STICKS AND STONES
Limited edition etching by Colin Bailey – http://www.ryepress.com
We are creeping up to the end of January now – and I do mean creeping – January is such a long month, a seemingly endless tunnel of grey days stretching between distant paydays, when you have to somehow find the money to pay off the credit card bills for all those Christmas presents you bought, and for all the ‘little indulgences’ that you (oh so rashly) gave in to over the holidays.
For once I’m not complaining though. January this year has been good to me. Despite the fact that I have spent most of it (and of December) moving furniture, getting rid of furniture, swapping big furniture for smaller dual-purpose furniture, painting walls, and being really, really strict with myself about what I can keep and what I cannot keep (in order to make space in the flat to accommodate everything from the studio-gallery downstairs), January has been a great month and for once I have been grateful that it has gone on for such a long, long time, as it has given me time to sort everything out.
The flat is now looking habitable again – and more organised than it has ever been. We have space in it for me to make dolls and to sew, and for the Painter to paint and to etch, so the nightmare image of us entertaining the neighbourhood with our rows over working space is beginning to recede (a bit).
Also we have been reminded over the last couple of months just what a wonderful supportive community we live in here in Hastings. The first thing that happened was that one of the other gallery owners – Jon Wilhelm of The Rebel Gallery – invited the Painter to put some work into his gallery. This was followed by an offer of studio space in their home from someone who collects the Painter’s work.
A little bit later, the owner of Warp and Weft, (very possibly the most stylish vintage shop in the universe), came into the gallery and bought one of my Pierrot dolls. She also offered to house them for sale in her shop when our gallery closes, and she and I are going to be working together on a doll-related art project.
So the overwhelming feelings of depression and not-knowing-what-to-do-next have lifted. We are communicating with each other again (without shouting – always a plus), and actually looking forward to 2014. We are both still a little nervous about having to make a living without the gallery, but we are hopeful again and much less prickly with each other – thank heavens – because for a while back there I was wondering if I would have to change the title of my blog…