Monday, October 24, 2011

Exhibition at Tourist Information Centre, St Davids

 Last week I spent three and a half days with Nigel from the Tourist Info Centre in St Davids moving and hanging the exhibition that will be on there until the end of January. The TI Centre shares its space with Oriel y Parc, the beautiful and small gallery that houses a part of the Museums and Galleries of Wales collection. At one time they ran an artist in residence program in the building, but with cutbacks this is one of the things that has fallen away and the room has been idle and little used. Somehow I managed to talk my way into becoming an 'artist in residence' there, using the studio space and having an exhibition that runs through the length of the building.
Today will be my first day working there. I have never worked away from home before and require solitude when working so the idea of working in such a public space is, at the moment, filling me with dread. The residency is not a paid position, but even so I feel some, pressure isn't the right word, maybe obligation would be better, to be a little accessible to people. So, how to get the balance right?
This week I will be open to the public between 2 and 5 on Thursday afternoon, working in my studio and available to sign books. Then in the evening a more formal opening from 6.30. ( If you would like to attend please let the Parcs know as they are trying to get some idea of numbers attending.)
Other than that if people want books personalised they can leave them to be collected and I will sign at the end of the day. 
Moving my studio has been more disturbing than I thought it would be and so I am moving tentatively at first. I am hoping to be able to 'play' with some new ideas at home during the evenings. Meanwhile will see how things go one day at a time.
And for those who find Pembrokeshire too far here is a sneak preview of the show. It will be on until end January and the exhibition at Oriel y Parc in the Museums and Gallery space will change on around 25th November. At the moment is a Turner, Cecil Morris, John Bellamy and Graham Sutherland. Also beautiful silver work and exquisite glass pieces. A small but richly rewarding exhibition.

Caro Flynn is also showing some work in the window of the centre. Emma asked if I would help her to arrange the display, so, despite my better judgement I said yes. We were chatting and she had been cleaning the glass doors and shelves and I was saying how I didn't really 'do' ceramics because I am such a clutz, but, being brave I picked up the most expensive and very beautiful jug and went, 'I'll put this here then" and slammed it straight into the glass door! The noise was awful and I felt sick and Emma's face was a picture and the room ( where there was a meeting going on) went silent and everybody looked at me, and the jug, still in my hands, and fortunately for me and goodness knows how, unbroken. Well, if Emma hadn't cleaned the glass so well I would have seen it!
Glad to say the rest of the window disply was put together with more care and the jug looks beautiful, as does all of Caro's work. I am particularly taken with the small, round, owlpot.


  1. Good luck with it all, I know what you mean about needing solitude to work. I can't stand it if I can even hear people outside my studio- except for my 10 year old daughter's prattle when she's playing by herself. I find that soothing, and I think it's because she's so self absorbed it's like she's not there. The TI center in St. David's is lovely and , as long as the cafe is open, a great place to hunker down for a few hours.

  2. I saw your work going up last week when I stopped by the TIC for coffee . . the studies of hares in the cafe are magnificent, but then that adjective and more are lavishly applied to all of your works. I am looking forward to my coffees and lunches up there even more now, surrounded by your paintings!

    I think I would have died if I'd had that jug incident happen to me . . and glad to hear that you weren't hurt either! See, there is a very good reason behind not cleaning glass!

    I hope you enjoy your spell as Artist in Residence . . it is good to see the space used again for the intended purpose.

  3. Jackie: I will be celebrating with you, your new Artist-In-Residence studio and your lovely exhibit, in my heart and soul as I live across the world from you (San Francisco). Anything new always brings on the nervous "jitters", but know that all will be well -- you will meet lots of lovely people who will be enchanted by your beautiful paintings and books. Success is a small word, but you will reap wonderful benefits from the experience. PS: the exhibit looks super -- thanks so much for sharing it with your far away fans !!

  4. That is the problem though. I don't want to meet people. Well, I do, but I need to get on with my work. By the end of this week I will have spent an afternoon signing books and talking to people, had an exhibition opening and finished a cover for Robin Hobb,s publishers, in theory. Can't work and talk at the same time.

  5. It is such a beautiful place to see an exhibition, good luck Jackie.