When I'm 'off duty', I'm greatly looking forward to spending two very special days out with Roberta, my dear friend of over 60 years. We are heading to the Holbein exhibition at the Queens Gallery in Buckingham Palace, and - reliving our youth and some wonderful days in London - the Biba exhibition at the Design and Textile Museum , celebrating the work of Barbara Hulanicki, her ground breaking fashion designs and the beautiful Biba stores, culminating in the truly extraordinary 'Big Biba' in the old Derry and Toms building in Kensington High Street. It was a magical place and we were so lucky to have visited on many occasions, travelling up by train on our 'Super Saver' tickets. Those were the days!
I've got a large collection of all things Biba - a small selection here in the photo - a cabinet full of make up, perfume. tins, bags, household goods and cards, and much more packed away in drawers - clothes, diaries, books, catalogues, a pair of shoes and the famous boots that regularly sold out when new colours came into the store and a fabulous cardboard suitcase in snake skin print. I'm hoping there will be some merchandise at the exhibition that I can add to my collection.
2022 has been a very busy year so far with my miniatures shown at the Sea Side Art Gallery and Snow Goose Gallery’s annual international miniature art exhibitions in the USA, and the Hilliard Society of Miniaturists annual show here in the UK.
The Royal Society of Miniaturists exhibition is not taking place this year as, after many years at the Mall Galleries, the show moves to the very exciting new venue of the Bankside Gallery in London. The dates are 28 th June – 8 th July 2023 so plenty of time for me to plan ahead with new works to submit. Situated on the Thames river front beside the Tate Modern in a popular and vibrant part of London, this promises to be a wonderful new venue for the Society.
It is no great surprise that exhibitions have been cancelled for the remainder of 2020 and even the MASF show in Florida, due to be held in early 2021, will not be taking place.
There are entries from around the world and they all have to be in the gallery by the autumn. With the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic, the organisers have decided not to go ahead.
At the start of the lockdown life carried on pretty much the same as usual for us both and, as Alan and I both work alone, keeping our distance from other people was not a problem.
Whilst Alan has been kept very busy with his classic car restoration projects, my work has slowed up of late so it has been very good to take the opportunity to finish off lots of projects long neglected, and plan new work for the new year.
Meanwhile, our granddaughter, Izabella, has been racking up the accolades with her drawing published in The Beano in August, and a fantastically successful yard sale - her own idea - which included her hand painted mini canvasses and raised enough money to but a huge trolley full of essential items for our local food bank.
Needless to say, we are very proud of her, and, with arty genes on both sides of the family it's good to see that she and her brother, Ethan, derive much pleasure from drawing, painting and creating all sorts of marvellous things. I have a veritable gallery of their work at home!
And so, as autumn approaches, I am looking forward to new ideas, new directions and more exciting projects for 2021.