Well the weather couldn’t have been better for a trip to London on Friday. My man and I packed up the car and headed south, sunshine flooding our faces, wall to wall blue skies, and not a cloud to be seen. The journey was an easy one, even on a Friday and we got to the shop and Hoxton Square in good time.
I’d spoken to Renee, the manager of Sh! in Hoxton, earlier in the week and she’d requested that I not arrive before noon as she’d got a film crew there filming “Joy of teenage sex” but they had promised to be off the premises by 12, and indeed they were all packed up when I arrived soon after. I’ll watch that programme with interest to see if my artwork is featured in the background. Renee and I greeted each other and over a welcome cuppa we chatted about our erotic worlds, and other peoples embarrassments within them, and the ways we try to ease that embarrassment for them with our easy manner and professional understanding.
I was pleased to finally meet Sarah too,Â and put a face to the name, since I’d heard of herÂ from the “Fannying around” (love that title!) sessions once a month, where womenÂ go to paint theirÂ fannies, that is they do paintings of their fannies, not paint ON their fannies! And since Sarah knew I have done my series of paintings of the “Fantasy Fannies” which she loved as a concept, we were able to compare fannies, so to speak. 🙂
The pictures, packed up, and ready to go, I hugged Renee goodbye, thanked her for hosting my exhibition, and left the fabulous Hoxton Square and its lively inhabitants sitting on the grass under the dappled shade of the September sunshine, and headed across town, over to Portobello.Â This meant a trip through the touristy bits of London – Trafalgar Square in a halo of sunlight, Admiralty Arch, the Mall, Buckingham Palace, Park Lane, Hyde Park, Bayswater Road, and through the pretty roadsÂ ofÂ the quietly elegant white facades that is Notting Hill to the vibrant area of Portobello. Satnav found the Sh! shop easily, and I was delighted to note it was just a few yards away from the famous Portobello market itself.
I went in the Sh! shop and introduced myself to the lovely Shelly who was expecting me, and who offered a very welcome cup of tea whilst I unloaded the car and set up the exhibition in the basement of the shop.Â I liked this venue as much as the Hoxton shop, although it was a slightly different set-up. I much prefer my artwork to be displayed together rather than scattered around and this shop was better laid out for it, with white walls that quietly display the work. It was hard work, hanging, Â and I was more than thankful for the air conditioning, on that very hot day, and loved the look of them when they were all up. I said my goodbyes to Shelly, and left, with high hopes, which is always the way of exhibitions. Living in hope, that some will sell.
But, now it was time for lunch, even if it was almost 5 o’clock, we’d earned it. My man and I wandered around the meandering market, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, and eyeing the diverse wares for sale – gleaming antiques, wooden furniture, vintage clothing, leather bracelets, fragrant crepes, vintage jewellery, fresh fruit, floral bags, brightly patterned pashminas,Â wooden toys, and all sizes of Â scarlet shiny chillies, whilst listening to the background beat of reggae music, lighthearted banter, laughter, and the stall holders shouted greetings, I was aware of the vibrancy of the place, and thought it an ideal venue for my diverse, brightly coloured, erotic art.Â