Entering the gallery by the large stone steps at the front of the building I walked under the greek inspired Ionic columns and through the heavy wooden and brass double doors. I love this place. The gallery was a hubbub of sound; Clinking chine from the tea room to my right and excited chatter from new exhibition that had just opened down the corridor to my left.
I made my way through the partially concealed walkway which led from the entranceway through to the gallery shop and out into the atrium at the centre of the building. Gazing up at the glass staircase, which is flanked by two glass elevators, I decided to head up to the first floor. As I arrived at the first floor; a bright flash of colour and textile caught eye from beyond the wide doorway which led to the Clore gallery. I decided to investigate. As I rounded the corner I was greeted by a huge embroidered camping tent. Standing next to the tent was a lady in a bright red dress, her dress was almost identical to mine, a vintage piece too. She was accompanied by a gentleman and they were both attempting, unsuccessfully, to fasten the tent doors closed. As I was admiring the tent and reading the blurb about piece I could see, from of the corner of my eye, that the lady and gentleman were still struggling to fasten the tent. They were in deep discussion, in a huddle of strategy, and a fuss of mounting frustrating as they starred in puzzlement at the unfastened loops. They were clearly baffled. Politely I intervened and swiftly began fastening the tent doors. As they looked on in amazement I smiled and said ‘Duke of Edinburgh’. The lady in the red dress then enlisted my help in showing her how to fasten the other tent door. This time, I gave her instructions so that she would be able to complete the task independently. ‘Through the eyelet, through the hoop, into the other loop and pull’. The lady in the red dress followed along as a instructed and she soon had the hang of it. After a short time the tent was fastened. We exchanged a few words. I left with a ‘lovely to meet you’ and headed off back down the glass stairs.
As I reached the bottom of the stairs there was a screen displaying a documentary about a city wide typographic art installation. Words and statements had been cut from felt and placed around the city as part of the Journeys festival. The film caught my eye as I had seen some of the installation displayed on building and structures on the streets nearby; In fact there was a section of the installation on the planter where I had just painted the mural. As the film continued the artist appeared on screen and began speaking about the piece. To my surprise the artist was the very lady I had just been teaching how to fasten a tent, it was the lady in the red dress from upstairs; It was Kate Daudy and the gentleman with her was her artistic producer.
I went back upstairs and spoke with Kate again, we spoke about her installation, the embroidered tent, and the coincidence of meeting her having just encountered her art where I was installing mine. Exchanging numbers we arranged to meet the next day for a cup of tea and more arty chat.
As I left the gallery I was greeted again by the, uncharacteristically, sunny day. As the warm rays from the sun rested on my face and my vintage green coat dress swung jauntily as I strolled toward the tram platform I smiled to myself and thought, what an incredible few days.
New post on Saturday: “Theres a car in my face! The perils of painting in public”.