The long, windy and (til now undocumented) road to Waterperry!

Whilst the last few months before AiA didn’t play out quite like Gaby Turner’s wonderful poem predicted, in many ways it was not too far off the mark.

Procrastination, late nights, stress, angst. It was all there!

Managing the studio, teaching various classes, preparing my display, setting up the stall and not to mention the small act of making artwork all consumed time like a black hole consumes matter. Days slipped by and one casualty on my to-do-list was always blogging my progress on my website. Ho hum…

I was spread thin and was stressed but fortunately for me I had loads of help from my loved ones. I can honestly say that the poem would have been re-enacted word-for-word were it not for their help. I am eternally grateful for the support they gave (not to mention tolerance). And though words cannot express just how grateful I am, the following may help.

So for this blog post each person gets a paragraph named after where I shall acknowledge how great they were at coming to my rescue (whilst conveniently highlighting some of the key stages involved in getting ready for the show).

Brother Ben – my carpenter

Like a solid timber beam in Noah’s arc, Ben withstood the floods of chaos I lashed down upon him. Then, like the white dove, he guided me and my menagerie to the dry land of Waterperry!

Displaying your work is almost as important as the work itself. Fortunately Ben came up with some inspired ideas for my display area and together we made them a reality. I say together, really I mean I garbled a few incoherent commands at him, he gleamed what he needed to do and ignored the rest!

The day before Art in Action, we drove our vehicles to Art in Action to set up the stall. Someone (ok, me) had got the measurements wrong – we had less room than I thought (panic, arrrh!). Fortunately Ben was calm under pressure and sorted it.

The stage was complete and it looked brilliant!

(Brother Ben for all your carpentry and painting needs)

My girlfriend – my graphic designer, shrink & muse

If Ben was timber, then my girlfriend was my rock.
She stoked my creative embers; she kept an eye on the clock.
She picked me when I was down; she brought a smile to my frown.
She rolled my stone so it would gather no moss; she made my publicity material look shiny in gloss.

Thank you for all your help – for spending hours tweaking logos, enhancing images and editing websites. Most of all though, for having faith in me and being such an inspiration.

You’re more than a rock, you’re a diamond!

Nikki – the puppet master
Behind every great Punch and Judy performance is a talented puppet master. But whilst Punch and Judy soak up the benefits of being centre stage, the puppet master often works tirelessly backstage- keeping the performance going from the shadows.

The studio has many elements that make it a great stage for creativity and Nikki keeps them all in order and running smoothly.

To top it all, she even has to deal with the obnoxious, snappy, misbehaved crocodile (I don’t have a clue who that could be!) which can be a gruelling, thankless task. But, like any true craftsman she sees the reward in the outcome and I am eternally grateful that she does.

Thank you Nikki for taking up so much slack in the build up to AiA. For helping pack the sculpture, peeling stencils off rhinos with me at 3am and everything else that you did.

And where’s that crocodile gone?? Hopefully he’s well and truly behind you!

Mum & Peter – my backers and agents

Sometimes it takes someone to have faith in you for you to have faith in yourself (James Ort, 2016 – though this could well be stolen from someone else and plucked from my discombobulated subconscious mind!)

I have spent a lifetime not really believing in my artistic abilities. Resistance ruled me for years and it wasn’t until Peter and, my Mum, Karin invited me to run the studio that I really started to make a go of it. AiA has been the pinnacle of my creative journey to date and none of this would have been possible were it not for these guys making it a possibility.

Thank you for believing in me, for making yourselves scarce when it was wise to and for coming to my rescue when I needed you!

So to summarise:
Stuff got done and fantastic people helped me to make it happen. Oh and I made some sculpture of animals too.
The next instalment will look at back over my days at Art in Action.

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