January 17, 2011
Annet invited me to the Pop-up gallery where she and several other women artists were exhibiting. I went there on Saturday and had a really inspiring morning.
It was held at Sandra’s house and the event included a living room concert on Friday evening followed by the gallery opening on Saturday. The word ‘gallery’ here does not refer to ’empty white box’. Think instead-someone’s cozy but light living room, transformed into a container for wonderful handmade things. The village where it was held was familiar to me and I hadn’t heard of this gallery before. Looking for it, I got caught up in a wonderful maze of small streets with charming houses. There were no signs indicating the gallery, but that made it seem all the more like discovering a hidden treasure when I finally found the house and walked in to a beautiful, light room, smelling of paper, tea and baking- and full of handmade art and craft.
What made this concept so special besides the obvious love with which the whole event and all of the products were prepared, was the atmosphere of being among friends. The artists who organised this event meet regularly to support and inspire each other in their art businesses and you really feel this connectedness in a number of ways. Most of the products use recycled or vintage materials, and if they don’t the colors seem to reflect a warm, homey quality anyway. The feel, packaging and sensibilities of these three women (and another friend who wasn’t there) harmonise really well. So even though they all make different things, it felt like one related whole.
Also, the transience of the gallery was appealing. It really was a ‘pop-up’ gallery- there one moment, gone the next. A moment captured where friends, good food, interested visitors/buyers all converged for a certain amount of hours on one day, and then it all disappeared again.
What you buy, then, is not just a stitched notebook cover, as I did, or cards or a wool covered stool, but a moment of magic created by us all on that day.When I use the book I will think back to sitting on one of Sandra’s stools (warm bum!) eating Annet’s luscious carrot cake, (warm tummy) and having a conversation with Megan who had lived in New York (warm heart).
Crafts– hand made answers to the cold mass produced planned obsolescence articles we are coerced into buying every second. Supporting these individual artists is to support something warm, human, and fragile, but so important to our lives.