I had worked on some great commissions. Over the next year or so I showed work at the County Hall In London, The Helen Keller awards in Glasgow, Chichester Tactile Exhibition, Llandudno and Belgium.
The opportunity to show out of the country sounded exciting, expensive but worth giving it a try. The logistics of getting a box full of paintings to another country, double boxing the work and booking a courier was new to me, so was finding out that unless you have sold a painting it has no value. The box of ten paintings was insured for £50. That made me feel really uncomfortable.
The Courier picked up the work a week before the event and assured me all would be well. The day before leaving I checked the venue and was informed my work had not turned up. The Courier could not locate it and at that stage I did not know what to do.
My husband said ” Don’t cancel the trip, just get there I will find out what has happened to it and make sure it gets to you.” He spent all day on the phone only to find out that the parcel was traced to Bognor not Belgium. Beggars belief that no-one noticed. After a great deal of arguing it was finally couriered over by plane, private car and delivered to the venue with hours to spare.
In the meantime I travelled to Belgium by Eurostar, got to my flat only to find out there was no hot water because of a faulty boiler. This was winter. The venue was a tram ride away and I was the only artist without work to show. Finally late afternoon a big shout went up from the reception, it had arrived.
A quick hanging of pictures and I just had time to get back to the flat to eat, change and back again for the event. Except when I stepped outside the Venue, it was thick with snow and I had lost my bearings. I approached some teenagers, I always find them helpful and they got me back to my flat.
Back again to the Venue. There were bars set up everywhere, great music playing and people, wandering around. Women in ball gowns, holding small dogs, men dressed beautifully, all clutching glass of champagne and completely ignoring the work. Surreal and pure theatre. Nothing else to do but get my own glass of champagne and join the party.