So there I was, one week to go before Christmas, and I had fulfilled and delivered all outstanding commissions, hung up my scissors, and was hoping to coast into the big day with my feet up, in a sherry and mince pie stupor. Fate had other plans though, when I took a call from Chris at the Rowley Gallery. Could I create not one, not two, but twelve!! small pieces for a client of theirs to be given as Christmas presents?
The client had seen the Gloriole piece (above) in their showroom, that I had created for St Mary Abbots' Christmas Living Advent Calendar initiative, and wanted to commission something similar - but with no defined shape such as a circle or oval.
Never one to shirk from a challenge I first confirmed with my framer that he could turn around an order and delivery for twelve smaller frames in four days. He promised he could, and, ever the professional was as good as his promise. With that I set to gilding and then cutting.
I envisaged the twelve pieces as biomes - distinct biological communities that are self-sustaining and co-exist in a small defined space. Although they are separate little eco-systems within their frames, they are ultimately connected because of the similar flora and insects that each of them contain. It was a little strange to work to an undefined shape at first, as I kept wanting to revert to a circle or defined shape, but in hindsight I think this was a good thing for me personally, and is something that has the potential to lead to new things in my work.
I enjoyed lining up all twelve to make comparisons and ensure that each piece was at the very least slightly different to the previous piece.
All pieces arranged and fixed to my satisfaction I then set about framing.
Worrying as this commission was, given the tight time constraints, it was with a great sense of relief, that I made my way to the Rowley to deliver the twelve pieces within deadline and in the knowledge that they were going to good homes, and being added to appreciative budding art collections.
I hope all of the recipients are as pleased with them as I was to make them.