The sun has shined on us down here in Margate. Today (Monday) is a quitter day, time to reflect upon the last few days – the hectic set-up on Thursday (over 8 hours to install 18 works), nervously opening the doors on Friday, the exciting highs of meeting students and the Private View on Saturday and the busy Sunday.

Thursday: entering an empty gallery with its blank walls is daunting - it doesn’t get much better when the floor is covered with the disgorged contents of the car! Once the work had been disbursed to it’s approximate location, we had to get to grips with the Pie Factory’s hanging system; suspending heavy boards from thin ‘fishing’ wire, particularly the tightly spaced multi panel pieces, took patience and

determination. I could not have done it without the help of my daughter Helen (a veteran of dealing with father’s artistic whims). The tension was relieved by the ‘performance’ of making the main installation in room one, a unique iteration open to the laws of accident and chance, an hilarious sight to those peering through the windows!

Friday: to my great relief, nothing had fallen of the walls or slipped overnight and the title lettering, so painstakingly applied by Sarah and her husband, were still safely adhered. New pressure now: talking to people about the work, which, to my surprise, got easier as the day progressed. We weren’t overrun by visitors but there was a steady flow, many of whom were keen to engage and gain a better understanding of what they found. I was starting to enjoy the experience – until I remembered those students expecting more than art bo*****ks next day. But I sold a piece, so all was good!

Saturday: the students were great, not just painters but textile and creative writing too, all interested, inquisitive and interesting. I learnt as least as much from the process as them. Several established artists also looked in and we had a steady stream of visitors, including friends and family all day; before we knew it, the time arrived to briefly close the doors and prepare for the private view. That evening the gallery buzzed to the chat of art loving folk and echoed with mellow jazz. It was a great night.

Sunday: Margate, if not overwhelmed by visitors, was alive with people enjoying the sun. Browsers wandered the gallery nearly all day and there was much positive feedback on both mine and Sarah’s work – especially rewarding as most visitors were unknown to us. Several contacts were made, which may (or may not) turn into sales, but that maters little as good conversations were had and experience gained for future shows. The glove installation caused some consternation – “looks like my daughter’s bedroom”, “I’ve always wanted to collect lost gloves” (too late now!), “why?”; dogs enjoyed a good sniff and one bohemian lady started to name the gloves (Penelope, Ralf….).

Just the rest of today and tomorrow to go, then the boring bit of taking it all down. I hope all the visitors derived something from the experience. Me? It’s been cathartic.

Any comments from visitors would be much appreciated. Thanks


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