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So. A Good First Night And I (And You) Can All Breathe Now
I am so relieved. I came up and set up the exhibition in Clarissa's house which is now A Gallery. We moved all her furniture into the spare room (spare room? Just the one? There are probably over a million spare rooms here. It's a big house) in fact we removed everything that the eye could see from the hall and dining room, unscrewing things from the walls, taking dining tables apart, and so on. Then up went the paintings and Oh Boy! They look so so good in Clarissa's house. There is A Graceful Death in the hall and dining room, Jesus on the Tubes going up the stairs and Every Day Angels in the kitchen. Three exhibitions in one go. Oh how clever. And Clarissa continued to run her business alongside doing this Exhibition Construction Stuff from her office at home, showing me how real people multi task and Get Things Done. Wine was delivered care of Clarissa's brother, (Thank You Clarissa's Brother. He runs a wine business and Knows These Things) while I made billions of eggy sandwiches on brown bread, and cream cheese and cucumber on white, crusts removed, and cut into teeny teeny triangles. (One for the plate, one for me. One for the plate, one for me. Etc).
When everyone started to arrive I felt so proud of the paintings, the work done to make them look good as an exhibition, and of Clarissa's faultless good taste in arranging and sorting everything out. For a brief moment I felt a primeval urge to rush up to everyone and say "No! Don't say it! I understand you don't want to be here and I fall at your feet in a grovel and apologise! I am Above Myself and Uppity and What Am I Thinking Of Putting On This Show!" That may be the artist's version of stage fright because once I said Hello to the first visitor I felt able to cope. There were, after all, a trillion microscopic sandwiches to help things along, and the Excellent Wine and diet coke to add further meaning to the evening.
People were moved. Good. People have much they carry around in their lives, and this exhibition seems to enable those who wish it, to Talk. I love this. Sometimes, when the time is right and it is safe to do so, Talking about what is really in your heart and on your mind, is a great relief. That business of Not Being Alone and not Being The Only One Who Feels This Way is very important. I did meet some very interesting and thoughtful people.
I gave a speech. Yes. Clarissa insisted and Alan insisted because they both didn't have to do it. I did. They were right though, it was good to explain things a bit, because I can't assume everyone knows exactly what I mean and what I am about just by osmosis. I feel the Speech was a kind of steam of conciousness ramble but I could see that the fact that I said anything at all looked professsional. And, this is so good, 16 Year Old Son clapped his hands and made the room quiet and introduced me. 16 Year Old Son! He hates me! Not any more he doesn't, he wanted to do it because neither Alan nor Clarissa felt able to and 16 Year Old Son said "Leave it to me". And he did it so well. Oh I was so proud of him. I felt like saying "Thank you Everyone and before I begin isn't he (16 Year Old Son) lovely? I used to pick him up with one hand and he used to love Bambi and he really believed the Tooth Fairy was real. Oh and I remember when....."
So here I am at Clarissa's in Wimbledon. I am eating a lot of egg mayonnaise sandwiches, and feeling terribly in control. I sold some Angels, I have 2 more commissions, I met some pretty fab people, and it is only Day Two. I am here till Sunday, and on Sunday we have a Closing Party from 6 - 9 too. It is all parties and eggy sandwiches.
Next weekend I go to Birmingham and on Monday I open there. I have a large hour long slot to make an address on Monday during the day, and then at the Launch in the evening I will have another address to give so I may have to add a bit of Singing and Dancing to keep up the interest and momentum. "So during this difficult time I took photographs of Steve as he deteriorated before my eyes and made images that spoke of my pain and here is a cha cha cha I designed to explain it all."
Come to the exhibition. I will put photos up when I can, I am not At My Computer today so can't, but when I do you will all say one of two things.
- Boy I am glad I was one of the Chosen and made it to this Life Altering Exhibition where the Eggy Sandwiches matched the Wine and Diet Coke and Altered My Life
- Why oh Why Did I Listen to name and agree to go to the Ritz/Opera/Tescos when I Could Have Been At Clarissas Being Deeply Moved and Artistically Enthused and How I Dream of Eggy Sandwiches Diet Coke and Wine. I Feel My Life Has No Meaning.
So there is time. Details follow -
A GRACEFUL DEATH
127 WORPLE ROAD SW20
WED 24 FEB TO SUN 28 FEB OPEN 10AM - 5PM
CLOSING NIGHT PARTY SUN 28 FEB 6 - 9PM
eggy sandwiches diet coke and wine. And paintings.