Sorry for my delay, I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to check in last Friday. I think we have a few things to catch up on and they are all exciting! This past week, all my new work was completed, varnished, given words and titles and then documented and packed up for the train journey to England. It was such a thrill to finish up the works and remove the tape around the edges of the paper and see them come alive. I couldn't be more pleased.
The journey by train was so beautiful and transporting the art was easily managed, my paper works in an old black zippered portfolio of Stewart's. His work was packed in one box and in a bag and it all fit into the luggage rack in the train not far from our seats.
If I could take a train to every exhibition I needed to attend, I would. I just loved watching the world go by, the sheep, the fields, the hills, the villages; all so very lovely and then before we knew it we arrived at our destination.
The director and curator of Cross Street Arts, Steven Heaton, picked us up at the station in his vintage, green Morris Minor. As luck would have it, we fit in his lovely car with all the work and our luggage and made the short drive to the Cross Street Arts studios and gallery in Standish. It was a beautiful drive as spring came to this part of England perhaps a little sooner than Edinburgh. The sun was shining, the flowers and trees were in full bloom and everything looked inviting.
We spent the rest of Thursday getting to know the gallery space, unveiling the art and getting things installed. We also met with a local press photographer for short interviews and lots of photos of us and our work. It was great to be back at Ok Studios/Cross Street Arts. We visited briefly last spring when I was over here as well and it was great to see several familiar artists and to meet new ones. Everyone was helpful and friendly, making us feel right at home and very much welcomed. It is a lovely setting for a gallery and studio space. It is infectious to be in such a creative space, walking through the open plan studio complex and seeing snippets of every one's work and getting that sense of community was very inspiring. I hope now that the fever of getting this body of work prepared and delivered for the exhibition is over that I will have time to meet some of my studio mates here in Edinburgh over at The Arts Complex.
The Cross Street Arts gallery is a lovely light filled space and fit both mine and Stewart's work perfectly. Thanks to prior planning over the Internet (Skype is a great thing!) everything went smoothly. I am pleased to report that Cross Street Arts is now a supporter and sponsor of my project "Ghosts of the Past Exposed." As soon as Cross Street Arts knew I had secured funding to return overseas, Director Steven Heaton asked if I would like to debut this new work in their gallery. Not only did they generously provide the space and the invitation to debut these works but they also covered all installation expenses and promotional costs of the exhibition. Many commercial galleries would do at least some of this, but Cross Street Arts is a non profit studio and gallery and they used money from their tight budget to help bring my project to light and to reach a larger audience and for that I will be forever grateful. It takes a lot to make these things happen, a lot of communication and working together and it was a true joy from start to finish (and it is not even done, the exhibition will remain on show at the gallery through June 14th).
The crowd on opening night was phenomenal, with an easy and gentle start to a sudden packed house. The folks in attendance were lovely, making sure to come up and introduce themselves and talk to us about our works. We had the old and young, a collection of artists, hipsters and even some movers and shakers from the Manchester and surrounding art worlds. Everyone seemed interested in the work and in us and we had great and involved conversations. It felt so perfect and I think I smiled all night long. Everyone was so genuine and so appreciative of the work and of us being there in their town. I honestly don't think the opening could have gone any better or been more enjoyable. It reminded me again of how lucky I am to be in this business and how it is the stories and interactions that always make it worth it. The art is hugely important and without it we wouldn't have any of this but it is the relationships and the exchange of ideas and the experiences that art brings me that fills my heart and keeps me going.
Thank you Steven Heaton and everyone at Cross Street Arts for providing this opportunity for us and for the community you serve through the arts. These are the things that make life bright and beautiful and make places like Standish special gems. Thanks to everyone who came to the opening and made Stewart and I feel so warmly welcomed, I will remember your faces and smiles for years to come.
Support the arts in Standish and the mission of Cross Street Arts. Go to their exhibitions, let the artists know that they are doing a great job and be a part of this vital community. I know there is space for you in the inclusive and impressive art world that they are creating. Like them on Facebook, Twitter and visit their website and even better, go visit them in their studios and at the gallery.
And of course please visit our exhibition:
Through time and distance
17 May- 14 June
Thursday- Saturday 12-4pm
and by appointment