Isn't it lovely to have the completed set of our Absences books?
I took my collection across town to show my booky friend, Alison. And I left them in her care so she could have a "jolly good look" and photograph them.
She has sent photos to a sister who has worked in galleries and her sister was delighted with the images and wishes she could see the real thing. Hmmm...a trip in the offing, methinks!
Yesterday, Ali and I had an "art day out" (don't you just love such days!) and drove up to a little whistle-stop hamlet about half an hour from Town where a friend runs a gallery.
We'd gone to look at an exhibition of prints by co-members of Printbank. Neither of us had work in this show (busy on other projects!), but it was good to see what friends are producing.
We were sitting in the sunshine, drinking coffee and talking art...and I remembered that my Absences collection was in the car!
"Oh! Wonderful!" cried Lesley and she and Ali cleared the table, Lesley produced a clean cloth and some cotton gloves and I opened the package. And, again, that little frisson.
It is so helpful to stand aside and judge the reactions of viewers. In a gallery you can often do this anonymously. More difficult with people who know you, of course!
But Lesley, a painter and printmaker, looked with knowing eyes at each piece. And I was surprised and delighted to see even more new "angles" as I looked through her eyes.
I suspect that, over the years, I'll continue to see more in these books.
Lesley and Alison with the collection.
And I feel I should have said more to BAO members about my approach to my own contribution.
It was seeing a close friend begin to "slip away" from everyday things that led to my simple drawings.
Mary, a strong, practical woman who reared four children on a farm in the days of do-it-yourself has suffered several small brain seizures.
As I read the poem I had a vivid image of Mary drawing, free-hand, a border of pansies on a piece of linen which she then embroidered. Now, her hand shakes and writing is difficult and any attempt to draw has a child-like wobbliness.
An alone-ness she has to learn...