat.
It's the same every time and I suppose it always will be, as I think that even with another day or even a week I would still find more to do and even more to worry about.
But at last the door was opened to waiting people and the exhibition was underway.
People were viewing, Jackie Morris the illustrator was signing her new book
and I was enjoying a glass of wine.
Well, to tell the truth I wasn't enjoying it I was just drinking it because there was the rest of the day to get through and still much to worry about.
There wasn't really, but I think I just enjoy worrying.
I had been looking forward to the arrival of many of the pieces of art that were being shown
and it was a real pleasure to see everything set out and to be able to enjoy the things that I
had only known from photographs.
It is strange that although I wish for everything to sell at an exhibition a part of me wants nothing to go, so that I can have the continued pleasure of looking at things. In theory I should have that pleasure for at least a couple of weeks but we have always had a policy that if people have made long journeys to come here then we would allow them to take their purchase with them.
Fortunately many people are from a thirty mile radius but many do undertake journey's of
many hours to be arrive here.
The result of this is that some of the exhibits that I would like myself and others to enjoy vanish sooner rather than later.
So it is some of the "disappeared" that I will show first.
The very first sale [apart from many of Jackie's books] was for a most unusual sculpture,
made by a very unusual person.
The artist is a lovely lady named Lorell Lehman, who unfortunately for me lives in Australia.
Unfortunately, because I would love to show much more of her work,
but I think that the distance will make it too hard.
Everything she makes is innocent and beautiful, a little like the creator.
Although, perhaps her Goblins and other such creatures aren't so innocent.
Whatever, Lorell's contribution to the exhibition was a inspired by her
favourite childhood nursery rhyme.
In fact "the" Pobble.
'The Pobble Who Has No Toes', written by Edward Lear.
I confess I had never heard of this, and when receiving photographs prior to the arrival I wasn't sure what to think.
Then I read the Rhyme/Poem, and instantly I fell in love with him.
The story is so silly, old fashioned, innocent and full of nonsense, it is impossible not to love it,
or the sculpture that it inspired.
In fact this sculpture shows Pobble before he lost his toes, but! Protecting his nose, because.
"it's perfectly known that a Pobble's toes
Are safe,-----provided he minds his nose."
It was a piece of sculpture that only comes along "once in a long while".
I was sorry to see him go, but happy to know that he is now living with two of the nicest
customers we have known. So I think he will be happy and cared for.
The pictures above show him about to embark on his swim across the Bristol Channel.
His bell is of course to warn ships away, but I'm sure you realised that anyway.
The other picture shows a totally different sort of work.
It was made by my best friend Karen, and again it is total nonsense but in an instant tells
what the exhibition was all about.
"Four & Twenty Blackbirds", who wouldn't recognise that?
Although I did hear someone looking through the window the evening before the opening
telling people that there were only 21 Blackbirds.
Maybe he was the village idiot [like every village/town we do have one or maybe two].
I am so pleased that Karen created this piece for us as I know that she is under a lot of pressure
and has a baby due soon, so she didn't need me calling saying
"our exhibition is nearly on us".
But typically she managed to make us some special pieces just in time.
She told me that it had been on her mind that "I can't let John down", and I was very moved
by this statement from someone who certainly doesn't need extra pressure at this time.
She also created a VERY unusual clock.
"Hickory, Dickory, Dock...................."
That I didn't have a chance to photograph and never will, as it left with Jackie Morris
who had been undecided about different treasures but eventually left with this unique object,
complete with Mice running up and down and with an Owl perched waiting to catch them.
It is these sort of innocent pieces that made the whole exhibition fun, along with the presence
of the incredible Jackie Morris, who without any complaint talked and signed for hours on end.
She was so nice she didn't even complain about my grumpy nature.
Stress doesn't tend to bring out the best in me.
Thank you to everyone, it was a very enjoyable and light hearted start to an exhibition.