Farewell, Frankie

Several years ago, when I decided that I really had something that I wanted to show the world, I was uncomfortable about admitting to my work under my real name.  The reasons for this were entirely logical at the time.  Because of this I chose to advertise my work in the name of my grandmother, Frankie Boase.  Now it is time to move on.  I feel comfortable with my work, I no longer feel the need to hide behind my grandmothers skirts and I want to talk about my art under my own name.  So this blog is a final tribute to the woman whose name has helped me to launch myself.

As a child I did not really know granny all that well.  She lived in Devon for my entire childhood whilst I lived in London but I loved our annual Easter visits to my grandparents.  They always had an edge of excitement and daring about them.  Grandfather would have saved up some outlandish game or activity, normally involving water and some kind of rocket propulsion, the flag would be run up the flag pole and we would spend hours tramping over Dartmoor in the mizzle.  Our visits had something of the air of Swallows and Amazons, without the boats, about them and I loved them!

Frankie Boase

granny and grandfather on the front steps of their house in Devon

Granny was tiny!  I was taller than her at the age of about 10 and I probably weighed more than her by the time I was 6.  She had a touch of Victoriana about her; sensible shoes, long grey hair screwed into a bun, self sacrifice to an extreme that is almost never seen today.  She also had a slightly rebellious streak and that is what I loved her for.  She had clearly never been one to tow the line.  Stories of her adventures in Cornwall as a child and later on in India abound with rather risky and risqué exploits.  Indeed her diary form the summer of 1916, which I have in my possession, might have suffered censorship had it been presented to the publishers at that time!  She died at the age of 94 after a life filled with adventure and servitude and yet that is such a poor description.  She was a tough lady who I remember as always getting her own way, not suffering fools and with a fabulously adventurous spirit.

So thank you, Granny, for lending my your name for a few years whilst I found my feet but, more than that, for giving me your genes.  I value them, I am proud of them and I intend to make a success of my art now in my name but with the knowledge that you set me on my way in more ways than one.

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