Spaces, places, and lovely faces

by Chantal

This Thursday I was in London to go and see the Artspace at Westbourne Grove Church where my show is going to be this summer and to talk to Susan Hicks,  artspace co-ordinater, about the install. Susan was so welcoming and I was touched by her generosity in offering so much help – she has even offered to lend me her display plinths for the exhibition.

Karen Kilimnik

I sketched, measured, and photographed every inch of space while I was there because my sense of spatial awareness is shocking and my memory has a naughty tendency to alter things dramatically within 5 minutes of leaving a place. The space is a really interesting one – it has some great aspects but also some challenges to think on. Really like the fact that the space is divided into different rooms – the first small tower room is fantastic with its slate floor and huge street level window. The challenge is that some areas are multi purpose so as well as being aware that having fragile works at a child reachable or knock-able height is probably unwise, I need to think about how to work with the space so it feels first and foremost like entering an artspace and not like background art. I probably haven’t conveyed what I mean at all well but what its boiling down to is me thinking much more about overall installation and trying to create a more immersive experience as opposed to just thinking about what existing pieces I want to include and where those will be placed. Think Karen Kilimniks Red Room or her fantastic birch trees.

Millers Residence from "In Style" photoshoot

After finishing at Westbourne Grove Church Artspace I headed up the Road to the Millers Residence which is also in Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. A few weeks back I blogged some pics from my amazing stay at Glencot House in Wells and I later wrote to Mr Miller offering him one of my small box pieces because I just loved the idea of it being in those surroundings and being seen by people who love that location. Which is how I found myself walking up the stairs of another utterly enchanting Miller hideaway, this time in London, to meet Martin Miller himself. I got a lovely warm welcome from both Martin and Frances and really enjoyed hearing them both talk with such enthusiasm for their creative projects. Martin is one of those people who after speaking to them you are left feeling that there is no reason you can’t achieve your own dreams, so inspiring is the number and creativity of ideas he has decided to just go out and successfully do. I particularly loved hearing about his plans for secret additions to the grounds at Glencot – and if you didn’t get enough encouragement from my last blog post about the place, really you must visit this dream location one day!

Flower Breaking, Bouke De Vries

My last lovely treat of the day was to meet up with Dean who also was in London that day visiting Eileen Cooper about some of his latest print work. We ate huge burgers, drank coffee, coveted the contents of the most amazing 3 storey antique frame shop and a checked out a couple of galleries in Notting Hill. Salon contemporary had a fantastic exhibition showing entitled, “Things I Made, Things I Found and Made“. Some very exciting sculptural works by a number of artists but I was particularly taken with the works of Bouke De Vries whose deconstructed broken & reclaimed ceramic works were exquisite. Definitely will be following what he is up to. Would like to visit Salon Contemporay again in the future too – if the quality of this shows work is anything to go by they seem like an exciting gallery.

All in all a lovely day, some lovely people, and lots to be inspired by and think on!

p.s. I have just had a message from Frances saying my box now has pride of place next to their visitors book for all to see. What a lovely thought to make me smile for the rest of the day!