It seems that you did – I have had the most activity on my website this week that I have had for many months. Were you all hanging on to know what has been going on?
The truth is that I have been hard at it all week trying to get work ready for Kew Gardens. I want to have a really good body of work and, whilst it was all under construction before my trip to Canada, the finishing is a lengthy process. I have no images of work yet because I didn’t want to do snap shots and it has been more important to get the work ready.
I am particularly looking forward to responses to my ‘piece de resistance’ though: the Beverly Brook vessel. Beverley Brook runs through Richmond Park, one of my favorite places on earth. My Dad calls it his third lung! Poets Corner, within the gardens of Pembroke Lodge was restored partly with money collected in memory of my mum. I grew up ‘in the park’: on long walks in the company of a procession of family dogs; horse riding; pond dipping; making dens; climbing trees; yes, OK, I was always a bit of a tom-boy.
So I gives me a huge sense of excitement to be able to make with material from the park which was give to me, by permission of the management, when they were restoring the brook. It is my plan to have one large piece for sale at Kew and I have agreed with the Park that 50% of the proceeds of the sale will go to the Friends of Richmond Park for use on a project of their choosing.
It is wonderful what a calming effect this aquatic life is giving me. I have managed to make a load of work this week, despite the heat in my studio, which in August is normally enough to drive me out. It is just as well really. The pressure on me to create was growing exponentially. I had 4 more works to make for an exhibition in Cornwall at Tregony Gallery which starts in early September; I have a lot to do to prepare for Kew Gardens in October – it might seem ages away but I shall be in Canada throughout September; I had a commission to finish for a 70th birthday present and I need to restock my shelves at Klay London. So a wee bit of making was always going to be a good thing.
However, the desire to create is also an ephemeral thing – here one minute, vanished the next so it is always a huge relief to me when I turn up at the studio and find that I can get right on with it. The days when I seem to need to spend an hour or more on Facebook, wash the floor, tidy the shelves and still the urge to make does not come are really very difficult. Does anyone else have this problem I wonder?
Anyway, this week I have been churning it out. The kiln has been fired 3 times and the shelves are groaning under the weight of drying works. Phew, what a relief! But the best thing? At the end of the day, covered in dust and feeling tired, I can sit on the pontoon beside the boat with a glass in my hand and my feet in the water and watch the cygnets practicing their one footed swimming – and BREATHE.