We had our first show. It went incredibly well. Everything sold. Even some things that weren’t for sale sold. I felt inspired to make a few extra new drawings so at least there would be something there if people had set their hearts on buying. They went too. It was like the Marie Celeste on the Sunday in the Little Shop.
So many came to the Opening Reception. Dogs as well as people. It was amazing. We had a tombola and drinks served over at The Crescent pub opposite. We had half-hourly tickets so everyone would get a viewing. It sounds a bit strange doesn’t it, but it all went so smoothly. Team Mustard had it worked out to a tee. Everybody was so kind, patient, understanding, generous.
I always forget that there is so much more to putting on an exhibition than making the work. Maybe I worked too hard as I was tired for weeks afterwards. And every morning when I woke up, I remembered how well it had gone and I felt stunned all over again. From my bed, flushed and giddy from my success, I made an ambitious programme of events to take us through the year as truly I believed that now ANYTHING was possible. And then the Virus hit.
I know everyone’s experience is different. And perhaps as I’ve got older I’ve gotten luckier. For some, a surprise diagnosis of cancer feels (and is) genuinely devastating. But for many of us it can feel like a gift and a new beginning. Similarly I know so many people have had a really tough time during lockdown. I am in the fortunate position of living and working on my own, having no children to worry about, living in a safe and beautiful part of the world, being in good health. I love what I do and for me little has changed. Went a bit wonky in the head for a while, but otherwise tickety boo. My ambitious programme of events went to the dogs though. Ah well. And I thought it was going to be such a good year…
Never Waste a Crisis, an excellent therapist once said to me, and it has become my mantra. There is always something good to challenge me when disaster strikes I find. And sure enough, in the space left by cancelled shows and broken dreams, there was rest and gardening, house sorting, even spring cleaning. Mostly time for thinking, and wondering how my life could change in the following months. I got a bag of clay from Roberto’s studio, sadly ‘closed because of the Covid’, and started playing. Like during my chemotherapy, when everything was upside down, getting my hands on some clay somehow made things better. Pottery Gagliano has always been a safe haven, even in spirit. Roberto says, leave your problems at the door and anything is possible.
And here we are months later with a fabulous new collection. Well, I think it’s fabulous. But then I know how much work and love and care has gone into each piece. In collaboration with Roberto. Working with friends. Innis has taken some wonderful photographs, Mr Cain has organized the website and all those vital technical bits. We have all done our very best. Who knows what will happen next?