Tuesday 22 February 2011

Art Has Temporarily Left Bognor. It Will Return Next Week.

www.antoniarolls.co.uk for my website
www.jesusonthetube.co.uk for the Jesus on the Tube website, a very well known image
www.agracefuldeath.blogspot.com for the A Graceful Death exhibition, paintings from the end of life

The A Graceful Death Exhibition is now showing at St Nicholas Church in Burnage, Manchester.  Please go to the www.agracefuldeath.blogspot.com link for details, and an account of setting up and the Opening Night.

Art Has Got In A Car And Gone To Do Other Things Until Next Week

I, who seem to think that I am Bognor Regis Art, have gone away for ten days.  I am proudly and nervously showing the A Graceful Death exhibition in Burnage in Manchester, and am giving that all my attention.  I say Nervously, because the exhibition is so important, and it has all my heart in it.  I want it to be received well.  My friend the Rev Rachel Mann has offered her church in which to show the exhibition, and it is so important that her generosity and faith is rewarded.  We have had the opening night, and we have hung the paintings so beautifully in Rachel's church, it is now up to you, the public to come and make of it what you will.  The A Graceful Death exhibition has two smaller complimentary exhibitions running alongside it;  I show a selection of Every Day Angels and a small Jesus on the Tube display.  This is a good foil to the emotions that can be quite powerful when looking at the AGD paintings.

So I have got into a car and left the hub of Artistic Excellence that is Bognor Regis.  All our Artistic Movements will have to run concurrently alongside each other without me.  I wonder if we will have Surrealists clawing at the air with Angst, painting hat stands with flowery aprons, in open fields, with broad brushstrokes and living short hedonistic lives.  That more or less covers all our Art Movements (Surrealism, Impressionism, Angst, the Left Bank) except the Bognor Regis Renaissance.  That is too intellectual to worry itself about a ten day absence of its leader.  I am not worried about coming back to Bognor and finding that all the Movements have merged and lost their focus.  That is progress, a new Movement shall rise, if this is the case, from the ashes and we shall toddle along as we were before, being intense and a bit lazy and having a half day on Wednesday.

Being away from my studio has made me see how much I do get done.  I am piling up the Angels commissions, (the little £65 6"x 4" angels painted to order to give love, strength, hope and so on to their owner) and I still have the glorious Rachel Mann's portrait to complete.  I could not see her properly in my studio with the photos and drawings I have of her, and she is someone who needs to be seen properly, so Eileen Rafferty, photographer extraordinaire, has done a series of photos of her over the weekend for me.  Eileen is photographing the A Graceful Death exhibition for a book she is writing on it.  Her photos are very sensitive and perceptive.  She is so empathetic that I never have to say why I want a particular painting or person photographed, Eileen just knows and always gets it just right.  I will continue Rachel's portrait with excitement when I get back next week.  To remind you, Rachel is being painted as the Rock Chick Angel of the North because that is what she is.  A Rocking Musical Heavy Metal Vicar, and an Angel and living and working in the North.  Absolutely.

Before I left for the long journey from Bognor to Burnage, I had to pack up for the 10 days and sort out the 14 Year Old Son.  It is half term, which made it a bit easier.  My stalwart, ever helpful, selfless and perfect cousins Maddy and Jules are having the darling gangly ravenous Boxing Boy for the half term.  Maddy has three large ravenous gangly kiddies of her own, so Boxing Boy will gangle with them.  Jules has the most exquisite little 6 year old daughter who so knows her mind that we are there simply to worship and do her bidding.  Boxing Boy, like the rest of us, consider this an honour. The two days before the half term started, were covered by extremely busy Nursing Daughter Alexia, who studies by day at Brighton University, and works by night and over the weekend on the wards.  I thought she may have a few moments unaccounted for during those two vital school days that I was in Manchester and The Boy had to go to school, so I gave her her brother to look after.  He had to go from Brighton to Chichester to school and back, and stay in her teeny tiny weeny little fairy grotto with her.  He is 6'2" and full of energy.  He likes to kick footballs around while talking, he likes to box doors and throw cushions into the air and catch them with his feet, so not sure how it worked out, but both are still alive and I take comfort from that.

My team, the present A Graceful Death team for the Manchester exhibition are the following - the camera man, film maker and director Neill Blume and his camera man colleague Graham.  Eileen Rafferty the Photographer, Costya my son who turned out to be a whizz flower arranger, and Alan who came to support and help and be magnificent on the opening night taking people around the exhibition.  And Rachel, who gave us her church in which to exhibit and let all six of us stay in her home for three days while everyone was setting it up and sorting out the extraordinary amount of admin that this exhibition engenders.  Rachel also gave us her time and showed endless patience and kindness to all of us as we raced around being busy, we are so busy we can't see the wood for the trees.  Rachel is busy too, but graciously helped us whenever she could.  

I did two interviews on BBC Radio Manchester that I will suggest you listen to to understand a bit more of what I am doing.  The links are below
This is the Heather Stott interview below, I am 1 hour 4 minutes into it. 

This below is the Mike Shaft interview from 20.2.2011. I am 1 hour 10 minutes into it.

So now I am having a bit of a quiet few days before the Closing Night Party on Friday 25 February 7-9pm.  Then, as before, I will become Artist Extraordinaire, and Do My Stuff.  On the Saturday, I will pack up the three exhibitions - A Graceful Death, the Every Day Angels and the Jesus on the Tube, and fit them somehow into my car with my dear son Costya who is coming back up to help.  Then, having made the church as it was before I arrived, I will go.  On the way home I will stop off in Oxford to pick up the 14 Year Old Gangly Boy from Jules, stay the night with them and on Sunday morning drive back to Bognor where I will get the Gangly One ready for school again the next morning.  I, Antonia Rolls, will then go back to bed and stay there until further notice.

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