What a busy day!
I somehow managed to get into central London for 10 am, arriving at the Tate Modern Café in perfect time for my rendezvous with an American friend – a lady who is as lovely in “real” life as she is online (we hadn’t met before). Sarah is an artist who, coincidentally, also has Parkinson’s (she specialises in exquisite coloured pencil drawings of ordinary things that – seen through her vision – become extraordinary). She was in Britain on holiday with her husband, and when we realised that we were due to be in London on the same day, we decided to meet up.
I’m very glad that we did. There was only time for one coffee apiece in the Tate’s oddly formal café, but I felt as if I could have talked with Sarah all day. But I had somewhere else to be…
From Bankside (where Tate Modern is, overlooking the Thames) to Bank (the financial district, and the location of the venue for the Mervyn Peake Awards) is a 20 minute walk, and I managed to arrive there on time, too. (I could have used the underground, but it was a lovely day and it was nice to walk. It might even have been nearly as quick on foot, too.)
The reception was as lovely as last year’s, despite the sad loss of Sebastian Peake, son of Mervyn, last autumn. This year, we had the talky bits and the awards before the seated buffet lunch was served. Which, I think, worked better. Joanne Harris was on hand to read the winning poem again, but this year HRH the Duchess of Gloucester, patron of the charity Parkinson’s UK since 1996, gave the awards out.
I couldn’t help but wonder why the winner in the art category was represented by an A4 print in the exhibition. Maybe it had been sold? I am fairly certain that it was a print, but am beginning to doubt my recollection now.
Leaky memory aside, I definitely did enjoy speaking to some of the other entrants in the competition, their companions, and several members of Parkinson’s UK staff. I hope I didn’t bore anyone with my adventures in paint.
I met Tim Andrews, the solicitor-turned-art-project, whom I mistakenly thought that I had mentioned in a previous post, and who asked to take my picture, which he did there and then (with my permission). He seemed like a very nice fellow.
I also collected my advance copy of the 2014 calendar, which contains a detail from my Spotted Bullock (aka “Dotty cow”, although it is decidedly not a cow) as the main picture for August. It also contains several of the works that I admired most in the exhibition. It even has a hole punched in it! (Last year, my advance copy did not have any holes to hang it by. Incidentally, the 2013 calendar is now half price, and comes complete with my poem in May.)
I’ll try and let you know when the 2014 calendar is actually on sale…