It’s actually the 20th and I’m sitting outside the gallery in the morning sun and writing this on my iPad. Last night was a late finish and I went straight to bed. The 19th was the private view, the culmination of my month here at Courtyard – although ‘culmination’ (in the sense that it was the climax of the residency) gives the wrong idea: the process and the journey have been the most important aspects of my time here, reiterated by the fact that the finished exhibition is only up for two days. It was a wonderful and memorable day, however, and I’ll tell the story through pictures.
I arrived to find that amazing Laura, the director of the centre, had already placed the Strange Beings in intriguing and often secret places within the courtyard. We had decided that this would make a good treasure hunt for the children.
Soon enough, Arthur arrived with his grandfather Tony and set about finding all the Beings and ticking them off on a sheet.
He found them all, and learnt how to do ticks in the process.
Barbara and Matthew arrived shortly afterwards, and we took down the gazebo and set up drinks tables in the courtyard.
I put up an information panel about the installation (which I called ‘Ecosystem’).
Just before the opening, Barbara took some photos of me in my glad-rags in amongst the rootscape.
People started to arrive, and then it was buzzing!
Many friends from university started arriving, including Terry, who made the strongest snakey tendril in the entire installation…
My lovely husband Ben and son Sam were there (apart from a short detour to the chip shop around the corner – birthday chips for Sam in lieu of a birthday cake).
Me and Matthew (a new volunteer and talented artist) – whom I hope I have encouraged to do a degree at UofH!)
There was a lot of merriment
and later on, Barbara made a lovely and generous speech and presented me with some flowers. I found myself making a speech in reply (something I am not particularly comfortable with, although I think it was okay) – because it’s me who should be thanking them for this memorable month, not the other way round!
People visited inside, and some were moved to dance… (this is a gorgeous photo of Maisie, Laura’s daughter, not taken by me)
My wonderful university friends (thank you SO much for supporting me!!)
It got dark and it was time to go home. It was a fantastic evening – thanks to Barbara and Laura and Matthew and Bill (the bartender) for all the hard work! And to everyone who came and who has been so encouraging and friendly over this last month.
I’ll write two more blogs, for today and tomorrow – the two last blogs of the residency.